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Best Banks for Personal Loans in Missouri for 2020

When you’re looking to borrow money, sometimes there are loans designed precisely to meet your needs.

For example, you can get a mortgage if you’re looking to buy a home or an auto loan to buy a car. Personal loans are different. You can get a personal loan for almost any reason.

Missouri has many regional banks that offer personal loans to local residents.

We've analyzed the personal loans offered by 30 largest Missouri banks to find the best choices for you. As always, be sure to compare all loan details before submitting an application.

The Biggest Lenders in Missouri

The largest lenders in Missouri are:

  • U.S. Bank
  • UMB Bank
  • Commerce Bank
  • Enterprise Bank & Trust
  • Regions Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • First Bank
  • Arvest Bank
  • Southern Bank

This list contains both national and local banks.

Local Missouri Lenders

If you want to work with a bank that is local to Missouri, we recommend:

  • BMO Harris Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • MidWest BankCentre

There are a few reasons why your first instinct may be to work with a local lender.

One is that you’re probably already familiar with your local lenders and they’re easy to find. You might walk to drive past a few banks on your average day.

Local banks also have the advantage of being familiar with people who live in your area. This means that they’ll be well-equipped to help with issues that are common among people in your state.

BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris offers loans from $1,500 to $35,000 with borrowing terms of 12 to 72 months.

There aren’t any special features to be aware of but you should know that there is a $75 processing fee when you receive your loan.

PNC Bank

PNC Bank offers unsecured personal loans of $1,000 to $35,000, with terms ranging from 6 to 60 months.

This makes it a great lender if you want to borrow money for a very short amount of time.

If you need to borrow more, you can borrow as much as $100,000 by opting for a secured personal loan. You’ll need to provide collateral, but it can be easier to qualify for secured loans than for unsecured loans.

MidWest BankCentre

If you have excellent credit and need to borrow a small amount of money, MidWest BankCentre is a great choice.

If you need flexibility, you should look elsewhere. You can borrow a maximum of $5,000 from the bank and you’re locked into a 5-year term.

Can Online Lenders Be a Good Alternative?

When you’re looking for a personal loan, your local banks and lenders aren’t your only options.

Many lenders operate over the internet and you can apply for their loans regardless of where you live.

Even better:

Many online lenders have better interest rates and lower fees than their brick and mortar competitors.

Another benefit of online lenders is that some use non-traditional methods to make lending decisions. 

Things to Look at When Comparing Lenders

If you’re applying for a loan, you should take the time to shop around for the best loan available.

It takes years to pay loans off, so you want to make sure the loan you pick is one you’re willing to deal with a few years down the road.

When you’re looking at different lenders, remember that each lender has a target market.

Some lenders only want to work with people who have great credit.

Others prefer to work with consumers whose credit score is a bit lower. Think about which lenders are likely to give you a loan and put them in a list.

Once you have a list of lenders who you think will approve your application, look at their loans and compare the following things.

Fees

Nearly every loan charges interest, but some charge additional fees that can push to cost of your loan even higher.

When you get a personal loan, you might have to pay an origination fee. This fee is a percentage of the amount that you borrow and is tacked on to your loan’s balance when you get the first bill. Look for a lender that doesn’t charge this fee.

Like all loans, personal loans carry standard fees like late or missed payment fees.

Borrowing Terms

Every month, you’ll get a bill with a due date and a minimum payment amount. The term of a loan is the length of time it will take for you to pay the loan back by following the minimum payment schedule. Most personal loans have terms of 12 to 60 months, though some lenders offer longer or shorter options.

Short terms mean 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

The amount that you need to borrow will depend on the reason you’re looking for a loan.

Remember that each lender has its own minimum and maximum loan amounts and look for lenders that offer a loan of the appropriate size for your need.

Fund Disbursement Period

When you’re applying for a personal loan it might be due to a financial emergency. If you need money quickly, look for lenders that specialize in quick application approval and funding.

Rate discounts

If your bank offers personal loans, don’t be afraid to take a look at its offerings and ask whether the bank offers a relationship discount. Many banks will give a discount to customers who also apply for a loan.

What Do You Need to Apply for a Personal Loan?

When you apply for a personal loan, you have to provide some identifying information that the lender can use to check your credit and make a lending 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

Though providing this much information might sound daunting, the more info you provide, the better.

The more information that you provide, the easier the application process will be. The last thing you want is to leave lenders with questions about your finances or identity. This will slow down the process. In the worst case, it could result in your application being denied.

How Can You Increase Your Chances of Getting a Personal Loan?

When you apply for any type of loan, you want to give yourself the best possible chance of qualifying for the loan. There are some tips that you can follow to help your odds.

Your credit score is one of the most important aspects in determining your ability to get a loan.

You want to make sure you have a good score when you apply.

While building a strong credit score can take years of timely payments, there are quick ways to boost your score in the short-term.

One of the best methods to give your score a quick boost is to reduce your credit utilization ratio, which is your total debt divided by the limits of all your cards and loans combined. Pay down your existing balances and avoid using your card for a month or two before applying to reduce this ratio.

Your debt-to-income ratio is another important ratio when it comes to getting a loan. This ratio compares your total debt across all accounts to your annual income.

There are two ways to reduce this ratio: pay down your debts and increase your income.

Paying down debts is the better option as it also increases 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

One of the main reasons that personal loans are popular is that they’re highly flexible. You can use them for nearly anything, but these are some of the best reasons to get a personal loan.

Debt Consolidations

If you have existing debt, you can use a personal loan to consolidate your bills into one loan. You’ll only have one monthly payment to make and might be able to reduce your interest rate.

Emergency/Medical Expenses

If you have an emergency like a medical bill or a car breakdown, a personal loan can help you cover the cost. It also lets you avoid letting the bill go to collections, which will damage your credit.

Home Improvement Projects

If you have a project that you want to start, you can use a personal loan to get the cash you need to get it off the ground. As a bonus, you avoid the paperwork and risk involved with a HELOC or home equity loan.