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If you're working toward improving your financial wellness, getting a personal loan can help in more ways than you may realize. When you get a personal loan, you go through a simple application process to borrow a set amount of money from a financial institution. Then, you'll pay back the loan in fixed monthly installments over a set period of time (typically 36–60 months).

It's a useful financial tool to help provide money to refinance credit card or other high-interest rate debt at a lower rate, cover unexpected expenses like medical bills or car repairs, and pay for a big purchase or upcoming event.

Should You Get a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is usually a good choice for people who want to consolidate debt quickly, and don't have or want to leverage equity in their home. If you have credit card accounts that are racking up a lot of interest, you can take out a personal loan, pay off those cards, and then make one easy monthly payment. Typically, personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards, which can save you interest over time, freeing up money for savings or other expenses.

You can also use a personal loan to better manage your budget and tackle unexpected expenses. For example, if you get a car repair bill that's larger than you planned for, a personal loan can help you cover the extra cost so that your budget stays on track. It can also be an ideal solution to help you plan for a major medical procedure or significant life event.

Getting a personal loan may also be the right choice when you want to buy something now but can't pay the entire amount all at once like a vacation. It offers you peace of mind — you can finance a large purchase when it makes sense for you, without having to worry about taking a big hit to your monthly budget.

Benefits of Personal Loans

Not sure which type of loan to apply for? Personal loans have some advantages not covered by other loans:

  • Applying for the loan is easy. Since it's unsecured, you don't need to provide any collateral or property that can slow down the approval process.
  • Personal loans tend to get approved and funded quickly. Well-qualified clients can receive approval and funding either on the same day or the next business day when certain conditions of their financial institution are met.
  • Payments are fixed and easy to budget for. You pay a fixed rate of interest, which takes the guesswork out of planning to pay back your loan.
  • Choose a repayment schedule that's right for you. You may decide to pay a smaller loan back within two or three years or use a longer loan term for larger loans.

The Application Process

The process of getting a personal loan is typically easier than other loan types secured by some type of collateral. All that the borrower needs to do is complete an application which typically requires the borrower to provide basic personal information like name, social security number, address, date of birth, and income. In certain situations, additional information, like copies of recent pay stubs or tax returns may also be requested. Lastly, applicants will be required to give the financial institution permission to check their credit history. If a borrower chooses to apply with a cosigner, that person will also need to complete the same application.

And with tools such as e-sign, once a borrower is approved for a loan, they can execute the documents on their own time and they may even receive funds the same day. Personal loans can offer flexibility and speed, making it easier to budget for the things you need — from that larger upcoming purchase to the repair bill you didn't plan on.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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