July 2, 2022
  1. Run the numbers.
    The last thing you or lenders want is for you to take out a personal loan and not be able to afford to pay it off. While lenders typically do their due diligence to make sure you have the ability to repay the debt, it’s smart to run your own numbers to make sure it’ll work out.
  2. Check your credit score.
    Most lenders will run a credit check to determine how likely you are to repay your loan. While some online lenders have started to look at alternative credit data, they will still typically look at your credit score.
  3. Consider your options.
    Depending on your creditworthiness, you may need a co-signer to get approved for a personal loan with a decent interest rate. If you can’t find a co-signer, or the lenders you’re considering don’t allow co-signers, you may have the option to get a secured personal loan instead of an unsecured one.
  4. Choose your loan type.
    Once you know where your credit stands and you’ve considered your options, determine which type of loan is best for your situation. While some lenders are flexible in terms of how you use the funds, others may only approve loan applications if the money will be used for specific purposes.
  5. Shop around for the best personal loan rates.
    Avoid settling for the first offer you receive; instead, take some time and shop around for the best possible interest rate. Compare several types of lenders and loan types to get an idea of what you qualify for.
  6. Pick a lender and apply.
    After you’ve done your research, pick the lender with the best offer for your needs, then start the application process.
  7. Provide necessary documentation.
    Every lender is different when it comes to what you need to apply. Once you submit your application, your lender will likely ask you to provide some additional documentation. For example, you might need to upload or fax a copy of your latest pay stub, a copy of your driver’s license or proof of residence.
  8. Accept the loan and start making payments.
    After the lender notifies you that you’ve been approved, you’ll need to finalize the loan documents and accept the terms. Once you do this, you’ll typically get the loan funds within a week — but some online lenders get it to you within one or two business days.

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