Whether you apply online, by phone, or in-person, the requirements to apply for a personal loan are often similar. But approval criteria may vary from institution to institution and, depending on the lender, you could be approved either in person or online. To qualify, you must be 18 years or older and will likely be required to present a valid government-issued photo ID that confirms your age and residence. Additionally, you may need to provide your:
- Social Security Number
- Proof of income
- Recent tax return
What do Lenders Look for In Online Personal Loan Applications?
Lenders will review several factors when reviewing your online loan application, which may include your credit history, credit score, income, and employment history. They may also consider your debt-to-income ratio. If you apply for a secured loan, they will assess the value of the asset provided as collateral.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recommends that you pull copies of your own credit reports, which you can obtain for free once annually from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian®, TransUnionTM, and Equifax®) at AnnualCreditReport.com. The CFPB recommends thoroughly reviewing the reports and attempting to fix any errors you discover before applying for your loan.
Process for Applying for an Online Personal Loan
To apply online, you can go to the lender’s website and follow the directions to submit your application. During the initial phase of your application, a lender may perform a soft credit inquiry to determine if you’re eligible for a loan offer; soft inquiries do not impact your credit score. However, if a lender performs a hard credit inquiry after you submit your application, the hard inquiry that may impact your credit score.
Typical questions you might encounter during your personal loan application include:
- What is your name and date of birth?
- How much would you like to borrow?
- How are you planning to use the funds?
- What is your citizenship status?
- What is your current address?
- Do you own or rent your home?
- Can you provide your phone numbers and email address?
- What is your Social Security Number?
- Can you provide verifiable income information?
- Are you willing to verify information and eSign documents?
Advantages of Applying for a Personal Loan Online
Some of the top reasons to apply for your personal loan online are accessibility, convenience, and the potential speed of approval. With an online application and approval, you don’t need to travel anywhere and can apply any time of the day or night from the comfort of your home or even a coffee shop. Some lenders may even provide approval the same day. Once approved, the funds can typically be deposited directly into your bank account.
Is an Online Loan Right for You?
Working with a reputable lender can offer a positive experience while going through the online loan application process. You should thoroughly vet a lender before sending any personal information, that can include checking online reviews and reviewing all available information.