How to Get a Personal Loan: Rates & Fees

With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on the US economy and millions continuing to file for unemployment, many people are finding themselves tight on money. Nobody wants to be in this situation, but if you’re strapped for cash, you might consider applying for a personal loan to cover your expenses.

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop computer

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a hand holding a cell phone: A personal loan could be an option to consider if you need cash right now.

© iStock
A personal loan could be an option to consider if you need cash right now.

But what exactly is a personal loan? How does it differ from a mortgage or a credit card? Is now a good time to get a personal loan, and what’s the best way to go about it? CNN Underscored has the answers to all your questions about personal loans to help you decide if getting one is right for you.


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What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is a type of debt where, typically, a person receives a

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Can I Change The EMI Date On My Personal Loan?

Q. Hi! I work with a private company which credits the salary on the 15th of every month. I have taken a personal loan last month for which the equated monthly instalment (EMI) date has been set as the 7th of every month. I forgot to check the EMI date while taking the loan. Paying EMIs on 7th may get financially taxing for me going forward. Is it possible to get the EMI date changed? Please help. Gurpreet Singh

A. Hi Gurpreet! Your concern about the EMI date is valid. It gets tough for a salaried individual to arrange for funds late in the salary cycle. EMIs are a mode through which funds are automatically debited from your account to your loan account on a date agreed upon with your lender every month.

Changing the EMI date is possible but hinges on your lender’s policies and your loan’s terms and

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How a short-term personal loan could save you money

So is this just another type of risk-based pricing? 

In recent years, a bunch of Aussie personal loan lenders have adopted risk-based pricing. It’s a tiered system of pricing whereby a lender offers an interest rate based on a customer’s credit rating.  

However, offering a rate based on a borrowing term is a lot less common. In fact, according to the Mozo database only three lenders have this system in place: SocietyOne, Teachers Mutual Bank and Queensland Country Bank.

Mozo Banking Expert, Peter Marshall explains that this type of tiered system is just another version of risk-based pricing. 

“In this instance, lenders are looking at customers opting to borrow for longer terms as higher-risk,” he said. 

“This is possibly based on their own experience. These lenders may have found that people with longer loans are more likely to have problems over the life of the loan.”  

He also

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Lost Income Due to Coronavirus? A Personal Loan Might Help

A woman wearing a medical mask walking down the street.

Image source: Getty Images

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the COVID-19 crisis. And even those who aren’t completely out of work may still be grappling with income loss. If you’re in that boat, you may need to borrow money in the near term to cover immediate expenses. That’s where a personal loan comes in.

How do personal loans work?

A personal loan is a loan you can use for any purpose. In that way, personal loans work much like credit cards — you can borrow money for whatever you need, but the interest you’ll pay on a personal loan will generally be much lower than what you’ll pay on a credit card. Additionally, too much credit card debt can hurt your credit score, whereas a personal loan won’t hurt it, provided you keep up with your monthly payments.

Is a personal loan a good solution during the

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Should You Repay Your Debts With A Personal Loan?

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Most of us tend to depend on our families or friends when we are in a debt. This is considered the fastest and easiest way to get a hold of that much-needed cash. However, there is the whole obligation aspect attached to borrowing from a friend or family member. And, in case you can’t repay the amount on time, it can strain your relationship with the lender. Now you wouldn’t want that, would you?

Now you may consider borrowing from a money lender. But, hey, don’t forget that money lenders charge a high rate of interest. You’ll be shelling out way more than you borrowed. So, bad idea! Then what should you do, you may be wondering? Well, the answer is simple – get a personal loan. Here are four benefits that Personal Loans offer when it comes to servicing your debts:

Affordable EMIs & Convenience

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Best personal loans 2020 – from Tesco Bank to TSB and Santander

TAKING out a loan could be a good way of spreading the cost of a big purchase – we round-up the best rates currently available.

Before you consider borrowing money, there are a few things to be aware of first.

 Loans should be taken out responsibly, so make you can afford to pay back what you borrow


Loans should be taken out responsibly, so make you can afford to pay back what you borrowCredit: Getty – Contributor

Taking out a loan is a serious financial commitment, so you’ll want to make sure you can afford to meet all the monthly repayments.

You can do this by taking into account the length of your loan, plus the interest rate, to make sure it’s affordable for you.

You’ll also want to make sure you don’t damage your credit score by checking how likely you are to be accepted by using a “soft search”, such as this one from MoneySavingExpert.

Although a “soft search” is still recorded on

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Should you take out a personal loan for a home improvement project?

Tackling a home improvement project can be costly but, with competitive rates and terms, a personal loan can give you a house to come home to. (iStock)

Home improvement projects can make a house a home. By updating a bathroom or kitchen, replacing windows, or changing the flooring in the living room, you are putting your signature touch on your home and adding value. 

But these improvements can also come with a high price tag, making it difficult for the average person to pay cash for upgrades to their homes. There are many reasons to take out a personal loan, but this is one of the most popular — and can really come in handy.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is financed by a financial institution — a bank, credit union, or online lender and can be used for renovations, repairs, and additions to your home.

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How to get approved for a personal loan when you have student debt

Take these steps to secure the financing you need. (iStock)

If you need to consolidate debt or pay for an unexpected emergency, you may consider a personal loan. However, if you have a high amount of student debt, you may be wondering about your chances of being approved. Lenders assess borrowers in a variety of ways. It helps to know where you stand, and the steps you can take to get the funding you need.

Factors lenders look at in personal loan applications

Personal loans are usually unsecured, which means you don’t have to put up any collateral. As a result, lenders scrutinize applicants to minimize their risk. Banks will look at three key elements as they determine your ability to repay the debt.

  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Credit history
  • Career or education experience

1. Debt-to-income ratio

A lender will look at how much debt you already have compared to

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9 of the best personal loans in 2020

These are some of the best personal loan lenders in 2020. (iStock)

If you’re running behind on your monthly payments and you need money fast, taking out a personal loan can often give you access to the fast funding you need. Fortunately, there are plenty of personal loan lenders you can choose from, each with their own term lengths and eligibility requirements.

Don’t worry about having to navigate personal loan options on your own. Credible can help compare personal loan companies (and hopefully land you some of the lowest rates for what you’re looking for). Below is a list of some of the best personal loan companies that are likely to ensure customer satisfaction, according to Credible’s financial experts.

Axos Bank

Axos Bank offers personal loan options for debt consolidation, home improvement, and other purposes. Borrowers in all 50 states can gain access to up to $35,000 in

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8 questions to ask before taking out a personal loan

Ask yourself these questions before applying for a personal loan. (iStock)

When finances are tight, it’s tempting to turn to a personal loan. Borrowers use personal loans for a variety of reasons, including debt consolidation, moving expenses, vacation, and to cover lost income. While personal loans offer flexibility and can provide much-needed relief when things get tight, it’s essential that you thoroughly research your options to avoid finding yourself in a loan with unreasonable terms.

Before you apply for a personal loan, here are a few commonly asked questions that could help you decide if it’s the right fit for your finances:

1. When is a personal loan a good idea?

A personal loan may be a good idea if you can afford to make monthly payments, and you qualify for a fair interest rate. Use online marketplace Credible’s free online tools to see what kind of loan

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