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What You Need to Know About Personal Loans

Personal loans are loans you borrow for personal purposes from lenders such as banks, credit unions, or online lenders that typically feature fixed interest rates and repayment schedules. You may find them available from banks, credit unions, or online lenders.

Personal loans can help you pay off credit card debt or finance home improvement projects, but before applying, it is important to keep several factors in mind.

Interest rates

Personal loan interest rates will depend on various factors, including creditworthiness, debt-to-income ratio and loan amount and term length. Lenders tend to provide lower interest rates to borrowers with excellent credit scores and consistent income streams.

The average personal loan interest rate in the US currently sits around 9%; however, this number can change over time depending on factors like inflation and economic health.

Borrowers can quickly determine their potential personal loan interest rates with CNBC Select, which matches them to offers without impacting their credit score. Keep in mind, however, that personal loans add additional debt burden and should be used responsibly; be sure to make payments on time and limit credit card usage to prevent incurring more in interest charges.


As you research for personal loans, it’s important to go beyond simply the interest rates offered. Some lenders charge fees such as origination fees which can increase overall costs – however these must be disclosed under the Truth in Lending Act.

When shopping around for loans, ask each lender for their full list of fees to help understand the total cost and determine whether it’s worthwhile. If you have poor credit, expect to be subject to an origination fee between 1%-6% of the loan amount as part of their terms.

These fees can often be added into your loan’s APR alongside interest; however, some lenders do offer personal loans with no origination fees or hidden charges, helping you save money long term.

Repayment terms

When applying for a personal loan, your lender will give you details about its terms. These may include amounts, interest rates and length of repayment. They’re established after reviewing your application to see whether it meets specific criteria and may also state whether a prepayment penalty will apply – this should all be included as part of the loan agreement.

Some lenders provide loan terms of 84 months (7 years). Though longer loan terms can save on monthly payments, they often cost more in interest over time; it is therefore crucial that you carefully calculate all potential costs before choosing one of these longer-term options.

Longer loan repayment terms also reduce your ability to reach debt freedom more quickly – something many of us strive for – making a longer repayment term less desirable in terms of financial goals and goals for freedom from debt. You should use a personal loan calculator to get an estimate of how different loan term options will impact monthly payments.


Personal loans can be used for many different purposes, from covering unexpected medical bills to consolidating high-interest debt. Before applying, however, it’s essential that you understand their eligibility requirements; most lenders require that applicants possess both a sufficient credit score and debt-to-income ratio – increasing your chances of approval by disputing errors on your credit report or adding co-signers with strong credentials as co-signers can significantly boost approval chances.

Lenders want some assurance that you will make payments on time, so they require proof of income such as paychecks or bank statements as proof. Furthermore, paying off existing loans and credit cards as quickly as possible may improve your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and help qualify for a personal loan with more favorable terms; typically 40% or lower may be acceptable.


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