How to get a personal loan in 7 steps
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How to get a personal loan in 7 steps

March 27, 2023
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If you are having difficulty getting money or if your financial stability has been compromised, you may need a personal loan. A personal loan is an amount of money you borrow with the hope of paying it back, plus interest.

The interest rate of a personal loan is usually higher than that of a bank. Personal loans are an attractive option for many people who want to invest in their future while facing current financial difficulties.

If you are considering applying for a personal loan, check out our guide to learn more about what lenders offer online and how to get the best deal.

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The best online lenders for personal loans

A personal loan is essentially a loan given to a person for the purpose he or she chooses. It can be used to pay off a credit card, consolidate debts, take out a mortgage line of credit, buy a car or even finance a vacation.

Many online lenders give the borrower an agreed sum of money, at an agreed interest rate and within an agreed time period (usually one year). Once the loan is fully repaid, the borrower becomes the owner of the property used as collateral. For information on taking out a personal loan, online lenders and their options, see.


PayDaySay is one of the leading online loan providers. This lending institution is ideal for those in need of instant, unsecured loans. PayDaySay users are provided with a list of criteria to determine the best loan for their needs.

The site offers loans ranging from $100 to $5,000. Interest rates range up to 400% depending on the loan amount and APR.

There is a minimum and maximum loan amount; however, the APR increases as the loan amount increases. You have a few weeks to repay the full loan amount until you receive your next paycheck.

Advantages :

  • Different types of loans (from $100 to $5,000).
  • Rapid financing.
  • No additional fees for loan repayment.


  • High interest rates.
  • No effect on credit history.
  • Need to access a bank account.


Upstart is a personal loan lender that offers an installment loan for a credit score of 580 or higher. They are able to provide loans up to $50,000 with a maximum term of 36 months. They offer a variety of personal loans, and one of the most popular loans is the personal loan.

They offer a minimum loan of $1,000 and a maximum loan of $40,000.

Upstart interest and fees range from 7.95% to 99.95%, while origination fees range from 0% to 8%. They also offer payment protection services through overdraft protection and a credit card, but at an additional cost.


  • Rapid financing.
  • Credit history check.
  • Allows acceptance of new borrowers.


  • Opening fee.
  • Two repayment options available.
  • No mobile application.


Upgrade is one of the best personal loan lenders to check out. This company was founded in 2017 and is one of the best personal loan lenders in the United States. It is a direct lender that offers quick online loan approval.

The minimum you can apply for is $500, while the maximum amount you can get is about $25,000.

A minimum score of 560 is required to qualify for a personal loan. The maximum APR for a personal loan is between 7.96% and 35.97%. Repayment terms for multiple-rate lenders range from 24 to 84 months.


  • Amount for bad credit.
  • Allows joint applications.
  • No payment penalty.


  • Cost of opening a file.
  • High APR and interest rate.
  • Loans up to $50,000.


The personal loan lender SoFi stands out among student loan options. This is because the loan is for higher education, whether undergraduate or graduate studies.

However, the loan should not be limited to student loans. The borrower can borrow up to US$150,000 with ten different repayment options.

The borrower can choose from several interest rates. This lending institution has no application fee and the APR ranges from 7.99% to 23.43%. The loan can be repaid in 2-7 years, which is very good, especially for students. The minimum amount obtainable is $5,000, while the maximum amount is $100,000.


  • No application fee.
  • Automatic discounts.
  • Joint loan option.


  • High minimum loan amount.
  • No choice of first payment date.

Personal Loans

PersonalLoans is based in the United States and has been helping people since 1998. It offers good rates, a quick and easy application process, and excellent customer service. PersonalLoans offers loans at competitive rates and makes the entire application process quick and easy.

PersonalLoans offers loans from $1,000 to $35,000 with a term of 6 years. They also offer an annual interest rate ranging from 6.99% to 35.99%.

The shortest payment term is 3 months and the longest is 72 months. The start-up fee is between 1% and 5%. You can choose to make monthly payments and there are no prepayment penalties for missed payments if you wish to repay the loan early.


  • No credit requirements.
  • Rapid financing.
  • Multiple lenders.
  • High minimum loan amount.


  • No direct lenders.
  • Fees depend on the lending institution.


LightStream is a personal loan company that provides unsecured loans to individuals for various purposes, such as buying land or a home. Personal loans can be applied for through several channels, including the company's website.

LightStream is the best choice for those seeking a simple loan application process with minimal documentation.

Minimum and maximum loans range from $5,000 to $100,000. Annual interest rates range from 5.99% to 22.49%, and there are no application fees.

In addition, borrowers do not have to pay any penalties or late fees. The loan repayment period is between 24 and 84 months, so borrowers will have enough time to pay off the debt.


  • No installation fees.
  • No late fees or payment penalties.
  • Low annual interest rate.
  • Quick financing.


  • No flexibility of maturity date.
  • Few options for loan utilization.


LendingClub is a personal loan lender in the United States. It offers loans from $1,000 to $40,000 to consumers with good credit who can choose payment terms of 36 or 60 months.

LendingClub is the best choice for people looking for a personal loan to buy a car, consolidate debt, finance medical expenses or get a home loan.

LendingClub offers borrowers the ability to apply for a loan from $1,000 to $40,000 and offers rates ranging from 8.30% to 36%. The origination fee ranges from 3% to 6% for the loan borrowed, but the average is 5%. They also charge a 5% late payment fee, which can be as high as 15%.


  • A joint application is available.
  • Access to a fair credit score.


  • Opening fee.
  • Late payment fee.


PenFed offers a variety of personal loans designed to meet the needs of borrowers and lenders. PenFed's personal loan offerings include home purchase loans, debt consolidation loans, and loans for emergency expenses. PenFed also offers loans for special purposes, such as paying school expenses.

PenFed offers loans from $600 to $50,000 to users with a minimum credit score of 650.

Personal loan rates start at 5.99 percent and go up to 17.99 percent. Loans are available for periods ranging from 12 to 60 months. There are no application fees, but lenders may charge a late fee of up to $50.


  • Rapid financing.
  • Wide range of loan amounts.
  • No application fee.


  • No joint application.
  • Must be a member of PenFed.

7 steps to getting a personal loan

Choosing the right personal loan can be difficult because of the many loan options available. Factors to consider when choosing a personal loan include the interest rate, loan term, and repayment options.

You will also need to consider the fees associated with the loan and the reputation of the lending institution. In addition, most lending institutions offer different types of loans. It is therefore important to evaluate each option before committing to find the one best suited to your needs.

Choice of loan type

One of the crucial factors to consider when looking for a personal loan is the type of loan best suited to your needs. There are different types of personal loans, such as secured and unsecured. Each type of loan has its advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to do your research before choosing one.

For example, some loans may have a lower interest rate, while others may have more flexible repayment terms. Before choosing a loan, you should consider what is most important to you.

Unsecured personal loans

An unsecured personal loan (often called an unsecured loan) is a loan that is used to purchase assets or make major purchases. Unsecured loans are unsecured, and the lender will base its loan decision on the borrower's credit rating.

Unsecured personal loans may be suitable for people with average or fair credit ratings and, in general, for people who have been turned down for a loan. The advantages of unsecured loans are that no collateral is required and the interest rate can be very competitive with other loans.

Like all loans, unsecured loans have disadvantages.

Borrowers may have to pay a higher interest rate and meet stricter conditions. As a lender, the bank or lending institution has no collateral. They may require proof of gross monthly income and expenses.

Guaranteed personal loans

Secured personal loans are usually granted as a line of credit. They require the borrower to use an asset as collateral for the loan. Examples of assets that can be used as collateral for a secured personal loan are a car, house, boat, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, or valuable jewelry collection. It usually takes one month for the loan to be approved.

A secured personal loan offers a low interest rate and flexible repayment terms. For example, the borrower can choose to repay the loan in fixed monthly installments or make a lump sum payment at the end of each month.

The advantages of a secured loan are that it is easy to obtain, requires little paperwork, and offers flexible repayment options. The disadvantages of secured loans are that interest rates can be high and the borrower may not qualify if he or she has bad credit.

Deciding how much to borrow

With so many options available for borrowing money, it is important to take the time to decide how much to borrow.

First, decide what you want to get out of a personal loan. The next question is how much money you need. Use the personal loan calculator to check your average monthly expenses and subtract your monthly income to get the amount you may need for the monthly payment.

Pay attention to the details and take your time to get the right answer.

Check your credit rating

Your credit rating is important in determining the type of loan you can access. For example, if a person has a good debt-to-income ratio (DTI) and a good credit score (above 700), he or she is more likely to get a good interest rate on loans, while a person with a poor credit score might be charged high interest rates on loans.

Although many companies offer credit score checks, users should be cautious about providing their credit card information to these services, as there are more reliable ways to obtain a credit score. For example, users can order their credit score from sites such as Credit Karma or through an e-mail from Experian.

Users can compare their credit score with a table on lenders' websites to see which loan they can access. A poor credit score does not mean that the user cannot get a loan or qualify for good rates. However, it may mean that the user will have to pay a higher-than-normal interest rate if they decide to apply for a loan for any type of transaction.

Compare estimated rates

If you have a credit card balance and intend to use a personal loan to pay it off, the interest rates for a personal loan may be lower than for a credit card. It can therefore be an excellent option for those with outstanding debts.

However, it is critical to figure out which personal loan is best for you. Doing some research to compare personal loan rates can save you money.

Most personal loans come in different shapes and sizes, so it can be difficult to compare them. It is best to examine the available offers and determine the type of personal loan best suited to your needs.

For example, in an emergency, it may be best to choose a short-term loan with no fees and a very low interest rate. Or, if you want to pay off your credit card balance more quickly than usual, you may want to apply for an unsecured personal loan with a lower interest rate than the credit card company currently offers.

Choosing the best lender

Comparing lenders for personal loans is complicated and may depend on personal circumstances. However, it is important to research certain features and conditions. Some features depend on the purpose of the loan with some lenders.

When comparing lenders, consider the following:

  • The APR or interest rate of the loan.
  • The terms of the loan, such as the term, amount and purpose.
  • Whether there are additional fees for early or late repayment of the loan.
  • Check online reviews from other customers.
  • Find out about customer service and what people think about it.
  • Find out about the lending institution's policy on collection of unpaid debts and the major credit bureaus.

There are many personal loans available today, and finding the right one can be confusing. The main thing to consider is your needs, so look for a lending institution that offers loans in this category.

Prepare the necessary documents

Before applying for a personal loan, you need to understand what documents you need to prepare. Loan applications should include your contact information, state of residence, income and employment status. Here are some of them:

  • Loan application: you need to provide basic identification such as a driver's license or ID card, voter ID and employment information. When applying for a loan, you may be asked to provide proof of your income and the number of outstanding debts and assets.
  • Proof of identity: this is usually an identification document, such as a birth certificate, driver's license, or social security card (if you are a U.S. citizen). If you cannot provide proof of identity, you may need to provide two other pieces of identification, such as a utility bill and a credit card statement.
  • Proof of income: you must provide proof of your ability to repay the loan, such as pay stubs or a recent property tax receipt/invoice. If you are self-employed, you may be asked to provide business records to prove your income. Sometimes lenders may require two months of bank statements to make sure your savings account has enough money to cover the loan.
  • Proof of address: you may be asked to provide proof of residence, such as a utility bill, credit card statement, and bank statements. If you are an immigrant, you may be asked to provide documents proving your immigration status in the United States, such as a green card or visa.

Application and approval

Applying for a loan online takes a few simple steps. Follow these 5 guidelines and you will be on your way:

  • Find a lender. Many lenders offer online loans. It is therefore necessary to find one that meets your needs.
  • Most lenders offer a personal loan application to fill out. In the application you must provide personal information, income, debts and other financial information.
  • Submit the required documents. When filling out a personal loan application, you are asked to provide certain documents. It is best to check with the lending institution, before submitting the application, what types of documents are required. The most common documents are the loan statement and recent pay stubs.
  • Obtaining approval. After submitting the application, the lending institution reviews it and either approves or rejects it. If approved, the terms and conditions will be explained in an e-mail or text message you receive.

What you need to know before applying for a personal loan

When considering applying for a personal loan, you must first weigh its advantages and disadvantages.

  • The amount of money needed: the amount of money needed varies depending on the specific loan requested and your personal financial situation.
  • The terms of the loan: the terms of the loan vary depending on the lending institution and the specific product.
  • The APR: the APR varies depending on the lending institution and the specific loan product.
  • The availability of credit: the availability of credit varies depending on the user's credit rating and the amount to be borrowed.

How can I get a personal loan with bad credit?

There are several ways to obtain a personal loan for someone with bad credit. One way is to approach a loan company. Loan companies usually charge high interest rates and require a higher credit score than traditional banks.

Another option is to get a personal loan directly from a bank. Personal loans are usually much cheaper than loan companies, but you will probably have to repay the loan in full in a shorter time.

The last option is to get a personal loan with bad credit through a peer-to-peer lending site. These sites are usually more expensive than banks, but you will have more choices in terms of loan amount and repayment plan.

What happens if the application is rejected?

There are several reasons why a personal loan may be rejected, but users can use this information to improve their chances of being approved.

  • Poor credit rating

Credit scores can be lowered due to missed payments (often monthly), high debt levels, lack of tax returns, and debts related to items not allowed by lenders, such as gambling debts.

  • Insufficient income to cover the loan

This can happen if the lender requires the borrower to have a monthly income of at least 30-40% of the existing debt. If the borrower does not have this income, he or she will not be able to make the monthly payments on time.

  • No collateral for the loan

The lending institution may require collateral from the borrower for loan approval. If the borrower has no assets, the lender will not be able to recover the money if there are problems with the loan.

How long does it take to get a personal loan?

Obtaining a personal loan can be a challenge for those who do not have a complete credit history. While some lenders are willing to work with a borrower regardless of his or her credit score, others may require a higher credit score to qualify.

The time it takes to obtain a personal loan may also vary by lender. Some lenders may take only a few hours, while others may take several months. In any case, be patient and be sure to compare interest rates and terms to find the best option for you.

Jessica Parker
Written by
Jessica Parker
Loans, Mortgage, Insurance
Jessica Parker is a senior content creator with years of copywriting experience. She joined Empire Finance Pro in 2018. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and her work has appeared in a number of top-tier finance publications including Forbes, FinancialTimes and Bloomberg.