If you’re looking for a loan to help cover emergency expenses, consolidate debt or take care of other outlays, you’re certainly not alone. Based on the latest figures from the financial sector, more than 36 million people took out personal loans last year, and the numbers are expected to rise during the months to come. While lenders are readily available, certain measures can help make the loan acquisition process go more quickly and smoothly.
Understand What’s Involved in the Process
Though most lenders require similar types of information, not every company follows the same loan process. Some offer the option to apply online or over the phone whereas others require in-person appearances. Certain lenders have hybrid systems in place. Read up on a potential lender’s protocol before applying so no surprises arise in the midst of it all.
Be Aware of Your Credit Score
Credit scores aren’t necessarily the deciding factor in loan eligibility these days; in fact, a number of lenders are accommodating those with less-than-optimal financial histories. Still, those scores can affect certain aspects, like interest rates and the amount a person may be able to borrow. It’s important to know your credit score going into the process.
Be Sure the Lender Operates in Your Area
In many cases, lenders cater to certain states but don’t cover all 50. Do a little research on the lender you’re considering ahead of time just in case your state isn’t included in the company’s service area. This will save you the time and hassle of completing the application for naught.
Have the Right Documents on Hand
All lenders require various types of personal and financial information before supplying borrowers with the funds they need. These vital details serve specific purposes for both consumers and loan providers. You’ll most likely need:
- Driver’s License and Social Security Card for Proof of Identification
- Proof of Income (Pay Stubs, W-2s or 1099s)
- Proof of Residence (Utility Bills and/or Lease Agreements)
- Bank Account Information (Account and Routing Numbers) for Loan Provision and Repayment Withdrawals
Some of these documents are difficult to come by. Proofs of income are notorious for disappearing when they’re needed most. Few people know their bank account and routing numbers by heart. With so many people and companies going paperless these days, even utility bills have become rare and elusive. Be sure to gather all these items before beginning the application process.
Do Your Homework
When money is tight or emergencies arise, most people have trouble seeing past the amount of funds needed to cover expenses. This is where problems typically begin. When the time comes to pay those loans back, terms, interest rates and additional fees come into play.
Use an online loan calculator to help iron out all the details before jumping in head first. These tools allow you to input loan amounts, interest rates term lengths and other points to determine monthly payment amounts in advance. They also give users the option of experimenting with different amounts and terms to better decide which options might best suit their needs and budgets.
All Things Considered
Loans are commonplace these days. Almost everyone needs a financial bridge here and there. Following these guidelines will help you get the most out of the borrowing experience and avoid any unnecessary delays.