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Updated on Monday, October 15, 2018
Freedom First Credit Union
Freedom First Credit Union provides a wide range of services with branch locations in Roanoke and New River Valleys. In order to become a member of Freedom First, you’ll need to live, work, worship, go to school, or own a business in one of the nine cities and counties that they have a footprint in. You are also eligible if you are part of an association in seven of these same areas (Montgomery County and the city of Radford do not apply), or have a family member who is already a member of the credit union. You must open a savings account with a minimum balance of $5 in order to join.
Roanoke Valley Community Credit Union
Roanoke Valley Community Credit Union was started in 1947 by a group of local teachers, under the name Roanoke City Teachers Credit Union. Since then, they’ve added more school systems and merged with the Roanoke County School Employees FCU and the Roanoke Virginia Firemen’s FCU. In order to join Roanoke Valley Community Credit Union, you need to live, work, go to school or worship in Roanoke City/County, Salem, Vinton, or Botetourt County and deposit at least $5 into a savings account.
HomeTown Bank was founded in 2005 and now has six branches in Roanoke, Salem, Smith Mountain Lake and New River Valley. HomeTown Bank offers personal banking, business banking, private banking, investments, and mortgages. They offer both secured and unsecured lines of credit and personal loans. The nice thing about their offerings is that they offer a fixed APR for their loans. However, you’ll likely need good credit in order to qualify for their loan, especially if you do not have a previous relationship with the bank.
Member One Federal Credit Union
Member One FCU has 14 branches in Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg, New River Valley, and Franklin County. In order to become a member, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in a select number of counties, be employed by or retired from a large number of different area companies, or be a relative of an existing member of Member One FCU.
LendingTree, the parent company of MagnifyMoney, is an online loan-comparison marketplace. It does not issue loans directly but, rather, helps borrowers compare offers from multiple lenders online. After you fill out a form, LendingTree may present you with personal loan offers from up to five different lenders based on your creditworthiness that suit the personal and financial information you provided, and you can compare the offers then and there, all in one place. Filling out LendingTree’s form to request loan offers results in a soft inquiry on your credit report, meaning it won’t hurt your credit score. If you then apply for a loan, the lender will perform a hard inquiry, which may have a small, negative affect your credit.
How to compare and shop for personal loans online
Shopping online for a personal loan gives you the ability to quickly find available lenders in your community, compare their rates and terms with those of national and online lenders to get your best loan offer in the shortest amount of time, and make the best decision about what’s right for you.
When you’re applying for a loan, you’ll need to provide the lender with your basic personal information — name, address, birth date, Social Security number, contact information, etc. — as well as information about your income and its sources and a description of your assets and liabilities. If you have a co-borrower or cosigner, that person will need to provide this information too.
You’ll also be required to answer questions to help the bank evaluate your financial situation, such as whether you have a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past seven years, whether you have any outstanding lawsuits or judgments against you and whether you have ongoing financial obligations, like alimony or child support. Keep in mind that some of this information is available on your credit report, so it’s best to be honest.
Lenders will ask whether you are on active duty with the armed forces or the dependent of an active duty member (special legal protections apply in this case). Federal law also requires lenders to ask demographic questions about race, ethnicity and sex, though these questions are optional.
Along with your application, you may be asked to provide supporting documentation for the information you have provided, like pay stubs or tax returns; if you are using property as collateral for a secured loan (such as a house or vehicle), you’ll also be asked to provide documentation of the value of the collateral, as well as proof of insurance.
Once you submit your application, a loan officer will review your information, contact you for any additional documents required and give you the details of what they can offer you.
Depending on the lender, you may be able to complete an application online and upload supporting documents, or you may have to print out an application and mail it in or deliver it to a branch.
Once you have received several offers from lenders, you’ll want to compare the interest rate, terms, and fees — typically, longer repayment terms means lower monthly payments but a higher overall cost, so you’ll need to decide what best fits your needs.
How you receive money will depend on the lender providing the funds – if you have a bank account with the lending institution, you’ll likely have the option to have funds deposited directly into your account; otherwise, you can expect to receive a cashier’s check or an electronic funds transfer into your account at another financial institution. This varies by institution.