These days, qualifying for a personal loan isn't easy. Lenders have gotten a lot stricter since the financial crisis of 2008 when they lost a lot of money on bad loans. If you're going to qualify, you need to prove that you're a good applicant.
Here GET.com will share with you 4 ways to help you improve your chances of being granted a personal loan.
Check And Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit score plays a big role in determining whether you can qualify for a personal loan. Start by checking your credit rating with the 3 major rating agencies. Lenders list the minimum required credit score to apply for a personal loan on their website. If your score is too low to qualify, take 6 months to a year to work on improving before you apply for a loan. This way you won't waste time on an application that's set to be rejected.
To improve your score, you can pay off your existing credit card debt, make all your future bill payments on-time and avoid applying for new credit cards or loans before your personal loan application.
Be Prepared For Your First Meeting
The lender should have a list on their website of what documents you need to apply for a personal loan. This will likely include proof of income, a copy of your credit record, your bank statements, etc.
You don't want to show up to your first meeting without the right documents. This will just end up wasting your time and make you look bad with the lender. You should also be ready to explain why you want the money and explain your the plan you will follow to pay everything back on schedule.
Consider Putting Up Collateral
It's easier to qualify for a personal loan when you put up collateral. This is an asset like your house or car that secures the loan. If you don't make your loan payments, the bank will eventually seize the assets to the value of the debt.
Putting up collateral will help increase your chances of qualifying and get you a lower interest rate, but it's also riskier because if you don't pay back the loan you'll lose your assets. You need to decide if it's worth the risk.
Expect The Process To Take Time
The loan approval process can take a few weeks as the bank reviews your application. Your lender should let you know how long it will take after you apply. It's important not to seem anxious or get upset about a wait because this could raise a red flag that may lead to a rejection. It will also hurt your relationship with the lender.
Even if you can't qualify this time, it's still important to end on a positive note because the lender can give you valuable advice on how to qualify in the future.
Don't gamble with your personal loan application. By following this advice, you'll give yourself the best chances of qualifying for your loan.
Consider Getting A Low Interest Credit Card Instead
If the reason for your getting a personal loan is to buy something you need, then a low interest credit card may be a cheaper solution. These credit cards give you a 0% APR (interest rate) on purchases for a certain amount of time, starting from the day on which your account is opened. You will have to be in a position to apply for a credit card.
Most of the best offers require excellent credit. But if you fit the bill, you can benefit from up to 21 months of 0% APR with some cards.
What's more, some credit cards let you earn cash back on your purchase, which gives you extra money to put towards your debt. Since the ongoing interest charges you get with credit cards are much higher than what you pay for most personal loans, this is only a good idea if you are 100% sure that you can pay off the purchase within the introductory low APR period.
David Rodeck is a contributing writer at GET.com. Email: email@example.com.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.