Taking out a personal loan used to mean walking into your local bank, sitting down with a bank representative, and asking to borrow money. These days, few of us ever even step into a bank, though. In fact, with the introduction of online banking, some of us might not even have a local bank branch to walk into.
So when it comes to taking out a personal loan, the process has shifted online. While you can often still apply for a personal loan at a brick-and-mortar bank location, is it actually easier (and quicker) to apply online?
There are many places to take out a personal loan today. Loans are offered by a variety of banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, and can be used for a number of purposes.
Finding the right personal loan lender for you depends on exactly what you need. To determine this, you should ask yourself the following questions:
How much do I need to borrow?
When do I need the funds?
What repayment terms work best for me and my budget?
What is my current credit score?
Each lender will offer its own products and loan terms. Depending on how much money you need to borrow, for example, you may be required to choose one lender over another. Each lender will also have its own requirements for qualification, which often include looking at your income and credit history. While you can still get a personal loan with fair or even bad credit, it might be more difficult (and you may need to apply with very specific lenders).
Lastly, you should consider how much you can afford to repay each month and what you need your monthly payments to be. Some lenders might offer repayment terms of two to five years, for example, while others may allow you to stretch your personal loan out to eight years.
Applying for a Personal Loan
Taking out a personal loan involves an application and qualification process, whether you apply in person or online. As the borrower, you’ll need to provide your:
Personal contact information (name, address, phone number, email)
Identifying information (such as your date of birth and Social Security number)
Employment and income information (this might involve uploading pay stubs or previous tax documents)
You’ll also need to let the potential lender know how much you want to borrow and for how long. They can then determine whether or not to offer you a personal loan, how much they’re willing to offer, and what interest rate you’ll be given on your new loan.
Need a personal loan? Fiona matches you with personalized offers from partner lenders, featuring competitive rates and flexible repayment terms.
This is where applying for a personal loan online can be (significantly) easier than applying in a more traditional way.
As opposed to visiting multiple lenders and going through the application process more than once, applying online can mean a decision in just seconds. Many online platforms also allow you to get loan offers from multiple lenders in one place; rather than entering your information on multiple websites, you can enter it once and, with just one click, get a number of offers from highly-rated financial institutions. In most cases, you can even check rates and get offers without any impact to your credit score.
This also makes it easier to compare all of those offers you’re given in one place, rather than bouncing back and forth to reference them. And since the process can take just a few minutes to complete online, borrowers are able to save not only money, but also time and effort.
Once your online personal loan offers arrive, you can choose the one that fits best with your needs and lifestyle, then proceed with finalizing your application. After your loan is approved and all documents are uploaded, funding can be as quick as the same- or next-business day.
When using Fiona, you can get personalized loan offers with just a soft credit pull — resulting in zero effect to your credit.
Personal loans can be helpful financial products, whether you need to pay for an unexpected expense, need to fund a kitchen renovation, or want to plan a big family vacation. Applying for these loans online is generally much easier than traditional applications: borrowers can complete the process in just minutes and with only a few clicks, and all required documents can be uploaded online.
Borrowers can also get multiple loan offers from different lenders in one place, often without impacting their credit score. This makes it easier to save both time and money, and find the right loan offer for their situation.
Fiona makes it simple to browse offers from top-rated partner lenders and choose the loan that best suits your needs.
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