Personal Loans

If you want to consolidate high interest rate credit card debt, a personal loan could be a good solution. With a personal loan, cash is typically deposited into your bank account, which means you can use the loan for any purpose. With the rise of online lenders, shopping for a personal loan has never been easier. You can check to see if you are approved and receive your interest rate without hurting your score.

You can use our tool below to find the best deal. To learn more about personal loans, Click here.

Customize your personal loan offers:

My credit score is excellent and
I need a loan of $5,000.

I have a: college degree

Shopping for Personal Loans

gplus-profile-pictureNick Clements

Compared to the complexity of credit cards, personal loans are much simpler products. You borrow a fixed amount of money for a fixed period of time. In most cases, the interest rate is also fixed. You know the interest rate before you sign the dotted line, and the proceeds are given to you in cash. Personal loans are becoming increasingly popular, because online personal loan companies are making the application process much simpler. 

Here are some of the advantages of a personal loan:

  • The proceeds are cash. You can only use a credit card where it is accepted. On certain projects, especially related to home improvement, it can be very difficult to find contractors who accept credit cards. Being able to write a check can be a big benefit.
  • Interest rates are usually much lower than credit cards. As you can see from the list of providers on this page, people with excellent credit can now borrow for as low as 4%, with no origination fee. But the savings are just as good for people with lower credit scores. Lending Club has shown that their interest rates are 31% lower than credit card rates, on average.
  • The application process is much simpler. With most online lenders, you can do a short application to see if you will be approved. This short application uses a “soft pull,” which means your credit score will not be hurt. You will be able to see your interest rate and the amount that you can borrow. That makes it very easy to comparison shop and find the best deal. And with most lenders, you are able to finish everything online.
  • You will not end up in debt for 30 years. With a credit card, far too many people end up paying just the minimum due. Most personal loans are 36 or 60 months. You would not be able to borrow for 30 years.
  • Personal loans help your score, especially if you are paying off existing credit card debt. 10% of the FICO score relates to having different types of credit, like a personal loan. In addition, by paying off your existing credit cards, you are reducing the utilization and improving the score.
  • You can prepay at any time, without a penalty.
  • Personal loan companies are willing to accept people with much lower credit scores, on average, than credit card companies. 

However, personal loans are not perfect. Here are some of the disadvantages:

  • The up-front fee, when charged, is not refundable. So, if your loan has a fee and you pay it off early, the APR (annual percentage rate) that you pay will end up much higher.
  • You will be tempted to use your credit cards again, once the personal loan is used to pay off the debt. Far too many people use a personal loan to consolidate debt, only to run up their credit card balances again.
  • Interest rates will vary depending upon your credit score. Borrowers with credit scores below 600 could end up paying very high interest rates. If you have a short-term emergency, a personal loan could fill that gap.
  • Many personal loan companies will ask for income verification. They will also complete employment verification. The increased documentation and verification requirements means that getting your personal loan can take a lot longer than applying for a credit card. 

When shopping for a personal loan, make sure you compare the APR of the different offers. The APR will include the interest rate and the fees. And you should only compare the APR at the same term.

If you need money on the same day, you will have to visit a personal loan company that has a branch office. At the moment, only Springleaf and OneMain have branches. At both places, an application received before noon can be funded the same day. The fastest an online lender can offer money is 24 hours, and Avant is the fastest of the group.

Competition continues to heat up with personal loan providers. That is good news for borrowers. Just make sure you don’t borrow too much money. Only borrow what you need and keep that budget discipline.

If you have questions, you can set up a free consultation to discuss your options. You can arrange your appointment on our Customer Service page. We look forward to hearing from you.

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