Personal Loans 101
What's a personal loan?
A personal loan is a fixed-amount loan that’s distributed as a lump sum. Most people take out personal loans to make a large purchase, pay off medical bills or consolidate debt. Unlike a secured loan to buy a home or car, personal loans are “unsecured.” Unsecured loans are offered with no collateral attached, giving you more flexibility in how you spend the money.
What should I know about interest rates?
Interest rates for personal loans are largely determined by your credit score. Your annual income and the amount you wish to borrow are important, too.
It’s a good idea to compare rates from different lenders to find the best deal. If you’re not seeing the rate you want, try lowering the amount you want to borrow or improving your credit score.
Compare the latest rates
Top uses for a personal loan
- Consolidate debt
- Pay off credit cards
- Home improvements
Read more about the top 9 reasons for personal loans.
How do I get a personal loan?
You can apply for a personal loan through a bank, credit union or finance company, including online marketplace lenders.
It helps to have a strong credit score before you apply. If your credit needs work, you could still be approved for a personal loan. But with moderate to bad credit, you may end up paying a higher interest rate.
Once you’ve found a lender and interest rate that look right for you, calculate your monthly payments so you can work your loan payment into your overall budget. Simply enter your loan amount, term and interest rate into our Personal Loan Calculator.
Compare personal loan rates at Bankrate today.