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Best Personal Loans in Minnesota in 2020

Minnesota is home to plenty of great options for borrowers who are seeking personal loans.

With one of the highest average credit scores in the country, Minnesota residents can qualify for low interest rates on these loans.

Personal loans are flexible loans that you can use for almost any reason, such as financing a vacation, paying for a home improvement project, or consolidating some existing debt.

If you need to borrow a small to medium amount of money, there are many lenders that may be willing to work with you, including local banks and credit unions.

If you’re looking for a personal loan in Minnesota, we’ll discuss some of your best options.

Best Personal Loans in Minnesota

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

  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Think Mutual Bank

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is one of the largest banks in the United States. It offers flexible personal loans to borrowers in Minnesota and across the country.

One of the perks of U.S. Bank’s loans is that the minimum amount that you have to borrow is just $1,000.

That makes it easy to borrow exactly the amount you need rather than having to get a larger than necessary loan.

Another perk is that U.S. Bank doesn’t charge origination fees. Many lenders will charge a fee when you first receive your loan, either reducing the amount you receive or boosting your initial balance. All this does for you is make your loan more expensive than it seemed at first glance, so avoiding the fee is a good thing.

U.S. Bank’s interest rates are also competitive. While you might find lower rates elsewhere, they won’t be significantly low, making U.S. Bank a fine choice for most situations.

Wells Fargo

If you bank with Wells Fargo or need to borrow a large amount, Wells Fargo’s personal loans might be the right choice for you.

The minimum loan amount with Wells Fargo is $3,000 which is slightly higher than the competition, but the maximum amount is a whopping $100,000.

There are very few lenders who are willing to let people borrow such large amounts without offering collateral of some sort. That makes Wells Fargo a good choice for people with strong credit and large borrowing needs.

Like U.S. Bank Wells Fargo doesn’t charge origination fees. The bank also doesn’t charge a prepayment fee, giving you the freedom to pay your loan off ahead of schedule.

The bank’s rates are competitive, but customers who have a bank account with Wells Fargo receive a .25% relationship discount, driving the costs down further.

Think Mutual Bank

Think Mutual Bank is another good option for people who live in Minnesota.

The bank charges reasonable rates, though the rates increase as the loan’s term, which can range from 12 to 60 months, increases.

Additionally, the bank doesn’t charge fees, like origination fees or prepayment fees, on its loan.

One perk that some people may appreciate is the option to apply for payment protection insurance.

This coverage can make your monthly payments for you if you pass away or become disabled and unable to work and pay your bills.

If this is a concern for you, the extra peace of mind might be worth the small cost of the service.

Can Online Lenders Be a Good Alternative?

While working with a local lender is often a good choice, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of online lenders that may be better alternatives.

Many banks offer loans through their websites and there are a number of dedicated online lenders that are worth considering.

One perk of working with online-only lenders is that some of them use non-traditional methods for determining your creditworthiness.

While banks generally consider your income, employment, and credit history, non-traditional lenders may look at other things like your educational history, which can help you qualify for loans or lower interest rates if your credit is less than perfect.

Biggest Personal Loan Lenders in Minnesota

The biggest lenders in Minnesota are:

  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Bremer Bank
  • TCF National Bank
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Old National Bank
  • Bell Bank
  • Associated Bank
  • Think Mutual Bank
  • Merchants Bank 

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

Factors to Compare

When you’re applying for any kind of loan, including personal loans, it’s in your best interest to shop around for the best deal.

While you’re comparison shopping, keep a close eye on these aspects of the loan.

Fees

No matter what type of loan you’re applying for, some lenders will try to charge fees.

For personal loans, the most common type of fee is the origination fee. This fee is typically a percentage of the amount you’re borrowing and is deducted from the amount before it’s deposited to your bank account or tacked on to your initial loan balance.

Either way, it makes your loan more expensive, so look for a lender that doesn’t charge this fee.

Another fee to watch out for is the prepayment fee, which you have to pay if you pay your loan off ahead of schedule. If you plan to make extra payments toward your loan, try to avoid lenders that charge this fee.

Borrowing terms

When you apply for a personal loan, your lender will likely give you a few options for the loan term.

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

In general, you want to find a lender that offers a variety of terms.

Short-term loans tend to have higher monthly payments but often come with lower interest rates. Even with the same rate, short-term loans leave less time for interest to accrue, making them cheaper overall.

Long-term loans cost less each month, but leave more time for interest to accrue, so they cost more overall. 

Try to choose a term that strikes a balance between an affordable monthly payment and a reasonable total cost.

Lending limits

Different lenders will be willing to lend different amounts to borrowers.

Some won’t bother making a loan for anything less than a few thousand dollars. Others won’t be willing to let someone borrow more than $20,000 or so.

When you get a loan, you want to borrow exactly as much as you need to pay for whatever expense you’re trying to cover. Borrowing too little won’t let you accomplish your goal and borrowing too much just increases the fees and interest cost of your loan.

Fund disbursement speed

Sometimes, when you’re applying for a personal loan, it’s because you need cash fast.

If that’s the case for you, look for a lender that can get the money in your account quickly instead of one that takes a few weeks to consider your application and fund the loan.

Relationship discounts

Many banks offer relationship discounts to customers who have other loans or bank accounts.

Having all of your financial accounts and loans in one place is convenient, so check with your bank to see if it offers a relationship discount and whether that helps make its loans competitive.

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’re applying for a loan, one of the most important factors in your application’s chances is your credit score.

The best way to build a good credit score is to make timely payments on your bills consistently, never missing or making a late payment.

In the short-term, it’s harder to boost your score, but one good way to do so is to pay down your existing debts. The less money you owe, the better it will be for your credit score.

Not using your credit cards for a month or two before applying can also help reduce your balances.

This is particularly helpful because the amount you owe also affects your debt-to-income ratio.

This ratio doesn’t affect your credit but does play a role in your ability to qualify for loans. The more you make and the less you owe, the better your chances of getting a loan.

Best Uses for Personal Loans

There are a lot of reasons to apply for a personal loan and you can use the money you borrow for almost any purpose.

Still, some reasons are better than others, and these are some of the better reasons.

Debt consolidation

If you have multiple debts, it can get tiring to have to make multiple monthly payments. You can use a personal loan to consolidate your loans into a single monthly payment.

If you have expensive debt, like credit card debt, this can even help you save money by reducing the interest rate of the debt.

Emergency and medical expenses

If you run into an emergency, like a broken-down car or a trip to the hospital, a personal loan can be a good way to cover that cost if you don’t have the savings to pay the bill.

This can help you avoid using a credit card, which can be very expensive or letting your bill go to collections, damaging your credit.

Home improvement projects

If you want to start a home improvement project, a personal loan can give you the funds needed.

While their rates are often higher, it’s typically much easier to apply for a personal loan than it is a home equity loan or line of credit.