There are lots of reasons why you might need a personal loan. Unlike other types of loans, such as student loans or auto loans, there are really no limits to how you can use a personal loan.
Personal loans also usually have much lower interest rates than credit cards — they usually carry an interest rate of 6% to 36% as long as you have good credit. (According to Experian, a credit score of 700 and up is generally considered good.)
Finding a low-interest personal loan can be difficult if your credit isn’t the best. Here are six steps you can take to get your hands on the personal loan you need to reach your goals.
Step 1: Determine Your Goals
What are your goals? Some lenders have limitations on how much money you can borrow, so before you start looking for a lender, know how much you need in advance. Here are a few common reasons you might pursue a personal loan.
Pay Off Credit Card Bills
If your goal is to pay off a credit card bill here or there, a personal loan can be a great way to tackle it. Once you’ve taken care of a credit card bill with your personal loan, the MoneyLion app allows you to securely track and tally debt across any credit or debit card you link to the app.
Tackle Medical Bills
Just like with a credit card bill, you can tackle medical bills, too. Not sure if you have access to all of your bills? Contact your health insurance company or the hospital that issued your bills to be sure you’re covering what you need to pay.
Cover Moving Expenses
Short, local moves usually aren’t very expensive. However, cross-country or moves out of state can add up quickly. Spend some time estimating how much money you’ll need for your specific move. Don’t forget to add in additional services like child care or pet care over the dates of your move.
Plan a Getaway
Choose a destination and contact resorts, experience providers and major transportation companies for estimates over different dates. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a rental car or other small expenses while you’re on a whirlwind weekend getaway.
Once you’ve figured out how much you want to borrow, you can start looking for a lender that fits your needs.
Step 2: Find the Lowest Interest Rate
You’ll pay your bank, credit union or online lender interest in exchange for your loan, which is also called your annual percentage rate (APR). Your APR tells you how much interest you’ll pay on your loan per year.
For example, if you borrow $1,000 with a 36% APR, you’ll pay 36% ($360) in interest per year on your loan, or about $30 per month. You don’t need to pay interest on portions of your loan that you’ve already paid off. A higher APR can make paying back your loan much more difficult, so it’s important that you look for a low-APR lender like MoneyLion.
Online lenders and credit unions usually offer lower rates than traditional banks. Also, watch out for high-interest loans like payday loans, credit cards and certain cash advances. You can get a personal loan from MoneyLion with just a 5.99% interest rate, no matter what your credit score is. You can also get a quick cash advance of up to $250 with 0% APR through MoneyLion.
Step 3: Retrieve Your Documentation and Personal Information
Before you take out a personal loan, you’ll need to provide your bank with a little information about yourself. Here are some of the most common types of documentation and personal identifying information you might need.
Proof of ID
Every bank or online lender will require you to provide a valid form of identification before you can open an account or get a loan. Some valid forms of personal identification can include a driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport or military ID.
Other Personal Identification Information
You’ll need to provide your phone number, current address and birthdate when you apply for a loan. If you’ve used a different name in the past, you may also need to disclose this information as well.
Social Security Number
Your bank may require you to back up your identification by providing your full Social Security number. You should always be hesitant to give out your Social Security number — so make sure you trust the bank you’re offering it to.
Proof of Stable Income
Personal loans are unsecured, which means they aren’t backed by collateral. Your loan provider needs to know that you have the funds coming in to pay back the money you borrow. You might need to provide a few bank statements or W-2s before you get your loan.
The specific information you’ll need to get a personal loan depends on your bank. Talk to your bank before you apply for a loan to make sure that you’ve supplied all the necessary information.
Step 4: Apply for the Loan
Every bank has its own process that you need to follow when you apply for a loan. You can get a MoneyLion personal loan of up to $500 by taking a few quick steps.
Download the App
Go to Google Play or the Apple App store and search for the MoneyLion app. Enter your phone number, input the verification code you receive and follow the in-app steps to open a free account with MoneyLion. You’ll need to provide a little personal information, as well as upload a valid photo ID to open an account.
Become a MoneyLion Member
To get a personal loan from MoneyLion, you’ll need to be a member — it’s quick and easy to do through your app. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, phone number and current address.
Link Your Direct Deposit Through MoneyLion
You’ll need a direct deposit of at least $250 through the MoneyLion app to qualify for a cash advance. Enter your direct deposit information directly in the app. Alternatively, you can log into your HR or employee website and set up direct deposit there.
Navigate To The “Finances” Tab
In the MoneyLion app, you’ll see a tab labeled “Finances” at the bottom of your screen. Click on it, then click on the button labeled “Instacash.”
Select How Much Money You Need
Depending on how much money you have coming in each pay period, you can qualify for up to $250 in Instacash cash advances through MoneyLion. Select the amount that you need — and see your loan instantly appear in your account.
Step 5: Get Approval for the Loan
How long you’ll have to wait to get your personal loan approval depends on where you’re getting your loan. The entire process might take up to 7 days if you get your loan through a traditional bank. You might get an approval in as little as a few minutes if you’re working through an online lender or peer-to-peer lending service. You’ll get your approval instantly if you choose MoneyLion.
Step 6: Pay Back Your Personal Loan
Before you officially sign for your loan, read the loan’s terms and understand how and when you need to pay it back. Your bank or lending service will tell you your APR, monthly payments and loan amount.
After you sign on your loan, start thinking about when and how you’ll pay it back. Most lenders accept wire transfers, personal checks and cashier’s checks as payment. If you get your loan through a physical bank, you may also be able to pay your loan back in cash. Banks usually don’t accept credit card payments on loans.
Find the Right Personal Loan that Works for You
The right personal loan can help you make your dreams a reality. With no fees, low APRs and instant approvals, MoneyLion’s personal loans and cash advances can help you pay off debt, cover an unexpected expense or even plan a weekend getaway. Create your account with MoneyLion today and start working toward a better financial future.