Whether you need help covering an unexpected bill or want to get a head start on a project, a personal loan can help you fill that need.
Unlike a mortgage or auto loan, you can use personal loans for almost any reason.
If you live in Massachusetts, there are plenty of local lenders that offer personal loans to its residents.
We analyzed the personal loans offered at the 30 largest lenders in Massachusetts to help you narrow down the best options to consider.
Then, compare them to online personal loans that are available to Massachusetts borrowers as well.
Biggest Personal Loan Lenders in Massachusetts
The biggest lenders in Massachusetts are:
- Citizens Bank
- Santander Bank
- TD Bank
- Eastern Bank
- First Republic Bank
- People's United Bank
- Berkshire Bank
- Middlesex Savings Bank
- Century Bank and Trust
- Brookline Bank
This list includes both national and local banks. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Local Massachusetts Personal Loan Lenders
If you’re looking for a local lender in Massachusetts, you could consider one of these options:
- Eastern Bank
- Webster Bank
- United Bank
There are a lot of reasons that you might want to work with local lenders.
One obvious one is that they’re easy to find.
probably drive or walk past multiple banks in a day. You can just stop in to ask about their lending options.
Another reason to work with a local bank is that they are experienced in lending to people who live in your area.
That makes them better able to provide the services that people in your region need.
Eastern Bank offers personal loans and personal lines of credit that you can use to meet your financial needs.
With Eastern Bank’s personal loans, you can borrow between $2,000 and $25,000 with a term of up to 60 months.
You can receive an interest rate discount of .5% if you sign up for automatic payments on your loan> You’ll get an additional .5% off if you sign up for automatic payments from an Eastern Bank account.
Webster Bank offers personal loans with in-branch applications.
You can borrow as little as $3,000 or as much as $25,000 for a term of up to five years.
Webster Bank customers can get a .25% interest rate discount by signing up for automatic payments from their Webster Bank checking account.
United Bank (a part of People's United Bank) is a solid choice of lender 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.
Can Online Lenders Be a Good Alternative?
Before you settle on working with a local lender, you should take some time to consider all of the options available to you.
That includes online lenders. Many online lenders offer much better deals than brick and mortar lenders.
Beyond their better interest rates and lower fees, there are many reasons to use an online lender.
Some use non-traditional methods when making lending decisions.
By looking at things like your education and employment history, these lenders can provide loans to people who might have trouble getting a loan based on their credit score alone.
Things to Compare
When you’re thinking about applying for a loan, you should take some time to shop around for a good deal. If you put in the effort, you can save a lot of money on fees and interest.
The first thing that you should do when shopping around is to put together a list of lenders who you think are likely to approve your application.
Each lender prefers certain types of customers. Some have a reputation for only working with customers with excellent credit. Others are more liberal with the people that they lend to.
Try to come up with a list of lenders that like to lend to other people with a financial profile like yours.
Once you’ve come up with a list of lenders, look at each of their personal loans and compare the following aspects of each loan.
Almost every loan charges interest, but there may also be fees on top of the interest.
Common Personal Loan Fees
|Type of fee||Typical cost|
|Application fee||$25 to $50|
|Origination fee||1% to 6% of the loan amount|
|Prepayment penalty||2% to 5% of the loan amount|
|Late payment fee||$25 to $50 or 3% to 5% of monthly payment|
|Returned check fee||$20 to $50|
|Payment protection insurance||1% of the loan amount|
When applying for a personal loan, the most common type of fee that you’ll face is the origination fee.
This fee is added to your loan balance when the money is disbursed. Typically, the fee is a percentage of the amount that you borrow.
Like most loans, personal loans also charge fees like late or missed payment fees.
You’ll get a bill from your lender every month, giving you a minimum payment amount and a due date.
The term of a loan is the amount of time that it will take for you to pay the loan off by making the minimum payment each month.
Most personal loans have a term of 12 to 60 months, but some lenders offer longer or shorter terms.
- Short terms result in higher monthly payments, but a lower overall cost of the loan.
- Longer term will give you lower monthly payments but costs more in the long run.
Try to strike a balance between monthly affordability and total loan costs.
Different lenders will be willing to lend different amounts.
Some lenders have no issues lending as much as $100,000 or more. Others won’t be willing to give you more than $20,000 at a time.
When you’re borrowing money, you want to borrow as close to the amount that you actually need as possible.
This lets you avoid paying unnecessary interest, so look for a lender who will let you borrow the right amount.
Fund disbursement speed
Sometimes, you just need to get money quickly. Different personal lenders take different lengths of time to approve and fund a loan.
Some can get you your money in a day or two.
Others can take weeks.
If you need money quickly, look for a lender who can approve your loan quickly.
Many banks also offer personal loans. If yours does, check to see if your bank offers perks to account holders who get a personal loan.
Many will give you an interest rate reduction based on your balance or if you sign up for automatic payments.
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:
- 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
When you’re filling out your application, take your time and provide as much information and documentation as possible.
The fewer question you leave your lender, the better your chances of getting the loan.
How to Improve Your Chances of Being Approved for a Personal Loan
When you apply for a loan of any kind, you want to give yourself the best chance of qualifying for the loan.
Here are a few steps you can take to give yourself the best shot of qualifying for a loan.
Your credit score plays a major role in whether you get approved or not, so increasing your credit score can help you qualify for a loan.
Building good credit can take years of timely payments, but there are a few ways to give your score a short-term boost.
Credit utilization ratio
One method is to reduce your credit utilization ratio – the ratio of your debt to the total credit limits you have across all of your credit cards.
To do this, pay down your card balance and avoid using your card for a month or two before applying for a loan.
Your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t affect your credit, but it’s another factor in your ability to get a loan. The lower this ratio, the better.
To reduce your debt-to-income ratio, try to pay down your debts. This will also give your credit score a boost.
The other option is increasing your income.
If you decide to go this route, make sure that any additional income you receive is documented for proof.
Best Uses for Personal Loans
One of the reasons that personal loans are so popular is that they are highly flexible.
Here are some of the best ways to use a personal loan.
If you have multiple debts, especially credit card debt, consolidating those loans into one personal loan can be a good idea.
It’ll leave you with just one payment each month and can reduce your interest rates.
If you have a financial or medical emergency, a personal loan can help you cover the bills while avoiding expensive credit card debt.
It also means your bills won’t go to collections, hurting your credit.
If you want to get started on a home improvement project, a personal loan can help you get the funds to get started.
Even better, you won’t have to put your home on the line like you would for a home equity loan or HELOC.