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What is a personal loan?

An unsecured personal loan is a fixed-rate loan that is not backed by collateral and is repaid in monthly installments over a specific term, usually two to seven years. Consider a personal loan when you need money to cover a significant expense or consolidate your debt. You can use the funds for almost any purpose Small Personal Loans For Bad Credit.
To qualify you, lenders look at your credit score, credit report, and debt-to-income ratio. You can get a personal loan from some central banks, credit unions, and online lenders.

What rate should I expect on a personal loan?

Here’s what interest rates on personal loans look like, on average:

How’s your credit?Score rangeEstimated APR
Excellent720-850.11.2%.
Good690-719.15.5%.
Fair630-689.20.5%.
Bad300-629.25.3% (lowest scores unlikely to qualify).

Before you take a personal loan

  • Check your credit score. Learn about your personal loan options based on your credit score. This will give you an idea of what rate and payment to expect as you shop for loans. You might decide to postpone getting a loan and instead take steps to build your credit in order to get a lower rate or a larger loan.
  • Compare your options. Interest rates on personal loans for excellent credit start around 6% APR, but if you can qualify for a 0% interest credit card — and pay off the balance within the promotional period — then you may be better off with the credit card. Here’s how to compare personal loans and credit cards.
  • Find a co-signer. If you have bad credit, having a co-signer with good credit allows you to piggyback on his or her creditworthiness and potentially get a better rate.
  • Consider a secured loan. Using a car, savings account or other asset as collateral may get you a lower rate. The risk is losing your asset if you default on the loan.
  • Assess your overall financial well-being. Personal loans work best as part of a balanced financial plan. Borrow money to consolidate debt if it means you’ll get out of debt more quickly. But don’t borrow if it only adds financial strain.