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What is the Personal Loan Application Process Like?

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Almost everyone runs into money trouble on occasion, but when you know how to navigate the personal loan application process, it’s easy to solve your problems and start living the life you deserve. The experts at your local Check Center are committed to helping you get your life on track, and we’ve broken down the most important steps in the lending process below. If you need more information, you can talk to an expert at any of the eight Check Centers across Northern California.

What to Do Before You Negotiate a Contract

If you want to get the best possible loan, then you’ll have to come prepared. There are a few simple steps that everyone should take before visiting their lender of choice.

Woman giving money to a man

  • Check Your Credit: Before you apply for a loan, it’s essential to have a full sense of your options. In most cases, the primary determining factor will be your credit score. With a score of 629 or less, your options will be fairly limited. Those with higher scores will be able to access personal loans with a lower APR, with the best options available to those with a score of 720 or higher.
  • Explore Your Options: Big banks tend not to offer the best terms for short-term personal loans, but potential borrowers may have better luck with community banks and Credit Unions—especially if they have lower-than average credit. Loan specialists like those at your local Check Center can also help you get exactly what you need.
  • Get Pre-Qualified: Pre-Qualification is a great way to get a better sense of your options without negatively impacting your credit score. Most lenders want to attract discerning borrowers, so they’re willing to offer especially compelling options for those who can enter their information online.

How to Leverage a Good Interest Rate

The experience of sitting down with a lender can be nerve-wracking, but those who’ve done their homework will be in a good position to get an affordable interest rate on their personal loan.

  • Check the Contract: Those who pay close attention to what they’re signing will always be rewarded in the end. Be sure to check the contract for any potential APR changes, penalties, payment requirements, and features.
  • Alternative Credit Lines: Even at this point, it’s not too late to explore alternative forms of credit. A credit card with 0% interest can be a good option for the borrower who qualifies, and Secured or Co-Signed Loans are often a more affordable option.
  • Gather Documentation: Most lenders require any potential borrower to present identification, proof-of-residence, and of course, plenty of information related to your income and your ability to repay. Tax information, bank statements, pay stubs and more may all be required.

Reach Out to Check Center for Help

Would-be borrowers in Berkeley, Oakland can make the personal loan application process a walk in the park by getting in touch with their local Check Center. There’s never been a better time to consolidate your debt, start a new project. Our experts have a long track record of putting the community first, and we’re committed to making your life easier. While you’re here, check out our guide to consumer lending, as well our overview of common reasons to get personal loans and guides to getting a bad credit personal loan or no credit personal loan.