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Personal Loans

Need Cash Fast? Compare Emergency Loan Options

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

A financial emergency can strike at any time, and you may suddenly find that you need an abundance of cash — fast. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to get through these situations without borrowing money.

Tens of thousands Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. According to a recent consumer expectations survey by the New York Federal Reserve, one in three Americans say they wouldn’t be able to come up with $2,000 within a month to cover an unexpected expense.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, what do you do when you get hit by an unexpected medical bill or your car breaks down? We give you options for finding money quickly if you need it right away, and options if you can afford to wait.

When you need money in 1 or 2 days

Credit cards

If you don’t need cash, your credit card could be a way for you to handle an emergency almost instantly. As expensive as credit cards are, the APRs are generally not going to be too much higher than 30%.

“It’s not ideal,” Chris Dlugozima, a financial wellness expert at GreenPath, a nonprofit debt and consumer credit counseling service that operating in all 50 states. “But if it comes down to a credit card or a payday loan that’s charging 500% interest, it’s sort of the lesser of two evils.”

A credit card can be a quick fix for a one-off emergency. However, if you routinely fall behind on bills, you should consider turning to your credit card with caution. The double-digit interest rate will quickly increase the amount you owe if you’re not able to pay the balance off in full on time.

Credit Cards

Pros

Cons

It allows card holders to access funds quickly.

High APRs, averaged at 16%.

There may be flexibility if you struggle with credit card debt. For instance, you could try to work out a repayment plan with your credit card company.

Your debt can quickly snowball if you keep getting into credit card debt for emergencies.

APRs are lower than those of credit card cash advances.

Credit card cash advances

In a time-sensitive situation, a credit card advance allows you to borrow cash against your line of credit. You request the money at an ATM with your credit card and a cash advance PIN, in person at a bank, or with convenience checks you make out to yourself and cash.

While they are relatively easy to obtain in emergencies, cash advances typically have higher APRs than regular purchases and they carry fees (3% to 5% of the money borrowed). Unlike a regular purchase, where interest doesn’t start to hit unless you don’t pay the balance, interest starts accruing right away when you advance money.

It can be a costly way to borrow money, but if you think a cash advance is the best option for you, make sure you pay the advance off as quickly as possible.

Cash Advances

Pros

Cons

It allows card holders to access cash quickly.

Higher APRs than normal— usually up to 30%+.

There is a service fee and possibly an ATM fee.

Your cash advance credit limit may be different than your credit limit for purchases. For example, a bank may give you a total credit limit of $5,000 but limit you to using $2,500 of it for a cash advance.

Signature loans

If you have relatively good credit and a good relationship with a bank, you can try to get a signature loan or a personal loan in an emergency. Your local community bank, credit union, or a major retail bank might be willing to work with you in this situation.

A signature loan is an unsecured form of borrowing, and its interest rates range from 8% to 15%, depending on your credit and the relationship you have with the bank. It usually has shorter terms than other personal loans, ranging from just a few months to 4 to 5 years, on average.

The application and approval process can be quicker because it’s a shorter-term, less risky loan. To apply, you must submit qualifying financial documents, including proof of income and employment.

Signature Loans

Pros

Cons

The underwriting process can be quick.

APRs are higher than collateral-based loans.

They carry lower APRs than credit cards.

There’s a lack of flexibility after you take out a loan if the emergency is on-going and you need to borrow more.

You will know how much to budget for debt repayment every month.

Payday loans and auto title loans

Payday and auto title loans are high-cost loans that can be obtained easily and quickly from storefront or online lenders. Consumer and financial experts strongly recommend borrowers steer clear of such loans because they are designed to profit based on borrower’s inability to repay.

Payday loans are small-dollar personal loans that become due in a lump sum on your next payday. A typical two-week payday loan with a $15-per-$100 financing fee translates to an annual percentage rate of almost 400%. In comparison, the benchmark APR for affordable small loans is 36%. If you can’t repay on the next payday, you can roll over your debt and incur another $15 fee — that’s when a debt trap begins.

Of the 2,900 payday loan complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2017, 30% were about unexpected fees and 15% on their unaffordability.

A title loan is a secured loan, and you have to put up your car as a collateral to get it. Title lenders charge an average of 25% as a monthly financing fee, which adds up to an APR of at least 300%, according to the FTC. If you can’t repay the loan at all, you risk losing your car.

“You should try everything else,” said Juan Guevara, a certified financial planner based in Colorado. “And if there’s absolutely no other way to do anything, think about those shorter term loans.”

If these risky loans are your last resort to cover an emergency, be sure to pay off the debt in the shortest term possible to avoid getting caught in a debt trap or losing your car.

Payday/Title Loans

Pros

Cons

The underwriting is both weak and quick.

They are extremely expensive loans with triple-digit APRs.

Borrowers may risk getting caught in a debt trap if they can’t repay payday loans.

Borrowers may lose their cars if they can’t pay off the debt.

Alternatives

Negotiate with your creditor

When you are in a financial emergency, the first step is to try to negotiate with your creditor before borrowing money. Before a bill comes due, talk to your creditors and explain the circumstance. If you need a few more days to come up with the money, they’re way more likely to work with you then you might realize. Many utility companies and hospitals offer lower interest — even 0% — payment plans to make sure that you can pay past due balances over the course of several months.

Ask for help from friends and family

If the negotiation doesn’t work out, ask your family or friends and see if they can loan you money before turning to risky, expensive loans.

“There might not be an interest rate attached to that but you also got to be careful that you could be damaging a relationship there if you don’t end up paying [the debt] back,” Guevara said.

When you need money in 1 or 2 weeks

“Payday alternative” loans from credit unions

If you have a little bit more wiggle room, plenty of community banks and credit unions offer small-dollar loans with much lower interest rates than payday or title loans. These types of financial institutions are much better regulated than high-cost lenders.

For example, all federal credit union loans have an 18% interest cap, with one exception — Payday Alternative Loans, which have interest rates capped at 28%.

“Payday alternative” loans

Pros

Cons

They are safer loans compared to unaffordable payday lending.

They carry fairly high APRs.

The loan term is short, ranging from one to six months.

It takes a while to obtain the loan. Borrowers must be members of the federal credit union for at least one month.

The loan amount is small, typically up to $1,000.

Personal loans

Personal loans offer perhaps the greatest flexibility when an emergency strikes. You can borrow money at a fixed interest rate over a fixed amount of time, then you pay a fixed monthly payment until your loan is paid off.

The process to apply for a personal loan is similar to applying for a credit card or auto loan: The lender will run your credit and offer you a certain rate based on your creditworthiness. Besides your credit score, you’ll need to prove that you have the ability to repay your loan, usually with pay stubs or other evidence of employment.

A personal loan is a form of unsecured borrowing, which means its interest rates are generally higher than secured loans, such as a mortgage. The higher your credit score, the lower rate you may qualify for. Nationally, a personal loan with a 24-month loan term carries an average 10.31% interest rate. You can apply for a personal loan from banks and online lenders. Use our table below to compare personal loan options to find the best option!

LendingTree
APR

5.99%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

Compare offers and shop for a personal loan on MagnifyMoney’s personal loan online market.

Personal loans

Pros

Cons

There are a variety of loan amounts and terms to choose from.

APRs can be high if your credit is not great.

You know exactly how much you will ultimately pay in interest.

If you have a situation where you don't know exactly how much cash you're going to need, a personal loan can be limiting since you must apply for a set amount of money.

You request a certain amount of money to cover an emergency, and so there's no temptation to borrow additional funds later.

Credit cards with 0% intro APR

If your credit score is good, apply for an introductory 0% interest credit card. Balance Transfer credit cards let you wait as long as 21 months to pay off your balance without accruing interest.

A balance transfer card is a solid option for those with a tall stack of credit card debt. It allows users to move debt from a high-interest credit card to a card with a promotional 0% APR period (not through same card issuer). As a result, you could pay less in interest than you would if you kept the debt where it is. But if you can’t repay your debt before the promo period ends, the credit card company may retroactively charge you all the interest that they would’ve charged during the intro period.

Credit cards with 0% intro APR

Pros

Cons

You can borrow money for 0% interest for a period of time.

If you can’t repay your balance within the 0% interest period, you may be hit with all the interest you would have accrued during the intro period — known as deferred interest.

Some cards charge $0 intro balance transfer fees, allowing you to cut costs.

You don’t know exactly how much money you will ultimately pay in interest.

The new card may offer a sign-up bonus and/or long-term perks, although this may not be a concern when you are in an emergency.

You need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the best offers (generally 700 and up).

If you are in an ongoing financial tragedy, a credit card gives you flexibility in terms of the amount of money you can borrow.

In most cases, you have to pay a balance transfer fee — typically 3% of your total transfer amount.

401(k) loans

A 401(k) loan allows you to borrow up to $50,000 or half of the total amount of money in your account, whichever is less. Most 401(k) plans offer such loans.

The funds are taken directly out of your 401(k) account balance and a repayment plan is created based on the amount you borrowed and the interest rate you agreed to. When you make payments, the money goes back into your 401(k) account, typically through an automatic payroll deduction. The maximum loan term is usually five years, and you’ll need to make payments at least quarterly.

If you fail to repay the loan on deadline, the money withdrawn is counted as taxable income and the IRS will charge you a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are under age 59½.

401(k) loans

Pros

Cons

You can get money relatively quickly without any credit check because you are essentially borrowing from yourself.

If you default on the loan, the money you borrowed will be taxed and hit with a 10% penalty unless you’re already age 59½ or meet other special criteria.

You have a long time to repay the loan.

The money you borrowed is not participating in the market and you may lose out on compound interest. It affects your portfolio performance over time.

The interest you pay back to the account is money put back in your retirement fund.

Alternatives

Asking your employer for help

While it’s not common, some employers may offer paycheck advances or financial help in other ways to help you get through an emergency. For instance, some employers have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which are designed to help resolve problems workers encounter in their life, financial and personal alike.

If your company doesn’t have an EAP, you can still ask if they can provide some type of loan or even give you a raise if you’ve been doing a good job, Guevara suggested. Even if they decline your request, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Negotiate your charges

As we discussed earlier, negotiating is probably one of the best tools you have when an emergency arises. Explain your situation to your creditor and they may work out a payment plan with you or simply extend your due date, depending on the specific situation.

When you need money in 1 or 2 months

Home equity loans or HELOC

When you have time on your side, you may leverage the equity in your home to cover short-term emergency needs. You can take the time time to shop around with different lenders for a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Both loans are secured by your house.

A home equity loan is a fixed-rate installment loan. The borrower gets a one-time lump sum. It’s repaid in equal monthly payments over a fixed period of time — usually in 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. It’s the second mortgage on your house.

A HELOC, on the other hand, is a revolving credit line. How much you can take out will depend on your home’s value, your remaining mortgage balance, your household income and your credit score. HELOCs typically have variable interest rates, so it’s important when you’re applying for a HELOC to understand exactly how much can the interest rate go up.

You can apply for a HELOC and leave it open, allowing you to draw funds from it as needed; it can stay open for up to 10 years. As you pay off the principal, your credit gets replenished and you can use it again. You only pay interest during this time period. After the line expires, you enter the repayment period, when you’ll repay the remaining balance as well as any interest owed, if there is any.

Some financial planners advise their clients to open HELOCs even they are not planning to use them, just in case something comes up in the future. Most lenders will let you borrow up to 85% of your home value, minus your outstanding debt.

The appraisal and underwriting process for both loans takes one to two months. Qualifications vary, but most lenders will check your credit and debt-to-income ratio. You should expect to pay closing costs and other fees upfront, which range from $500 to $2,000.

Interest rates on both loans are not that different from a regular mortgage rate, which is lower than other unsecured loans.

Home equity loans or HELOCs

Pros

Cons

Both have significantly lower APRs compared to other unsecured borrowing options, such as credit cards or personal loans.

You have to make monthly payments and you don't have a 0% interest promo period.

You have a long time to repay the loan and the monthly payments are usually quite small.

Both types of loans almost always have closing costs and other fees.

With a home equity loan, your monthly payment is predictable because your interest rate will be fixed.

If you take out a HELOC with a variable rate, your monthly payments may change.

You can withdraw funds as needed with a HELOC.

Defaulting on either loan could result in a foreclosure.

Alternatives

Sell some assets

If you have one or two months to come up with funds, you may want to see if you can generate some income by selling some of your assets, either doing a yard sale or selling your possessions on eBay.

A key takeaway

When emergencies arise and you don’t have rainy day cash, don’t panic — you should first and foremost try the cost-free ways to bridge a financial shortfall. If you can’t borrow money from friends and family or work out a payment plan with your creditor, then consider the least expensive loan that comes with the lowest level of risk after determining how much money you need and how much time you have to come up with the funds. Don’t focus just on the monthly payment, but the interest rate and the loan term as well.

After recovering from this current financial emergency, start planning for the next one. Life will inevitably throw a curveball at you again, be it unexpected job loss or an astronomical hospital bill. If you start putting money away now, you will have the money to deal with the next financial setback.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Shen Lu
Shen Lu |

Shen Lu is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Shen Lu at shenlu@magnifymoney.com

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

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Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

Citibank Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

Citibank
APR

7.99%
To
17.99%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 60

months

Origination Fee

Not specified

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Citibank personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Term lengths: 12 to 60 months
  • APR range: 7.99%-17.99%
  • Loan amounts: $2,000-$50,000
  • Time to funding: Checks are sent within five business days of approval.
  • Credit check: Hard Pull
  • Origination fee: Not specified
  • Prepayment fee: No
  • Late payment fee: Not specified
  • Other fees: Not specified

Citibank product details

Perks offered to Citibank personal loan customers aren’t largely advertised online. However, linking a personal loan account to an eligible checking account enrolled in Citi ThankYou Rewards can help earn points on a monthly basis. Points never expire and can be redeemed for gift cards, travel rewards, cash and more. This can allow customers to save money while repaying their loan.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Not specified
  • Minimum credit history: While a minimum credit score isn’t listed, Citibank does specify that the lowest quoted personal loan rate requires the borrower to have excellent credit.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

Citibank personal loans are only available to borrowers with a maximum of one existing personal loan account with the financial institution. If consumers have another Citibank personal loan account, it cannot have been opened within the past six months. Qualified applicants are also required to have a minimum annual income of $10,500.

It’s also worth noting that anyone who wants to apply for a personal loan online must either be a current Citi checking or savings account customer registered for Citibank online or have received a Citi Personal Loan offer with an invitation number. Without an invitation, current customers who don’t have online account and non-customers must apply in person at a Citibank branch or call a

Applying for a personal loan from Citibank

Personal loans are available in increments from $2,000 to $50,000, but applications cannot be submitted online for amounts exceeding $30,000. Applicants who wish to borrow up to $50,000 must call 1-877-362-9100 or visit a Citibank branch location.

Depending on the requested loan amount, prospective borrowers with a current Citi checking or savings account who are registered for Citibank online and anyone who has received a Citi Personal Loan offer with an invitation number can submit a personal loan application online. Everyone else must apply in person at a Citi branch or call 1-877-362-9100.

To begin the online application process, current Citibank customers registered for online access will need to enter their user ID and password. Non-Citibank customers who have received a Citi Personal Loan offer with an invitation number will be directed to an application site and asked to enter the invitation code, their last name and zip code. Do note, credit scores are not impacted for viewing the personal loan offer. Upon approval, a check for the full amount of the loan will be mailed within five business days.

Pros and cons of a Citibank personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Fixed rate: Citibank personal loans come at a fixed rate, allowing borrowers to enjoy fixed monthly payments. Do note, defaulting on the loan may come at the cost of a 2% APR increase.
  • No hidden fees or prepayment penalties: Borrowers don’t have to worry about being hit with added costs attached to the loan.
  • Competitive rates: Fixed rates range from 7.99% APR to 17.99% APR.
  • Flexible terms: Borrowers can choose from a variety of repayment terms, consisting of 12 to 60 months.
  • Fast cash: Checks for the full amount of the approved loan are mailed within five business days.
  • Limited online application access: To apply online, prospective borrowers must either be a current Citi checking or savings account customer registered for Citibank online or have received a Citi Personal Loan offer with an invitation number. Without an invitation, current customers who don’t have an online account and non-customers must apply in person or by phone.
  • Loan amount constraints: To receive the lowest quoted rate, borrowers must use Citibank Auto Deduct to repay the loan, have excellent credit, borrow at least $10,000, have a loan term of 36 months or less and sufficient relationship balances.

Who’s the best fit for a Citibank personal loan?

A Citibank personal loan can be a great option for consumers with a one-time need to borrow money. Specifically, Citibank customers willing to repay their loan with Citi Auto Deduct, who have excellent credit, need to borrow at least $10,000, can repay the loan within 36 months and have sufficient relationship balances are eligible for the most competitive rates.

Loan amounts range up to $50,000, so this product can also be a good fit for consumers who need a higher loan amount. The ability to lock in a fixed rate and face no hidden fees or prepayment penalties can make it good choice for those looking for peace of mind in a fixed monthly payment.

Alternative personal loan options

LightStream

APR

3.34%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.


LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank, offers personal loans from $5,000 to $100,000. Rates are fixed and vary by loan purpose. There are no fees attached to the loan, including prepayment penalties, making it a good choice for consumers who might want to pay the loan off early. Loans can be funded as quickly as one day of approval, so this isn’t the best option for anyone who needs cash fast.

PenFed Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union
APR

Starting at 6.49%

Credit Req.

700

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) offers personal loans with terms up to five years and maximum loan amounts of $25,000.... Read More


PenFed grants personal loans from $500 to $25,000. Along with no origination fee, there’s also no other hidden costs, making it a great choice for borrowers looking to avoid additional expenses. Funds are available immediately, which is advantageous for consumers who need cash now. Do note, personal loans are only available to PenFed members.

SoFi

SoFi
APR

6.79%
To
15.49%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More


Fixed rates from 6.79% APR to 15.49% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.54% APR to 14.60% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of January 4, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. . See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.54% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.51% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)


SoFi provides personal loans ranging in value from $5,000 to $50,000, making it a good choice for borrowers who need a significant amount of money. Rates are fixed and loans are completely free of fees. Funds are typically deposited in consumers’ accounts a few days after approval and the successful completion of required paperwork. An added bonus, SoFi’s unemployment protection benefit offers an additional layer of security by allowing borrowers to temporarily pause payments and helping them find a new job if they become unemployed.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

Laura Woods is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Laura here

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Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

U.S. Bank Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Disclosure : By clicking “See Offers” you’ll be directed to our parent company, LendingTree. You may or may not be matched with the specific lender you clicked on, but up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness.

U.S. Bank
APR

7.49%
To
17.99%

Credit Req.

Not specified

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fees

APPLY NOW Secured

on U.S. Bank’s secure website

U.S. Bank Personal Loan Details
 

Fees and Penalties

  • Term lengths: 12 to 60 months
  • APR range: 7.49%-17.99%
  • Loan amounts: $3,000-$25,000
  • Time to funding: Not specified
  • Credit check: Hard

  • Origination fee: None
  • Prepayment fee: Not specified
  • Late payment fee: Not specified
  • Other fees: Not specified

U.S. Bank product details

The U.S. Bank Premier Loan is an unsecured personal loan that you can use for almost anything. U.S. Bank highlights debt consolidation, home remodeling and major purchases (such as a vacation, wedding or new vehicle) as potential options.

To qualify for the lowest advertised rate, you must have a credit score of 760 and take out between $5,000 and $25,000 loan with a 12- to 48-month term. You also have to sign up for automatic payments from an eligible U.S. Bank account.

But you can get approved with a lower credit score and without signing up for autopay. Additionally, you can choose to borrow as little as $3,000 and your loan’s term could be as long as 60 months.

There is a potential 1% interest rate discount if you use the money to make green home improvements or energy-efficient purchases, which could make this loan a good option if you want to finance a home improvement with an unsecured loans. (Alternatively, a home equity loan or home equity line of credit might offer a lower interest rate and tax benefits.)

If you’ve been a U.S. Bank checking account customer for six months and had direct deposits into the account for the previous consecutive three months, you may also qualify for the U.S. Bank Simple Loan. Although it’s also an unsecured personal loan, the Simple Loan has a $1,000 loan limit and expensive fees. It may be a good alternative to a payday loan if you need to cover an emergency expense, but it’s not a substitute for a large personal loan.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: Not specified, but at least 760 for the lowest advertised rate
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

Besides meeting U.S. Bank’s financial and credit requirements, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and may need to live within a certain radius of a U.S. Bank branch to qualify for a Premier Loan.

Applying for a personal loan from U.S. Bank

You can start an application for a U.S. Bank Premier Loan by visiting a bank branch, calling a bank representative or with the online application.

Open an account. If you’re not already a U.S. Bank customer, you’ll need to open a different account, such as a checking account, before continuing.

Apply online. When applying online, you can either log in to your U.S. Bank account or continue with an application and mark that you don’t bank online. Fill in your personal and financial information, including your name, address, contact information, income and employer.

Next, you’ll need to choose your desired loan amount (from $3,000 to $25,000) and loan term (from 12 to 60 months). You’ll also need to indicate if you’ll use the money outside the U.S. (and, if yes, in which country), and whether you plan to use the money for an auto purchase, debt consolidation, home improvement or “other.”

You will need to agree to a credit check before reviewing your application results, which could put a hard inquiry on your credit reports and may result in a small ding to your credit scores.

Complete the application in person. After submitting your application online, you’ll need to visit a U.S. Bank branch to finish the application.

Pros and Cons of a U.S. Bank Personal Loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Fixed interest rate. You’ll know exactly how much you’ll pay each month and don’t need to worry about your rate or payments increasing.
  • $3,000 minimum loan. Only borrowing what you need could help you save money on interest. The $3,000 minimum loan amount is lower than some other lenders’ minimums.
  • 12-month loan term. Other lenders may require you choose a longer term. If you can afford to pay off your loan sooner, a shorter loan term might help you get a lower interest rate.
  • Lowest advertised APR isn’t available on all loans. To qualify for the lowest rate, you need to apply for a loan for $5,000 to $25,000 with a 12- to 48-month term and agree to automatic payments.
  • Limited to existing customers. You need to be a U.S. Bank customer before you can qualify.
  • You have to visit a branch. If you’re looking for a simple, time-saving process, you may want to opt for a lender that offers an entirely online application and funding process.
  • $25,000 limit. Other personal loan lenders might approve you for up to $100,000.

Who’s the best fit for a U.S. Bank personal loan?

If you’re already a U.S. Bank customer, the U.S. Bank Premier Loan could be a good option if you’re looking for an unsecured personal loan to consolidate debts or pay for a major expense. But its drawbacks outweigh the pros.

Think carefully about how long you’ll need to repay the loan because of the possibility of a prepayment penalty. A longer term could help lower your monthly payments, but it will also cost you more in interest. While U.S. Bank offers 60-month term loans, if you’re borrowing at least $5,000, you may want to see if you can get a lower interest rate and still afford your monthly payments with a 48-month (or shorter) term.

If you need a loan quickly and aren’t a U.S. Bank customer, you could look for a loan from a different lender. Additionally, if you’re a U.S. Bank customer but don’t live near a bank branch, you could apply for a personal loan from a different lender and have the money deposited in your U.S. Bank account to save yourself the hassle of having to visit a branch.

Alternative personal loan options

Want to do some comparison shopping on your own? Here are three personal loan lenders that are worth considering.

Earnest

Earnest
APR

6.99%
To
18.24%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 60

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Instead of offering credit-based loans, Earnest has taken a very nontraditional approach using a merit-based system.... Read More

Earnest is an online lender that distinguishes itself with an innovative underwriting process. While your credit history and scores are still important, Earnest also considers your history of making payments on time, if you’ve built enough savings to cover your monthly expenses for at least two months and how well you manage your checking account. Even if you don’t have an excellent credit score, being financially responsible could help you get a lower rate.

LightStream

APR

3.34%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

660

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 144

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank.... Read More


Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.34% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.31.

Although it is an online-only lender, LightStream is a division of SunTrust Bank, a brick-and-mortar bank. LightStream doesn’t have an exceptionally high minimum credit score requirement, but don’t let that fool you. The lender focuses on creditworthy applicants. If you can qualify, LightStream offers some of the lowest rates and longest terms. Plus, there are no origination fee or prepayment fees.

SoFi

SoFi
APR

6.79%
To
15.49%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 84

months

Origination Fee

No origination fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More


Fixed rates from 6.79% APR to 15.49% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.54% APR to 14.60% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of January 4, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. . See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.54% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.51% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.

See Consumer Licenses.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

SoFi is an online-only lender that offers personal loans for $5,000 to $50,000 without any origination or prepayment fees. You can pre-qualify for a loan online with a soft pull, which won’t impact your credit scores. An official application still requires a hard pull, though. Once you accept a loan, you’ll be eligible for SoFi member benefits, such as discounts on other loans, career counseling and unemployment protection.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Louis DeNicola
Louis DeNicola |

Louis DeNicola is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Louis at louis@magnifymoney.com

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