How to find a hands-on borrowing experience.
Where can I apply for a personal loan in person?
You can apply for a personal loan in person at several different types of loan offices. Which office is best for you depends on how much you want to borrow, when you need the money and your financial history.
Banks and credit unions
|U.S. Bank||No branches in the following states:||Read review|
|Wells Fargo||No branches in the following states:||Read review|
|Consumers Credit Union||Shared branches in all 50 states||Read review|
Banks and credit unions are best for borrowing large amounts of funds if you have strong personal credit. It’s also a good way to keep your finances in one place and earn some loyalty discounts — Citizens Bank offers reduced rates to borrowers who already have a checking account.
Credit unions and local banks typically only have locations in a few states, though some share branches with other local financial institutions.
The downside with borrowing from credit unions and banks is that the application process can take longer. That’s because they typically rely on older technology than online lenders and have stricter credit requirements.
Online lenders with branches
|OneMain Financial||No branches in the following states:||Go to site|
|Mariner Finance||You can find branches in the following states:||Read review|
|FreedomPlus||Only one loan office in the country — located in Tempe, Arizona||Go to site|
A couple of online lenders also have physical locations you can visit to work on your application or get answers to questions. Online lenders tend to rely on more cutting-edge technology and can typically get you funding faster than a bank or credit union.
These types of lenders also typically have more flexible eligibility requirements that rely on more than just your credit score. But finding a branch near you might not always be possible.
Short-term loan providers
|Speedy Cash||You can find branches in the following states:||Go to site|
|ACE Cash Express||You can find branches in the following states:||Go to site|
|Check into Cash||No branches in the following states:||Go to site|
Short-term lenders that offer payday loans, installment loans and title loans often have offices where you can pick up funds in as fast as a half an hour — in states where it’s legal. You don’t need good credit to qualify at most of these places, and some might even be willing to work with you if you don’t have a a job or a bank account.
However, minimal requirements and speed come at a cost: Short-term loans come with notoriously high rates and the risk of falling into a cycle of debt. You also won’t be able to borrow more than a few thousand dollars with this option.
How do I find a loan office near me?
Follow these steps to find the right type of loan office in your area:
- Calculate how much you need. Your loan amount can help you decide which type of lender to look for. Banks typically offer larger amounts while short-term and online lenders might be able to help you get loans of $1,000 or less.
- Prioritize your needs. This can help you decide what type of lender to go with. Looking for the best deal? Consider a bank or online lender. Have difficulty qualifying or need money today? A short-term lender might be a better fit.
- Search for lenders near you. Look online for the type of lender you’d want to work with that have offices near you. Eliminate those that don’t offer what you need.
- Compare your options. Weigh the cost, speed, eligibility requirements and other factors before picking a lender to visit.
What are the benefits of getting a personal loan in person?
There are a few perks to applying for a personal loan at a branch instead of online, including:
- Personalized service. Visiting a branch allows you to develop a relationship with your lender and get answers to your questions in real time.
- Make a case for yourself. You get the chance to explain your unique situation if you have any negative marks on your credit report.
- Potentially fast turnaround. Short-term lenders can get you money in as fast as half an hour if you have all of your paperwork on hand.
What are the drawbacks?
Consider these potential drawbacks before applying for a personal loan in person:
- Good credit required for the best rates. Banks and credit unions tend to have the most competitive rates but tougher requirements than online and short-term lenders.
- Slower turnaround on some personal loans. Borrowing from a bank or credit union can also take as long as a few weeks or even a month to fund your loan.
- Fewer options. Limiting yourself to lenders with branches in your state limits who you can work with — there might be a provider that better meets your needs online.
- Takes time out of your day. You’ll have to make the effort to go down to the office, wait to speak with a representative and have a conversation. You might also have to return with documents. Applying online can take a fraction of this time.
Can’t find a loan office near you? Consider an online lender
If the negatives outweigh the positives or you can’t find the type of lender you need nearby, an online lender might be a better solution. Online lenders typically have simpler applications, require fewer documents and are more widely available than banks, credit unions and even short-term loan providers.
While they’re generally more expensive than banks or credit unions, you can often find a lower rate than you would at a short-term loan provider. You can also use online connection services if you aren’t sure where to start.
Compare online lenders today
Applying for a personal loan at a physical location can have several benefits, from building a relationship with your lender to getting funds in as little as 30 minutes. But unless applying in person is your only choice, you can limit your options by narrowing your search to just lenders with branches near you.
Learn more about how borrowing works by reading our guide to personal loans.