Personal loan pre-approval is a way to estimate your chances of getting approved for a personal loan before you apply, along with the rates you would likely receive. Many personal loan providers refer to this process as pre-qualification rather than pre-approval, but the two terms are used interchangeably.
In order to receive personal loan pre-approval, you will have to provide some personal information to the lender so they can do a soft pull of your credit (which will not hurt your credit score). The best part about personal loan pre-approval is that it can save you from wasting a hard credit pull on an application for a loan where your odds of approval are low or the potential rates are too high.
It’s easy to check for pre-approval from multiple personal loan providers at once using WalletHub’s pre-approval tool.
Or, you can follow the steps below to get pre-approved on a lender’s website.
How to Get Personal Loan Pre-Approval
- Check if the lenders you’re interested in offer pre-approval. Many lenders have a pre-approval tool on their website. Look for a button that says something like “See if you’re pre-approved,” “see if you’re pre-qualified” or “check your rates.” If you can’t find it, click on “Apply,” instead, as pre-qualification may be the first step of the application. If you still don’t have luck, call customer service.
- Navigate to the pre-approval form and make sure it’s secure. Once you find a lender’s pre-approval tool, click on it and make sure the page is secure before filling out any information. The URL of the page should start with “https” (the “s” stands for “secure”). If the page doesn’t start with “https,” you don’t want to enter any personal information.
- Fill out the pre-approval form. You will need to put in basic personal information like your name, date or birth and address. You’ll also likely have to input details like your yearly income, the sources of that income and your housing status. The lender may ask you for your Social Security number, but they will never use it to make a hard pull of your credit until you actually submit an application.
- Wait for pre-approval. Typically, you should see your personal loan pre-approval status nearly instantly. You’ll be able to see both if the lender think you’ll qualify for a loan in the first place and what rates they think you’ll qualify for if approved. Getting pre-qualification from several different lenders can help make your decision on which to pick easier.
Once you’ve gotten pre-approval from one lender, you don’t have to stop there. It’s a good idea to try out several options so you can pick the one that’s best for you. Luckily, most lenders are eager to offer pre-approval to their potential customers.
Popular Lenders with Personal Loan Pre-Approval
|Lender||Personal Loan Pre-Approval||Online Pre-Approval Check|
|Avant||Yes||Check for Avant personal loan pre-approval|
|Best Egg||Yes||Check for Best Egg personal loan pre-approval|
|FreedomPlus||Yes||Check for FreedomPlus personal loan pre-approval|
|LendingClub||Yes||Check for LendingClub personal loan pre-approval|
|LendingPoint||Yes||Check for LendingPoint personal loan pre-approval|
|LightStream||No (but has calculator on website)||N/A|
|Payoff||Yes||Check for Payoff personal loan pre-approval|
|Prosper||Yes||Check for Prosper personal loan pre-approval|
|SoFi||Yes||Check for SoFi personal loan pre-approval|
|Wells Fargo||No (but has calculator on website)||N/A|
Benefits of Personal Loan Pre-Approval
- It gives you a clearer picture of loan terms. Lenders are usually good about disclosing an overall range for their APRs and fees. However, it’s hard to tell what you personally will get since the ranges are usually very big. Pre-qualification gives you a good estimate of the costs of your loan.
- It can help you make a decision. You can get pre-approved with as many lenders as you’re interested in, assuming they all offer it. Then, you can take your estimated costs for all the lenders and compare them to see which would be the best for you.
- It doesn’t affect your credit. Lenders only do a soft credit check for pre-approval, which has no impact on your credit. In contrast, every time you submit an application, the lender does a hard credit check which will drop your credit score slightly. It’s worth your while to check for pre-approval so you don’t waste a hard pull.
There’s really no reason not to take advantage of personal-loan pre-approval before submitting an application, since it’s quick and doesn’t affect your credit. Some lenders won’t even let you apply without going through pre-approval first.
WalletHub can help you get pre-approved with multiple lenders. Just use our free and easy pre-approval tool to get started.