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Four personal loan secrets you need to know

Get a better loan by knowing some of these industry tricks.


It’s well known that lenders consider your credit score, income and financial stability when assessing your eligibility for a personal loan. However, hidden behind these obvious considerations are a number of tricks of the trade that lenders know about… and you should too.

Here are four insider secrets to consider when comparing personal loans:

rates aren't everything

The interest rate of a personal loan is only the beginning and may not actually give you a full picture of what your loan costs. The fees and type of interest rate should also be considered alongside the rate percentage so that you can see how much the loan will actually cost throughout the term.

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) gives you a better idea of the total cost of your loan, but keep in mind that penalty fees for things like early payoff or late payments usually aren’t included in the APR. If you suspect that you’ll pay off your loan early, consider looking for a loan with no prepayment penalties.

A personal loan calculator is a great tool to help you visualize how much your loan could cost. You can put in different values to compare costs and decide what loan amount and terms you can ultimately afford.

finding out personal information

A lender might find itself in hot water if it were to deny a loan application based on age alone. This would be a clear case of age discrimination. However, your life stage can often a play a part in whether you are approved or not, and older or younger individuals may have a harder time finding a loan.

At the end of the day, lenders are primarily interested in the odds of being repaid in full. When a lender’s historic experience says that certain age groups can’t be trusted as readily as others to repay the loan, they may approve and decline applications accordingly.

It can be difficult for an 18-year-old or a retiree to find a personal loan. You can’t suddenly change your age, but you can compensate for your age by showing other indications of financial reliability such as a low debt-to-income ratio and a high credit score.
Would you lend yourself money based on these four important factors?

credit score vs credit history

Did you know?

You can easily get your credit reports and credit score online.

Find out your score

What’s the difference between your credit score and credit history? They’re not quite the same thing and many lenders will consider both.

If you’re looking for a loan, you should probably know your credit score. This is a three-digit number that lenders use to get a snapshot of your financial strength.

For a more in depth look at your needs, lenders also consider your credit history. This is a detailed record of relevant transactions, including open credit accounts, recent inquiries, bankruptcies, defaults and more. Repairing an imperfect credit report can be more difficult than improving your credit score, but both are important.

approved by a computer

Sometimes your application might be declined by a “robot” without a human ever setting eyes on it. This is often more prevalent with online lenders, because it’s one of the ways they can offer fast approval, sometimes within the hour.

Banks and lenders often use their own algorithms to check loan applications, automatically sorting the low-risk applications from the high-risk applications to preapprove strong applicants. It can be a way of weeding out prospective borrowers who don’t meet the initial eligibility criteria. If you’re considering applying with a lender that offers preapproval, it’s often worth reviewing their eligibility requirements to avoid wasting time and on applications that go nowhere.

Quick recap

Four personal loan secrets you need to know:

1. Rates aren’t everything.
2. Lenders may consider personal factors.
3. Your credit history is different from your credit score.
4. A computer bot could approve or deny your application.

Compare top personal loans

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
Credible personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Monevo personal loans
3.49% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Fiona personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
LendingTree personal loans
Starting from 2.49%
Good to excellent credit
Receive up to five loan offers in just minutes through LendingTree's simple online form.
SoFi personal loans
5.99% to 18.28%
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
NetCredit personal loans
34% to 155%
No minimum
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
LightStream personal loans
Good to excellent credit
Borrow up to $100,000 with low rates and no fees.
Even Financial personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Knowing all the industry tricks inside and out will be of limited help if you’re not choosing the loan that’s the right fit for you. To get the most out of your financing, start by comparing your loan options to find the best one for you.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MatthewJanuary 13, 2018

    Working overseas for 6 months….moving back to the US next week. Loan application was refused because the last 6 months the pay was in euros! That was the ONLY reason given by the bank. Is this normal??

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchJanuary 15, 2018Staff

      Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      Banks have different requirements and eligibility criteria. You may also go to this page for helpful information and compare your options for personal loans that you can apply for.

      Please click the name of your preferred lender to find out the details and the minimum eligibility. You may then click the green “Go to Site” button to submit your loan application online.

      Best regards,

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