Apply for a loan guide

How to get a loan

Knowing about the process before you apply can help you on your road to financing.

Personal loans can help you buy a new vehicle, pay for home renovations, get married and consolidate debt, among other uses. You can even cover adoption costs. But what really goes into getting a personal loan?

Prosper Personal Loan

Prosper Personal Loans

You could borrow up to $35,000 for a variety of purposes, with rates starting from 5.99%.

  • Recommended Credit Score: 640 or higher
  • Minimum Loan Amount: $2,000
  • Maximum Loan Amount: $35,000
  • Loan Term: 3 or 5 years
  • Turnaround Time: 1-3 business days
  • Simple online application process
  • No prepayment penalties

    Decide what you need

    Finding the right loan starts with you knowing what you need and what your current financial circumstances are. Say you’re looking to purchase a car. If you have a good credit rating, a secured personal loan might give you a lower annual percentage rate (APR). However, if you have bad credit, you may need to consider getting a cosigner in order to qualify. You also may not get as good of an APR.

    You also need to think about how much you need to borrow, how long you’ll need to repay it and what kind of payments you can afford. Any additional features you’d like from your loan, such as the ability to pay it off early, should also be noted.
    Get your credit score here

    Find the right loan type

    There are various loan types available: secured loans, unsecured personal loans, fixed rate, variable rate. There are also an array of loans for bad credit, including payday loans, auto title loans and installment loans. Once you’ve decided what features you need from your loan, have a look at the different loan types and decide what which one best suits your needs.

    You may also want to compare the maximum loan amounts offered by lenders to be sure you can get all the funding you need.

    A selection of personal loans you can apply for today

    Rates last updated June 22nd, 2017
    Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers have a loan for that credit score. It you are urgent need of a small loan, you might want to check out a short term loan.
    Table Image Minimum Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR Requirements
    Prosper Personal Loan Prosper Personal Loan 640 $35,000 From 5.99% (fixed) Must be 18+ years old, an American citizen or US permanent resident and have a 640+ credit score. Go to site More
    Lending Club Personal Loan Lending Club Personal Loan 660 $40,000 From 5.99% (fixed) You must be over 18 years of age, a permanent resident of the US or an American citizen and have a steady source of income. Go to site More
    SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay) SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay) Good to excellent credit $100,000 From 5.49% (fixed) You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident 18 years or older. Go to site More
    DRB Personal Loans DRB Personal Loans $45,000 From 5.75% (fixed) Must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid I-551 card Go to site More
    Upstart Personal Loans Upstart Personal Loans 620 $50,000 From 7.16% (fixed) Must be 18+ and a US citizen or permanent resident. Must have good to excellent credit. Go to site More
    NetCredit Personal Loan NetCredit Personal Loan 550 $10,000 From 34% to 155% depending on your state of residence% (variable) Varies depending on your state of residence. Go to site More
    OneMain Financial Personal Loans OneMain Financial Personal Loans 600 $25,000 From 12.99% (fixed) Eligibility for a loan is determined by your financial history, credit history, income and expenses, and whether or not you have ever filed for bankruptcy. More

    Have we missed anything in the comparison table? Tell us

    • If the provider quotes a different rate to the one above please let us know

    See what lenders are offering

    Different lenders have varying loan types on offer. For instance, a bank will offer a range of personal loan and credit card products, but is less likely to have solutions for you if your credit score is low beyond possibly being able to offer you a higher APR. Other lenders may only have products for bad credit borrowers, such as payday and installment loans.

    Find out about eligibility and APR

    This is one of the most important steps to take before applying. Lenders list basic eligibility criteria that needs to be met before you can apply for the loan, make sure you meet those terms before you apply. Lenders may also list an APR range that the personal loan can fall in online.

    Bad credit loans such as payday loans come with a standard APR that is offered to all borrowers. Some lenders, such as peer-to-peer lenders, let you get a rate estimate without it affecting your credit score. It’s important to know what your credit score is and have a fair idea of what APR you may be eligible for before you apply.

    Compare your options

    The way to find the best personal loan is to decide what you want and then to compare all of your options to make sure you’re getting a competitive loan. How much is the lender charging in fees? How does this compare to other similar loans? It can also help to compare the additional features offered by lenders. Remember to keep in mind the eligibility criteria of loans and the APR you may be offered.

    Gather what you need to apply

    The information you need to apply will depend on the lender, and the type of loan you’re applying for. For most loans you will need documents to confirm your identity, prove your address, verify your income and other financials, and you’ll also need information regarding your employment. If you’re applying for a secured loan, you will need additional documentation regarding the collateral.

    Submit your application

    Once you’ve settled on the right loan, it’s time to apply. The majority of lenders offer a convenient online application, but you may also be able to apply in-branch or over the phone. You usually won’t have to fax over any documents if you apply online, but you should check this before you apply. Turnaround time for approval and receiving your funds differs – timeframes fluctuate from a few hours to a few weeks.

    7 tips to increase your chances of getting approved for a personal loan

    Personal loans can be an option to consider when you’re in need of funds. Understanding the ins and outs of the process can help you confidently decide on the right loan and apply.

    Frequently asked questions about getting loans

    There are many types of loans available. Some of the ones you can find include: student, home-improvement, green, adoption, pet, vacation, wedding and car loans.

    Yes. There are lenders who work closely with borrowers who are building or rebuilding their credit. You can also consider building your credit with a secured credit card.

    Missing payments can negatively impact your credit score. If you think you won’t be able to make a payment, contact your lender immediately as they may be able to help you.

    Elizabeth Barry

    As a writer for finder.com, Elizabeth specializes in personal finance, with her passion centring on helping people find better for whatever they're looking for.

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    2 Responses to How to get a loan

    1. Default Gravatar
      Mark | March 22, 2017

      Can I get a loan while bankrupt

      • Staff
        Anndy | June 17, 2017

        Hi Mark,

        Thanks for your question.

        The lenders on this page may consider you for a loan.

        Kindly review the eligibility criteria and the relevant terms and conditions of the loan before submitting your application.

        Cheers,
        Anndy

    US Personal Loans Offers

    Learn about our information service
    Lending Club Personal Loan

    Borrow up to $40,000 with rates from 5.99% to 35.89% APR based on your credit score.

    Prosper Personal Loan

    Borrow only what you need for debt consolidation, home improvements, special occasions and more — with APRs based on your credit score.

    Upstart Personal Loans

    This newer service looks beyond your credit score to match you with accredited investors for low-rate personal loans.

    PersonalLoans.com

    Get matched with providers from a large network of banks, peer-to-peer marketplaces and direct lenders.

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