How to Ask for a Personal Loan

A couple in the processing of getting a loan.
Image Credit: Minerva Studio/iStock/GettyImages

Things You'll Need

  • Credit score of at least 640

  • Social Security card

  • Driver's license or state-issued ID

  • Proof of income (pay stubs)

Tip

Consider asking a friend or relative to co-sign the loan application with you if your credit score does not qualify. Remember that if you default on the loan, the co-signer is equally responsible.

Peer lending is becoming increasingly popular. Peer-to-peer lending websites offer individuals the option of obtaining loans from other individuals instead of banks. Interest rates may be lower than with traditional lending institutions, and some do not charge additional fees.

Whatever your need is for obtaining a personal loan, consider the costs before applying. Traditional financial institutions such as banks and credit unions typically have similar credit requirements. Payday lenders however charge outrageous interest rates, costing you two to three times the amount you originally borrowed. Research and ask questions prior to signing an application to save money and frustration down the road.

Step 1

Research reputable lenders in your area and call around to ask about interest rates and fees associated with personal loans. Consider community banks and credit unions, if you are a member. Inquire about their loan approval criteria to be sure you fit their requirements prior to submitting an application. Remember that each time you apply for credit, an inquiry is placed on your credit report. Multiple inquires may cause you to look desperate in the eyes of lenders.

Step 2

Apply for the loan in person if possible, giving the loan officer a face to remember instead of just an account number. When applying, be prepared to provide personal information such as your Social Security number, employer's name and address, monthly income, and other debts or monthly obligations that you owe. The lender will most likely make copies of your driver's license, Social Security card and pay stubs. Have all of this information with you to avoid a delay in your application.

Step 3

Be honest with the loan officer for your need to obtain the loan. Explain in detail what the money will be used for, and, if possible, provide a time frame in which you believe you can pay it back. Offer to set up automatic monthly payments to ensure they will be paid in a timely manner.

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