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Compare Personal Loans in December 2023
Find the Best Personal Loan Rates
Est. APR: 5.40% – 35.99% APR
Loan Amount: $600 to $100,000
Est. APR: 8.99-23.43%
Loan Amount: $5,000-$100,000
Benefits of Personal Loans
Personal loans offer several benefits for individuals looking to borrow money for various purposes. Here are five common advantages of obtaining a personal loan:
Flexibility in Use
Personal loans provide borrowers with flexibility in how they can use the funds. Whether you need to consolidate high-interest debts, finance home improvements, cover medical expenses, fund a wedding, or take a vacation, personal loans can be used for a wide range of purposes. The lender typically does not impose specific restrictions on how the loan proceeds are utilized.
Fixed Interest Rates and Payments
Personal loans often come with fixed interest rates and fixed monthly payments. This means that your interest rate and payment amount remain the same throughout the loan term. Having a fixed payment allows you to budget effectively and plan your finances, knowing exactly how much you need to repay each month.
Simplified Debt Repayment
If you have multiple debts with varying interest rates and payment schedules, a personal loan can simplify your debt repayment. By consolidating your debts into a single loan, you have only one monthly payment to manage, reducing the chances of missing payments or incurring late fees. It can also help you save money by potentially securing a lower interest rate compared to your existing debts.
Lower Interest Rates Compared to Credit Cards
Personal loans typically have lower interest rates compared to credit cards, especially if you have good credit. By opting for a personal loan, you can potentially save money on interest charges over time, particularly if you are consolidating high-interest credit card debt into the loan.
Fixed Repayment Term
Personal loans come with a defined repayment term, typically ranging from one to seven years. Knowing the exact timeframe for repayment allows you to create a clear payoff plan and work towards becoming debt-free within a specific timeframe. Additionally, personal loans often have no prepayment penalties, allowing you to pay off the loan earlier if desired, potentially saving on interest.
It’s important to note that the specific terms and conditions of personal loans, including interest rates and eligibility requirements, can vary among lenders. Before taking out a personal loan, it’s advisable to compare offers from different lenders, understand the terms and fees associated with the loan, and ensure that you can comfortably afford the monthly payments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a personal loan?
Before attempting to find a personal loan finance company, it helps to start at the beginning and determine what a personal loan is? Personal loans are a secured or an unsecured personal loan with the purpose of helping you reach a financial goal. The financial goals that people get personal loans for range from paying off a high-interest rate debt to home improvement to funding a significant expense item like an unexpected medical expense.
Most personal loans have percentage interest rates that range from 6% to 36%, so finding the one that’s good for obtaining your financial objective and also good for your specific loan purpose is vital. Most of the time, people want to apply for a personal loan that has the lowest annual percentage rate they can qualify for. But there are other personal loan features you need to look at too.
These features include fees, a soft credit check requirement, or minimum loan amount. Also, you should look into whether the lender autopays your creditors directly or give you the money so you can pay them off. You also want to know what the life of the personal loan is and how long you’ll be making monthly payments.
How do i get a personal loan?
The first thing a consumer thinks of when seeking personal loan options is finding one at their local bank. Banks usually have many loan offers for your consideration but only if your credit score is top-notch. Most of the time, if you could meet all the excellent credit profile criteria a bank needs you to in qualifying for a personal loan, you wouldn’t need one as you’d already have financial security.
The good news is banks aren’t the only places that offer personal loans. You can get this kind of loan at a credit union, consumer finance companies, online lenders, and even peer-to-peer lenders. An important criterion you want your loan lender to offer is terms and conditions for personal loans, mortgage refinancing, or any other type of consumer loan. You also want to know ahead of time the length of time you’ll be making monthly payments and the fixed interest rate so you can assess if all the costs will fit into your budget.
You can find some of these lenders by going online and looking for personal loan lenders that lead you to company websites. These company websites share information that lets you know their rates, terms, fees, and more. You can read online reviews about the companies to find out what previous customers are stating, as well as their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Also, you should check out the company through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) because they are a U.S. government agency that helps protect the rights of consumers through a searchable database of lending companies.
How do personal loans work?
The easiest way to think about a personal loan is that the application process is for an installment loan that allows you to borrow a fixed amount of money and pay it back in monthly payments over the life of the loan. The time range for most monthly payments and loan terms runs from twelve to eighty-four months. After you pay your loan off, if you need another one, you can apply for a new loan.
But the loans come with other costs such as origination fees, processing fees, prepayment penalties, and late fees. It’s essential to know before you select a lender to borrow from which of these types of fees do they use. If the lender uses an origination fee, you’ll have to pay for the processing of your online application, or loan application which usually ranges from the lowest rate of 1% to 8%.
Sometimes there are processing fees that are assessed with your loan and are added to the loan amount you pay back each month. If you find a way to pay back your loan before the loan is due, you can have to pay the lender a prepayment fee. Late-payment fees can be assessed against you if you are late in paying the loan terms back, so try to always pay back your loan on time.
Is taking out a personal loan a good idea?
If you’re looking for cash fast, then a personal loan is a good option.
The pros are:
- Interest rates are lower than payday loans
- You’ll have more time to pay it off
- Get money fast
- Unsecured so no collateral
- You receive one lump sum
- Normally fixed interest
The cons are:
- Those with low credit scores might not qualify
- You might receive additional fees
- Some loans you can’t have co-signers
- An extra bill every month
What are reasons to get a personal loan?
Personal loans today are considered a very diversified financial offering, allow more people to get access to them. Everyone has a story about the first time they got a personal loan outside of a financial institution they got an auto loan or jewelry. The reasons for getting a personal loan are as wide as they are deep.
Some of the most common reasons to get a loan are to help you remodel your home by adding something to your house like a pool, a new roof, or build an extra room. Many times people get a loan to help their FICO credit score. It’s more common than you think to do this because if you can get a personal loan and pay it off in time, the credit bureaus calculate that into your credit report score.
Parents sometimes get a loan to help pay for a wedding for their child, or the bride and the groom get a loan to help pay for their wedding themselves. The average wedding today is over $32,000, so a personal loan solves a lot of wedding financial issues. There are countless personal loans to help you pay off your credit card debt.
Credit card debt, with its staggering high-interest rates, is often paid off by these types of loans because most personal debt consolidation loans have lower interest rates and can help a person with bad credit. There are even cases where people start their business through a personal loan because it helps them access start-up money that’s needed to begin their entrepreneurship dream.
What are approval requirements for a personal loan?
When you’re wondering how to borrow money, personal loans are a great option, but it’s important to see if you meet the qualifications first.
A lender will take a look at your debt-to-income ratio. This is your monthly income divided by your monthly debt payments. Lenders will prefer a lower debt-to-income ratio.
Since lenders aren’t available in every state, ensure they’re licensed in your state before applying.
As you’ve noticed, some personal loans offer you the option of a co-signer, while others don’t. If you don’t have enough credit history or income to qualify for a loan, a co-signer might be vital to be approved.
With a co-signer, you can normally get a lower interest rate as well since they’re taking the history and credit score of your co-signer into account. Plus, there’s someone else they can collect from if you default on your payments.
Some lenders might include what’s called merit-based qualifications (earning potential, education, etc.). This is beneficial if you have a lower income for now.
You might be required to work a set amount of years before they’ll approve you for a loan.
Which banks offer personal loans?
There are some large personal loans you can get from banks as long as you have an account and excellent credit history. Most banks will consider you for a personal loan if you’re an existing customer and have creditworthiness. Some of the banks that have good repayment terms for loan payments and are worth checking out.
They include but aren’t limited to:
- PNC Bank Personal Loan
- HSBC Personal Loan
- Wells Fargo Personal Loan
- Citizens Bank
- BB&T Bank Personal Loan, and
- US Bank Premier Loan
The actual rate you receive on your loan will depend a lot on your annual income and credit report because if you have good credit, then you will have a lower interest rate.
Are there fees associated with personal loans?
When you’re looking at the best personal loans for fair credit, good, or poor, you’ll want to consider the fees involved. Fees can wrack up the price you pay every month.
You could have an origination fee, which is a fee received for administering the loan. Only a few lenders don’t charge this fee. Your origination fee can be determined by your credit score, so the higher it is the lower it’ll be.
Many lenders will also charge a late fee if you default on your payments. Late payments on your loan can hurt your score as well. If you’re afraid you’ll forget, set yourself up for autopay.
Some lenders will charge a fee for returned payments. Returned payments are when the lender will try to take money out of your account and there’s not enough money to cover the amount due.
Can you refinance a personal loan?
You can refinance a personal loan, but you have to ask yourself if it’s a good idea. You could be digging yourself a bigger debt hole, and that’s not what a personal loan is for. But you can check if you pre-qualify through multiple lenders to see what their interest rates are and compare them to what you have now.
Once you find a lender with interest rates a bit better than what you have now, you want to find out what the refinancing costs will be. Remember, you can have fees, prepayment penalties, and more when you’re refinancing a personal loan. Also, some people want to transfer the money themselves to pay off a current loan, but many lenders do it for you by transferring the funds to the existing loan and paying it off.
Make sure you’re comfortable with your new lender’s loan application process, fees, and details before you sign on for a new loan.
What are loan terms for personal loans?
Every lender will have their own rules when it comes to how long you have to pay the loan, what you can use the loan for, and how much they’ll lend you.
The longer you have to pay your loan period, the lower your payment will be. This will also increase the amount you pay in interest.
Always be truthful about what you’ll use the loan for because dishonesty can be seen as loan fraud. Loan fraud can lead to extra charges and fees
What are interest rates of personal loans?
Most personal loans have a fixed interest rate which means the interest rate will stay the same for the entire loan. If you receive a variable rate loan, that means the rate can change over time.
Variable rates are a risk since they can start out lower but wind up higher depending on the market. Most want to stick with a fixed rate since it’s less of a risk.
What are secured personal loans?
Are you wondering how to borrow money with bad credit? Your option is what’s known as a secured personal loan.
A secured personal loan is where you have collateral (house, car, etc.) that the lender can take if you don’t pay your loan. These tend to have lower interest rates since there’s less risk involved for the lender.
The pros of a secured loan are:
- You may qualify with a poor credit score
- Possibly lower interest rates since there’s collateral
The cons of a secured loan are:
- You won’t have the title of your home or car until your loan is paid
- Your asset will be taken if you don’t pay
What are unsecured personal loans?
An unsecured personal loan is where you’ll borrow money without collateral. Interest rates can be higher since it’s more of a risk for lenders if you don’t pay.
If you go with an unsecured loan, lenders will take a look at your credit score since there’s no collateral. They’re usually for those who have good credit and established credit history.
Since they don’t have collateral to take, instead they’ll send your total due to a collections agency, and you’ll receive negative marks on your credit report. If you still don’t pay, your lender could sue you and take you to court.
The pros of an unsecured loan are:
- You can go through credit unions, banks, or online options
- No collateral to qualify
The cons of an unsecured loan are:
- You need to have good credit to normally qualify
- Higher fees and interest rates since there’s no collateral
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