Home > Managing Debt > 5 Tips to Get Approved for a Personal Loan for Debt Consolidation

Comments 0 Comments

If you need relief from your high-interest loans or credit card debt, you may be considering a personal loan. Offered by many banks and credit unions, personal loans let you consolidate or refinance your debt into a lower-interest loan with one fixed monthly payment.

While they do have some disadvantages – personal loans often have higher interest rates than the typical auto loan or mortgage – they are a viable option for consumers who need to pay down high-interest debts.

If you’ve decided to pursue a personal loan, you should try to increase your chances of approval. Here are five tips to get approved for a personal loan for debt consolidation.

  1. Decide on a Loan Type

There are two main types of personal loans: secured and unsecured.

Secured loans require you to put up collateral, such as your home or car, which can be possessed by the lender if you don’t pay. These loans have looser credit requirements, and you may have lower interest rates and greater borrowing power. However, you’re putting your own property on the line.

Unsecured loans require no collateral, but rely upon your creditworthiness and ability to repay. You will need better credit to get approved, and you may end up with a higher interest rate than a secured loan.

  1. Know How Much You Need to Borrow

Before you apply for a personal loan, know how much you need to borrow. Tally up the existing debts that you wish to consolidate or refinance. You may not need this information immediately, but it will help you determine your requirements and avoid asking for an artificially high amount.

  1. Know Your Credit

Before you apply for a personal loan, you should know the state of your credit. This means you should check both your credit report and your credit score.

Once a year, you can check your credit report with all three credit bureaus for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. Closely examine your report for negative or inaccurate information that could hurt your chances of approval. If you do find errors, you should dispute them and have them removed from your credit report.

It’s also a good idea to check your credit score before you apply. You can get two of your credit scores for free, updated monthly, at Credit.com. Before you apply, you should do everything you can to improve your credit score.

If you’re in dire need of debt relief, you may not have time to wait for your credit to improve. Even so, it will help to know the state of your credit as it stands.

  1. Find the Right Lender

Not all financial institutions are created equal. Shop around at several lenders, including banks and credit unions. You may need to choose your lender based on the bank that’s most likely to approve your loan application, but you shouldn’t jump at the first offer. Review the fine print, interest rates, and terms of all the loans you’re considering.

  1. Create a Checklist

Once you are ready to move forward with your application, create a checklist of all the documentation you will need. You may need to work with creditors, your employer, and others to gather everything, so give yourself enough time. Incomplete applications can result in an immediate rejection, so it’s important to make sure you have your ducks in a row.

Remember, debt consolidation only makes sense in certain scenarios. Depending on the interest rates you can get and the length of the loan, you could end up paying more for a personal loan in the long run, even if the monthly payments are lower. Make sure you understand the total cost of a personal loan compared to the total cost of your current debts. For more information, check out our article on deciding if a personal loan for debt consolidation is right for you.

If you’re curious about your credit, you can check your three credit reports for free once a year. To track your credit more regularly, Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card is an easy-to-understand breakdown of your credit report information that uses letter grades—plus you get two free credit scores updated each month.

You can also carry on the conversation on our social media platforms. Like and follow us on Facebook and leave us a tweet on Twitter.

 

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team