Personal loans are highly flexible loans that you can use for almost anything.
Whether it be an unexpected medical expense, a home improvement project, or anything else, a personal loan can help you get the cash that you need.
Many lenders offer personal loans, with different lenders specializing in different things.
If you live in North Carolina and want to apply for a personal loan, these are some of the best lenders in the area.
The Biggest Lenders in North Carolina
The largest lenders in North Carolina are:
- Wells Fargo
- First Citizens Bank
- SunTrust Bank
- PNC Bank
- First National Bank
- First Tennessee Bank
- Fifth Third Bank
- Southern Bank and Trust
- United Community Bank
- HomeTrust Bank
This list contains both national and local banks.
Local North Carolina Lenders
If you want to work with a bank that is local to North Carolina, we recommend:
- TD Bank
- Fifth Third Bank
- PNC Bank
Local lenders are a good choice because they’re easy to find. There should be plenty of branches in your area. Local lenders also tend to have experience with the types of service that people in the area need, making them better able to assist you.
TD Bank is a good choice for people who are under time pressure. Loans under $25,000 can be funded in as little as two business days.
As an additional perk, if you’re already a TD Bank customer, you can get a .25% rate discount if you sign up for automatic loan payments.
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $25,000. You must have an existing Fifth Third checking or savings account to apply.
Fifth Third’s loans have terms that range from 12 to 60 months, giving you the option to get a truly short-term loan. You can also customize your first payment due date, giving yourself up to 45 days to make your first payment.
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 if you apply for a secured personal loan. You’ll have to provide collateral, but it can be easier to qualify for secured loans than for unsecured loans.
Can Online Lenders Be a Good Alternative?
Online lenders are a popular alternative to working with a traditional lender.
Online banks and lending companies are usually cheaper to run than their brick and mortar competitors.
Online lenders are able to charge fewer fees and lower interest rates.
Some online lenders bring other benefits to the table.
For example, some online lenders will use non-traditional methods when considering your loan application. Your employment history and your education can have an impact on the decision.
If your credit is less than perfect, bringing these additional factors into the equation can help you qualify for a loan.
Things to Look at When Comparing Lenders
When you’re considering applying for a personal loan, you should take the time to compare the different lenders that you can work with.
The first step is to determine which lenders are likely to approve your application.
Remember that different lenders may have different specialties. Some focus on borrowers with almost perfect credit while others focus on borrowers with less than great scores.
Try to focus on lenders that tend to work with people that have similar financial and credit profiles to yours.
Once you’ve settled on a list of lenders who are likely to approve your application, consider the following factors.
Like almost everything in the world of finance, personal loans often carry fees.
One of the most common fees that you’ll face is the origination fee. This fee is a percentage of the amount that you borrow that is added on to your starting balance.
Another common type of fee is the late payment fee, so make sure to make all your payments before their due date.
A loan’s term is the amount of time that you will take to pay it back, assuming you make the minimum payment every month. Some lenders have loan terms as short as 6 months or as long as 7 years or more.
Longer terms will result in smaller monthly payments but leave more time for interest to accrue. This means that you’ll pay more in the long run.
Shorter terms leave less month-to-month flexibility but result in the loan being paid off more quickly. This will save you money in the long run as you’ll pay less interest.
Borrowing minimum and maximum
Depending on the lender that you want to work with, you can borrow different amounts of money.
Some lenders will lend as much as $100,000 or as little as $1,000.
Whichever lender you choose, make sure that you can borrow exactly the amount that you need.
Speed of disbursement
Sometimes, you just need money quickly for a financial emergency and the speed of fund disbursement will drive your decision.
Some lenders specialize in quick approvals and deposits, others take longer, so know which type of lender you’re working with.
Check if your current bank offers personal loans.
If it does, you might be able to save money by getting a relationship discount, whether it be reduced interest or reduced fees.
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:
- 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?
Once you’ve decided to apply for a personal loan, you should take steps to give yourself the best chance of qualifying.
Unfortunately, building a good credit score can take years.
The good news:
There are short-term methods to give your score a small boost.
One tip is to reduce your credit utilization ratio. This ratio measures your total debts compared to the total amount of credit that has been extended to you. You can reduce this ratio by paying down your debts and not using your credit cards for a month or two.
While your debt-to-income ratio isn’t part of your credit score, it also plays a part in your ability to qualify for loans. This ratio measures your total debt compared to your annual income.
To reduce this ratio, you can pay down your debts (which also boosts your credit score) or increase your income. Lenders only consider documented income, so make sure that you don’t take a side gig with under the table pay if you’re trying to improve this ratio.
Best Uses for Personal Loans
Personal loans can be used for almost anything, but not all purposes are created equally. These are some of the best uses for personal loans.
If you have credit card or other debt, a personal loan can help you consolidate multiple debts into one monthly payment.
This can make your debts easier to manage and help you save money by reducing your interest rate.
Consolidating debt can also reduce your monthly payments, making it easier for you to get by month to month.
Emergency or medical expenses
Sometimes, an emergency comes up or you get injured. Your health is the most important thing.
It cannot be replaced.
Using a personal loan to deal with a medical expense or to keep your car running so that you can still get to and from work is a good idea.
Home improvement projects
If you own your home and want to undertake some kind of project to improve it, you’ll need cash.
Rather than take out a home equity line of credit or a second mortgage, a personal loan can provide the lump-sum cash that you need for a home improvement project.
Your rates might be slightly higher, but you won’t have to worry about using your home to secure the loan.