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Best Banks for Personal Loans in Maryland for 2020

If you need to borrow money but lenders don’t offer a loan like a mortgage or auto loan that’s designed for your specific need, you might want to apply for a personal loan.

Personal loans are highly flexible loans that you can use for almost any purpose from home improvement to consolidating your debts.

Many banks and online lenders offer personal loans.

If you need a personal loan and live in Maryland, these are some of the best lenders that are available to you.

Biggest Lenders in Maryland

The biggest lenders in Maryland are:

  • M&T Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • SunTrust
  • BB&T
  • Sandy Spring Bank
  • Revere Bank
  • Citibank
  • Fulton Bank
  • First National Bank of Pennsylvania

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

Local Maryland Lender

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

  • TD Bank
  • United Bank
  • First United Bank & Trust

Working with a local lender can be tempting for a number of reasons.

One of the reasons is that it’s easy to find a local lender. You’re probably familiar with the options just from walking or driving past branches and seeing local advertising.

Local banks also have the advantage of working with many customers in your area. That means they’re familiar with the unique issues and needs facing the people in your state.

TD Bank 

TD Bank offers loans ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 with terms of up to 60 months. 

TD Bank is a solid choice if you need money fast. Loans under $25,000 can be approved and funded in just two business days. As a bonus, if you’re already a TD Bank customer, you can get a .25% rate discount if you sign up for automatic loan payments.

United Bank

United Bank is a great choice if you need to borrow a small amount of money. You can borrow as little as $1,000 if that’s all you need. The bank’s maximum loan is $20,000. Terms range from 12 to 60 months.

United Bank is also good if you need quick approval. The bank advertises that it can approve applications in as little as one day.

First United Bank & Trust

United Bank & Trust offers loans of $2,000 or more and does not advertise a maximum loan amount. You can choose from terms between 12 and 84 months, giving you the opportunity to customize your monthly payment.

As a bonus, you can set your own due date for your first payment, letting you set your payment dates around your paychecks or the beginning or end of the month.

Can Online Lenders Be a Good Alternative?

Local banks and lenders aren’t your only option when you’re looking for a personal loan.

There are many online lenders that offer better deals than their brick and mortar competitors. Most notably, online lenders tend to have lower interest rates and fees.

On top of their lower rates, some online lenders offer other benefits.

For example, Upstart is an online lender that uses more than just your credit score to make a lending decision. By considering your education and employment history, Upstart is able to offer loans to people who may not qualify by credit score alone.

Things to Compare

When you want to apply for any type of loan it’s in your best interest to shop around for a good deal. You’ll be spending the next few years paying the loan, so you want to make sure you pay as little interest as possible.

When you’re looking at different lenders, the first thing to do is think about the lenders that are likely to approve your application. Remember that some lenders only want to work with people with stellar credit. Others like to focus on those with lower scores. Try to work with a lender that targets consumers with similar financial profiles to yours.

Once you have a list of lenders that are likely to approve your application, look at their offerings and compare the following aspects of their loans.

Fees

When you borrow money, you have to pay interest. Many lenders will tack on fees that push the cost of borrowing money even higher.

When you get a personal loan, the most common type of fee is the origination fee. This is a percentage of the amount that you borrow that is added to the balance of your loan. Personal loans also have the typical late or missed payment fees that other loans charge.

Borrowing Terms

When you get your loan bill each month, it includes a payment due date and a minimum payment amount. The term of a loan is the amount of time that it will take to pay the loan back if you make the minimum payment each month.

Personal loans usually have terms ranging from 12 to 60 months, though some lenders offer longer or shorter terms.

Short terms result in higher monthly payments, but a lower overall cost of the loan. A long term will give you lower monthly payments but costs more in the long run. Aim to strike a balance between monthly affordability and total loan costs.

Lending Limits

Depending on your needs, you might need to borrow a large or small amount of money. Different lenders have different minimum and maximum loan amounts. Make sure that your lender of choice will offer a loan of the correct size.

Fund Disbursement Period

If you need money quickly, you’ll want to work with a lender that specializes in quick approvals and disbursement of funds. Some lenders can get money into your hands in just a few days, others can take weeks.

Relationship Discounts

If your bank offers personal loans, it’s worth checking how it stacks up against the competition. Don’t be afraid to ask if your bank offers a relationship discount. Many banks will give accountholders a discount if they also become loan customers.

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.

How to Improve Your Chances of Being Approved for a Personal Loan

When you apply for a personal loan, you want to make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance of qualifying. There are a few things you can do to help make sure you get the loan.

One is to make sure you have a strong credit score. While it can take years of timely payments to build a good score, there are some steps you can take to give your score a short-term boost.

One of the best strategies is to reduce your credit utilization ratio, which measures your debt compared to the limits of all your credit cards and loans. Pay down your balances and avoid using your cards for a month or two before applying for a loan to try to gain a few points in your score.

On top of your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio plays a role in your ability to qualify for loans. This ratio measures your annual income as compared to your total debt.

To reduce your debt-to-income ratio, you can pay down your debt or increase your income. Paying down debt is best as it will also boost your credit score. 

Boosting your income can be more difficult. If you decide to go this route, make sure that any additional income you receive is documented. If you’re paid under the table, your lender won’t take that income into consideration.

Best Uses for Personal Loans

Personal loans are so popular because of their flexibility. You can use them for almost any purpose, but here are some of the best reasons to apply for one.

Debt Consolidation

If you have multiple debts, such as from credit cards or other loans, you can use a personal loan to consolidate those debts into one. This makes them easier to manage by leaving you with just one monthly payment and can help reduce your interest rate.

Emergency/Medical Expenses

If you run into an emergency expense like a medical issue or a car repair, a personal loan can help you pay for the emergency instead of resorting to expensive credit card debt. It also helps you avoid letting the bill go to collections, which hurts your credit.

Home Improvement Projects

If you have a project you want to get off the ground, a personal loan can give you the extra cash that you need to get started. As a plus, you won’t have to go through the paperwork of getting a HELOC or home equity loan.