New Visitors Privacy Policy Sponsorship Contact Us Media
Baby Boomers Family Green Home and Auto In Critical Condition Just Starting Out Lifestyle Money
- advertisement -
Bankrate.com
News & Advice Compare Rates Calculators
Rate Alerts  |  Glossary  |  Help
Mortgage Home
Equity
Auto CDs &
Investments
Retirement Checking &
Savings
Credit
Cards
Debt
Management
College
Finance
Taxes Personal
Finance

Before you apply for a personal loan

  • If you have a better option -- home equity, a credit card, 401(k) loan, a rich relative -- think twice before borrowing without collateral. But if you have no other way to go -- or are hell-bent on it -- take these tips.
  • Do your homework. Go to bankrate.com's (tm) current personal loan rate survey and find the best interest rates in your area or call up a handful of local banks and compare prices.
  • Ask if the interest rate is fixed or variable and what the rate cap is. Also inquire about annual fees.
  • If you belong to a credit union, forget tips 1 and 2 and just go there. Interest rates on unsecured loans can run about as much as one or two percentage points lower than major banks.
- advertisement -

 

  • If you do business with a community bank, take advantage of the human factor. Being a familiar face can earn you some slack if your credit background is smudged. Small banks might offer lower interest, too.

  • Be honest about why you want the loan. Your bank may be able to offer you a loan option you hadn't thought of, or perhaps that Jet-Ski you're eyeing can be used as collateral, thereby securing your loan and trimming interest.
  • Don't fill out applications at several banks and have all of them checking into your credit history. This can make you look desperate and lower your credit score.
  • Check our credit card rates. They could be a better bet.
  • Save some money for emergencies so you don't have to do this again. In the long run, it's cheaper.

-- Updated: March 19, 2004

 

BACK: Lump sums and credit lines    
 
top of page
Unsecured Personal Loan Basics

Print   E-mail

30 yr fixed mtg 4.32%
48 month new car loan 2.91%
1 yr CD 0.68%
Alerts


Mortgage calculator
See your FICO Score Range -- Free
How much money can you save in your 401(k) plan?
Which is better -- a rebate or special dealer financing?
VIEW MORE CALCULATORS

BASICS SERIES
Begin with personal finance fundamentals:
Auto Loans
Checking
Credit Cards
Debt Consolidation
Insurance
Investing
Home Equity
Mortgages
Student Loans
Taxes
Retirement

MORE ON BANKRATE
Ask the experts  
Frugal $ense contest  
Quizzes  
Form Letters


- advertisement -
 
- advertisement -

About Bankrate | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Online Media Kit | Partnerships | Investor Relations | Press Room | Contact Us | Sitemap
NYSE: RATE | RSS Feeds |

* Mortgage rate may include points. See rate tables for details. Click here.
* To see the definition of overnight averages click here.

Bankrate.com ®, Copyright © 2014 Bankrate, Inc., All Rights Reserved, Terms of Use.