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Best Banks for Personal Loans in Colorado for 2020

Personal loans are powerful financial tools that you can use to borrow money when you need some extra cash.

Unlike other loans, which can only be used for specific types of purchases, personal loans can be used for almost anything.

We've analyzed the personal loans from the top 30 local lenders in Colorado to identify the best borrowing options for residents.

Biggest Lenders in Colorado

The biggest lenders in Colorado are:

  • Wells Fargo
  • U.S. Bank
  • KeyBank
  • Bank of the West
  • Bank of Colorado
  • Alpine Bank
  • Independent Bank
  • First National Bank of Omaha
  • Zions Bank
  • BBVA

This list includes both national and local banks. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Local Colorado Lender

If you’re looking for a local lender in Colorado, you could consider one of these options:

  • FNBO
  • Zions Bank
  • BBVA

There are a number of good reasons to work with a local lender.

The first is that they’re easy to find. You probably know a few of the different banks in your town and walk or drive by them regularly. It would be simple enough to walk into a branch to apply for a loan.

Another is that local banks are experienced in dealing with the people in your area. People in the same region share many of the same financial characteristics and needs, so a local bank will be well-equipped to work with you and meet your needs.

FNBO

FNBO offers personal loans in partnership with Upstart, an online lender.

The borrowing terms are 3 years or 5 years with borrowing amounts that range from $1,000 to $50,000.

BBVA 

BBVA offers good personal loans with a catch. You can only apply for a loan from BBVA if you’ve received an invitation.

Terms range from 12 to 72 months and you can borrow up to $100,000. Online loan applications have a $35,000 limit.

BBVA is a good choice for people who need cash fast. The bank offers same-day funding for qualifying customers with a BBVA checking account.

Zions Bank

Zions Bank’s minimum loan is just $2,500, which makes it easy to borrow just as much as you need.

You can also secure a 0.25% interest rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments from your Zions Bank checking account.

Can Online Lenders Be a Good Alternative?

Local lenders are easy to find and they’re familiar with the needs of people in your area, but they aren’t always your best bet.

You can borrow money from an online lender regardless of where you live, which means there are a lot more options available to you.

It’s a good idea to compare all your options to find the best deal, especially because online lenders often have lower rates and fewer fees.

Even better:

Some online lenders will also give you a better chance of qualifying for a loan. Some use non-traditional methods, such as looking at your education or employment history, when making a lending decision.

If your credit isn’t perfect, this can help you qualify for a loan or secure a lower interest rate.

Factors to Consider

Loans have a lot of details, so it can be difficult to compare multiple loans to find the best deal. The best thing to do first is build a list of lenders that you think will approve your application.

Remember that each lender has a different type of borrower that it likes to work with and find lenders who like to work with people whose financial profiles match yours.

Once you have a list of lenders, compare these aspects of their loans.

Fees

When you borrow money, you have to pay for the privilege. Almost every loan charges interest but some loans charge fees on top of that interest.

The most common personal loan fee is the origination fee. This fee is a percentage of the amount that you borrow added to your balance when you get your first bill.

Personal loans also have other standard fees like late and missed payment fees.

Borrowing Terms

When you get your bill every month it will list a due date and minimum payment amount.

The term of a loan is the length of time it will take to pay the loan off if you follow the minimum payment schedule.

Short terms and long terms each have benefits and drawbacks.

  • Short terms lead to higher monthly payments but lower total costs.
  • Longer terms will give you more month-to-month flexibility, but cost more in the long run.

When choosing a term, aim to strike a balance between monthly affordability and total cost for the loan.

Borrowing limits

Each lender will have a loan minimum and maximum. Usually, these range from $3,000 to $35,000, though some lenders go as low as $1,000 or as high as $100,000.

Try to find a lender that offers a loan of exactly the right size. You don’t want to borrow more than you have to.

Loan disbursement speed

If you need money quickly, you’ll want to work with a lender that specializes in quickly getting money into your account.

Some lenders take days to fund loans while others take weeks.

Relationship discounts

If your bank offers personal loans, ask if it offers a relationship discount.

Many banks will give existing customers a reduced interest rate or fee waiver as a loyalty reward.

What Do You Need to Apply for a Personal Loan?

When you’re applying for any kind of loan, you have to provide some personal information that the bank can use to make a decision.

Expect to provide some or all of the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license
  • Social Security number
  • Annual income
    • Proof of income, such as bank statements or paystubs.

  • Verification of employment

As you fill out your application, make sure you take your time and provide all of the information requested. The fewer questions your lender has, the better your chances of getting a loan.

Increase Your Chances of Approval

When you’re applying for a loan, it’s in your best interest to give yourself the best possible chance of qualifying for the loan.

One of the most important factors in whether lenders approve your application is your credit score.

It can take years to build a strong credit score, but if your score is good, but not great, there are a few things you can do to give it a small boost.

Credit utilization ratio

One way to boost your credit score is to reduce your credit utilization ratio.

You can calculate this ratio by dividing your total debt by your total credit limits. The lower this ratio the better it is for your score.

You can reduce this ratio by making extra payments on your loans and by not using your credit cards for a month or two before applying for a loan.

Debt-to-income ratio

Another factor in your ability to get loans is your debt-to-income ratio. This ratio isn’t part of your credit score, but it is equally important.

Your debt-to-income ratio compares your total debt to your annual income. The lower the ratio, the better.

There are two ways to reduce the ratio.

The better option is to pay down your existing debts. This has the benefit of giving your credit score a boost as well. The second option is increasing your income.

This can be difficult, but if you decide to go this route, make sure that your additional income is properly documented.

If you get paid under the table at a side gig, lenders won’t consider that income when making a lending decision.

Best Uses for Personal Loans

Personal loans are highly flexible, which is one of the reasons that they’re so popular. These are some of the best reasons to apply for a personal loan.

Debt consolidation

You can use a personal loan to consolidate your existing debts, which turns multiple monthly payments into one that’s much easier to manage.

If you consolidate high-interest credit card debt, this can also save you money by reducing your rate.

Emergency expenses

If you have an emergency expense, you can use a personal loan to cover the bill.

Using a personal loan means you aren’t accruing expensive credit card debt and that the bill won’t go to collections, damaging your credit.

Home improvement projects

If you have a project that you want to start, a personal loan can get you the capital you need to get the project off the ground.