Best Banks for Personal Loans in Washington State for 2019

For borrowers in Washington looking for a personal loan, there are plenty of great lenders in serving the area and its local residents.

Unlike loans like mortgages or auto loans, which can only be used for a specific purpose, personal loans can be used for almost any reason.

Whether you have a bill to pay or a project to start, you can use a personal loan to get the money you need.

We've analyzed personal loans offered by the top 20 banks in Washington state to help find the best options from local lenders.

The Biggest Lenders in Washington

The largest lenders in Washington are:

  • Wells Fargo
  • US Bank
  • KeyBank
  • Umpqua Bank
  • Columbia State Bank
  • Washington Trust
  • HomeStreet Bank
  • Peoples Bank
  • 1st Security Bank of Washington
  • Cashmere Valley Bank

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

Local Washington Lenders

If you want to work with a bank that is local to Washington, we recommend that you work with one of these banks:

  • HSBC
  • KeyBank
  • US Bank

Working with local lenders can be a great experience for a number of reasons.

One simple one is that they’re easy to find. You probably drive by some local banks that offer personal loans every day.

Local banks may be more inclined to help borrowers in the neighborhood.

HSBC

HSBC offers personal loans with the perk of letting you check your rate online with no impact to your credit score.

The bank’s loans range from $3,000 to $50,000 with terms of 24 to 60 months. Your first payment will be due 50 days from the opening of the loan.

KeyBank

KeyBank offers loans of at least $5,000 with terms as long as 84 months. If you need a low monthly payment, that makes KeyBank one of your best options.

Current KeyBank customers can receive a relationship discount of 0.25% off their loan’s interest rate by signing up for automatic payment from their checking account.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank offers personal loans as large as $25,000 and terms as long as 5 years.

There is no origination fee and you can apply for a loan online.

Can Online Lenders Be a Good Alternative?

Before you decide on a local lender to work with, you should take some time to assess all of your options.

That means:

Consider online lenders.

Many online lenders offer lower interest rates than brick and mortar lenders.

Online lenders have benefits beyond the money that you can save. Many lenders offer other benefits such as easier approval through non-traditional underwriting factors, such as your employment history, job field, and education.

How to Compare Personal Loans

When applying for any type of loan, it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal.

If you take the time, you can save a lot of money on interest and fees.

The first step when shopping around is putting together a list of lenders who are likely to approve your application. Different lenders prefer to lend money to different types of people. Some focus on working with those who have excellent credit.

Others prefer to work with those whose credit score is a bit lower. Try to find a lender that targets consumers with a similar financial profile to yours.

Once you’ve come up with your list of potential lenders, look at the loans that each offers and compare the following aspects of each loan.

Fees

Borrowing money isn’t free. You have to pay interest on almost any loan you get. Some loans will add to the cost by charging 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

With personal loans, the most common fee you’ll face is the origination fee. This fee will be added to your loan balance when the bank gives you the money. Usually, the fee is a small percentage of the money that you borrow.

You’ll also have to worry about standard loan fees, like missed payment fees.

Borrowing terms

Each month, you’ll get a bill for your loan, including a minimum payment that you must send.

The term of a loan is the amount of time that it will take to pay the loan off, assuming you make the minimum payment each month.

Most personal loans have a term ranging from 1 to 5 years, but some lenders offer shorter or longer terms.

If you choose a shorter term, you’ll have higher monthly payments but the loan will cost less overall.

A longer term will result in smaller monthly payments but a higher total cost. You should aim to strike a balance between monthly affordability and low total cost.

Lending limits

Each lender will be willing to lend a different amount of money.

Some lenders have no issues with letting you borrow $100,000. Others can’t lend more than $20,000 at a time.

You don’t want to borrow too much or too little money for your financial need, so make sure to find a lender that is willing to lend the right amount.

Fund disbursement speed

If you’re in a bind, sometimes you just need to get money quickly.

Some personal lenders can approve and fund a loan in a day or two.

Others can take weeks. Make sure to find a quick lender if you need money quickly.

Relationship Discounts

What Do You Need to Apply for a Personal Loan?

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

Taking the time to fully complete any application and to provide all of the requisite documents is important.

The fewer questions that your lender has, the better your chances of getting a loan.

If you don’t provide sufficient info, it can delay the process or result in your application being denied.

Preparing a Strong Application

If you’re applying for a loan, you want to make sure that you have the best possible chance of qualifying.

To improve your chances, there are a few steps that you can take.

One thing that you can do is take steps to improve your credit score, as your credit has a huge effect on your ability to get 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.

One strategy is to reduce your credit utilization ratio, which is the ratio of your debt to the total credit limit you have across all of your credit cards.

You can do this by paying down your card balances and not using your cards for the month or two leading up to the application.

While your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t affect your credit score, it also impacts your ability to qualify for loans.

This ratio is found by dividing your total debt by your annual income.

The lower the ratio the better.

Paying down debt is the best way to reduce this ratio as it will also boost your credit score.

The other way to improve this ratio is to increase your income, which can be difficult. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you don’t do so by finding an under-the-table job.

Lenders will only consider documented income when making a lending decision.

Best Reasons for Personal Loans

One of the best aspects of personal loans is how flexible they are. You can use them for almost anything.

Here are some of the best ways to use personal loans.

Debt consolidation

If you have credit card debt or multiple other loans, you can use a personal loan to consolidate your debt.

This will turn multiple monthly bills into one, easy to manage payment.

It can also reduce your monthly payment and your interest rate.

Unexpected expenses

If you have a financial or medical emergency and need some extra cash to cover the expense, a personal loan can be a good way to do so.

It lets you avoid expensive credit card debt and means that the bill won’t go to collections, which hurts your credit.

Home improvement

If you want to work on a home improvement project, a personal loan can give you the capital you need to get started.

As a bonus, you won’t have to deal with the additional paperwork and requirements that HELOCs and home equity loans have.

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