How to Get a Personal Loan |

Personal loans are a necessity sometimes. They are a great way to get the money you need to make ends meet, cover an unexpected expense, consolidate debt, etc. If you need a personal loan, then the higher your credit score, the lower your rates will be (in general). You have a variety of options available to you, some of which could offer a better deal than any bank:

Peer-to-Peer Lending: With the recent financial crises and breakdown of the US banking system, more people are turning to a much older way of getting needed money. They are borrowing it from each other. This practice, called peer-to-peer lending, is offered through websites like and They require only that you have a credit score over 650, are a US resident, and have a debt-to-income ratio of less than 25 percent, not including your mortgage, student loans, or auto loan. Peer-to-peer lenders typically offer rates well below many banks and other financing sources.

Credit Cards: Depending on the rate and terms you have/receive with a credit card (and your need and ability to pay), giving yourself a personal loan from your credit card can be a great option. Remember, however, that while you may have 0% APR right now, that rate is not permanent nor is it likely applicable to cash advances. In fact, even with such a low introductory rate, your cash advance rate could be as high as 29.99%, so make sure to do your homework first. Alternatively, if debt consolidation is your goal, doing your due diligence by researching applicable transfer fees and balance transfer interest rates is also to your advantage. You can be charged a fee as high as 10% on a balance transfer in addition to the interest you will have to pay. That said, credit cards can be a particularly great option if you have a large, unexpected emergency purchase (e.g. furnace), and you have the discipline to pay the amount in full by the end of the low APR period.

Your Banking Services Provider: If your need is not urgent, you may want to consider going to your personal bank, credit union, or financial institution. While personal loan rates can be relatively high, you may be able to get a lower rate based on your relationship with the bank and/or lower your interest rate dramatically by offering collateral, if you have an asset or assets of value.