How to Get a $15,000 Personal Loan – Forbes Advisor – Forbes | CarTailz

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If you’re looking to renovate your kitchen, consolidate debt, or pay off another major expense, you might be looking for a $15,000 personal loan. There are many lenders offering $15,000 loans, so it pays to shop around to find the lowest interest rates and fees. Lenders typically offer the best interest rates to borrowers with strong credit ratings and stable incomes.

Follow these five steps to get a $15,000 loan.

1. Consider the qualification requirements

Before lenders approve you a $15,000 loan, they check your credit history, income, and other factors. While lending criteria vary by institution, some general qualifying requirements for personal loans include:

  • Recognition. Lenders check your creditworthiness to assess your risk as a borrower. Borrowers with a good credit rating (at least 670 according to the FICO rating model) usually get the best interest rates. You can check your credit for free with Experian and Equifax, or purchase it on myFICO.com. You can also check your credit history with a free annual report from AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Income. You also need a stable source of income to qualify for the loan. Lenders require payslips, W-2s, or other documentation to ensure you have the funds to repay the amount borrowed.
  • Debt to Income Ratio (DTI). When reviewing your application, lenders also look at your DTI ratio, which shows your monthly debt payments compared to your monthly gross income. Aim for a DTI ratio of 35% or less.

2. Prequalify with multiple lenders

A $15,000 loan is a hefty sum, so it pays to look for the best interest rate. Many lenders allow you to pre-qualify for a loan online, which means you can check what interest rates you may be eligible for without it affecting your credit score or your obligation to borrow.

Pre-qualification only takes a minute or two. You enter some basic personal details and agree to a soft credit request. After submitting your details, the lender will show you which offers you qualify for.

3. Compare your offers

Once you’ve collected a few loan offers, take some time to compare the details of each offer. Pay close attention to the interest rate and fees, including setup, withdrawal, application, and prepayment fees.

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a more comprehensive rate than the interest rate alone because it takes into account both interest and fees. The loan with the lowest APR is usually the cheapest.

The repayment terms you choose will also affect your borrowing costs. Lenders sometimes offer better rates for shorter loan terms and higher rates for longer terms.

4. Complete and submit your application

After you have decided on a loan offer, the next step is to fill out and submit your application. This application captures more detail than the prequalification form.

You enter your personal information such as your contact details and address and state the purpose of your loan. You will also upload verification documents such as Such as an ID card, proof of address, pay stubs, and W-2s.

Once you have signed and submitted your application, the lender will complete a hard credit request to verify your credit profile. Unlike the soft credit pull, this hard credit check could hurt your credit score by a few points. However, your score should recover quickly as long as you make payments on your loan on time.

5. Manage and repay your loan

After you complete your application, the lender will review your information and assess your creditworthiness. This process can take a few days or weeks, but some lenders can approve loans in 24 to 48 hours.

Once approved, the lender transfers the proceeds to your bank account, which you can use to pay for any approved expenses. Check your records to find out when your first payment is due. You pay back the loan monthly.

Some lenders offer a discount if you set up automatic payments from your bank account. Even if your lender doesn’t offer that rate cut, it might be a good idea to set up an automatic payment so you don’t miss a payment.

How to Get a $15,000 Bad Credit Loan

Bad credit can limit your options for a $15,000 loan. However, it’s still worth checking out, as some lenders have more flexible loan requirements than others. Start with your current bank or credit union, as they may offer perks to existing customers.

You can also look for a secured personal loan instead of an unsecured loan. Secured personal loans are backed by collateral such as a car letter or savings account. They tend to have looser credit requirements, but you risk losing your assets if you default on payments.

Some lenders also allow you to apply with a co-signer or co-borrower to offset a limited loan. Adding a creditworthy co-signer or co-borrower to your application can qualify you for a $15,000 loan if you cannot meet a lender’s requirements yourself.

Finally, you could take steps to improve your credit score before applying for the loan if you don’t need the loan right away. If you find errors on your credit report, dispute them. Paying off current loan balances and lowering your loan utilization can also improve your score.

Where to get a $15,000 loan

Long-term cost of a $15,000 loan

If you take out a $15,000 loan, you end up paying back more than $15,000. That’s because interest and fees add to your borrowing costs.

Your long-term costs vary depending on the plan, fee structure, and repayment terms. A higher interest rate increases your costs, while a lower interest rate makes your loan more affordable.

Let’s say you borrow a $15,000 loan with a five-year repayment period. If you get an interest rate of 10%, you’ll have $4,122.34 in interest over the life of your loan. If you can qualify for a 6% interest rate, your total interest expense drops to $2,399.52.

The repayment period you choose will also affect your long-term costs. A shorter term usually means lower interest costs, while a longer term means you pay more interest over the life of the loan.

Let’s go back to the example of a $15,000 loan at 10% interest. As mentioned, a five-year term equates to just over $4,100 in interest costs. However, your interest cost is only $2,424.28 with a three-year term. Alternatively, a seven-year term would mean interest costs of $5,917.49.

Use a calculator to estimate your borrowing costs

Forbes Advisor Personal Loan Calculator can help you estimate your long-term cost of taking out a $15,000 loan with different repayment terms. As you tally the numbers, try to find a term that makes your monthly loan payment affordable while keeping long-term interest costs low.

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