How to Get a Personal Loan

When you need a quick infusion of money to cover an expense, a Personal Loan may be a good option. There are many different types of Personal Loans available, so it’s important to do your research and compare options to choose the best loan for your unique situation.

Let’s dive deeper into how to get a Personal Loan, what options are out there, and how exactly Personal Loans work.

How do Personal Loans work?

Personal Loans are available through banks, credit unions, and alternative or online lenders. Depending on the type of loan you’re approved for, you’ll either receive a lump sum of money upfront or have access to funds that you can withdraw as needed. Then, you’ll pay back what you borrow plus interest and fees over an agreed-upon term, which may range from a few weeks to a few years.

Common reasons to apply for a Personal Loan

The great thing about Personal Loans is that once you receive the loan, you can use it at your own discretion. Here are some of the most common reasons people apply for a loan:

Unexpected emergencies

The most pressing reason to apply for a Personal Loan is when you have unexpected emergency costs. Whether you’re facing medical bills, funeral costs, vet visits, or another type of emergency, a Personal Loan can be a great way to cover your expenses.

Home improvements

Personal Loans are also a good way to pay for home improvement expenses. Plumbing repairs, installing a new air conditioner, or paint costs are a few examples of home improvement projects that Personal Loans can pay for.

Car repairs

Dealing with a flat tire or paying for a new transmission can be stressful. The right Personal Loan can help pay for car repairs when you’re short on cash and need to get back on the road. Personal loans can also cover car rental expenses when your vehicle is in the shop.

Wedding expenses

Running short on funds while wedding planning can be a stressful situation. Even if you’re planning your dream wedding on a budget, you may still need to take out a Personal Loan to cover wedding-related costs.

Debt consolidation

One of the lesser-known reasons to take out a Personal Loan is for debt consolidation purposes. Debt consolidation is when you have multiple loans or debts and want to combine them into a single loan. To do this, you can apply for a Personal Loan and use the money to pay off your other debts. Then, you only need to worry about the Personal Loan repayment. Consolidating your loans in this way can make them easier to keep track of and repay your debt.

Types of Personal Loans

Not all Personal Loans are created equal. There are many different types you can choose from, including:

Payday Loans

Payday Loans are short-term, small-dollar loans you can pay back when you receive your next paycheck, often within two to four weeks. These loans can be useful if you need fast cash to cover expenses until you get paid. In most cases, Payday Loans are less than $500, and the amount you qualify for will vary from lender to lender.

Installment Loans

With an Installment Loan, you’ll get a lump sum of money at once and repay it over time (anywhere from a few months to several years) via fixed monthly payments. An Installment Loan may make sense if you need a large sum of cash. However, these loans are slightly more challenging to qualify for, and you typically need good credit and a steady income.

Lines of Credit

Lines of Credit work much like credit cards but typically offer lower interest rates. You can withdraw funds whenever necessary once the Line of Credit is set up, and you’ll only pay interest on the money you borrow. Lines of Credit are a smart choice if you want a flexible loan option.

How to apply for a Personal Loan

If you’re wondering how to get a Personal Loan, here’s what you need to do:

1. Research lenders

Since there are numerous lenders offering Personal Loans, do some research and find the various lenders and loans that pique your interest. Then, compare their interest rates, terms, and fees. Also, remember to read online reviews to ensure the lenders you’re considering are reliable, honest, and trustworthy.

2. Check your credit

Depending on the type of loan you choose, your lender may pull your credit report to check your credit history. Because of this, it's a good idea to check your credit score beforehand to better understand which types of loans you might qualify for.

If your credit isn’t that great, you might choose a lender that considers other factors in addition to your credit, such as Advance America.

3. Choose a personal loan and gather your documents

Once you choose the ideal personal loan for your budget and needs, collect the information you’ll need to apply.

While the exact documents and requirements will vary depending on the loan and lender, here's what you'll typically need when applying for a personal loan from Advance America:

  • Your government-issued ID (driver's license, passport)
  • Proof of income (pay stubs, bank statements, etc.)
  • An active checking account
  • Social Security number

4. Complete an application

Fill out and submit your application online or in person. Be prepared to share personal details like your name, email, and phone number. You may also have to provide detailed information about your income and employment history.

5. Wait for approval

Now it’s time to wait until the lender reviews your application and gets back to you with a decision. Wait times vary by lender. At Advance America, we give you our approval decision for both online and in-person loan applications within minutes.

6. Receive the funds

If you’ve been approved for a loan and sign the agreement quickly, you won’t have to wait long for the money. Depending on the lender’s funding procedures, you might receive the funds via direct deposit, check, or prepaid card shortly after approval.

For example, if your Advance America loan application is approved before 10:30 AM EST, you can have your funds deposited directly in your bank account the same day.

7. Review your repayment plan

After receiving your loan, review the lender’s repayment schedule and devise a plan for budgeting your payments. Remember, failing to make your payments on time and in full could result in unwanted fees and penalties that ultimately increase your repayment amount.

How to get a personal loan today from Advance America

From Payday Loans and Installment Loans to Emergency Loans and Lines of Credit, Advance America offers a variety of Personal Loans with quick approval decisions and fast funding. Simply fill out an application online or in-store and you’ll get an approval decision within minutes.

Do you need to start covering expenses right away? Apply for a Personal Loan at Advance America today.

The Advance America advantage

Since 1997, Advance America has helped millions of hardworking people with a variety of financial solutions including Payday Loans, Online Loans, Installment Loans, Title Loans and Personal Lines of Credit.
157+ million
loans issued
800+ stores
and online loans
25+ years
providing loans