If you find yourself in a financial emergency, you may want to borrow money to cover your financial needs. One of the most popular ways to do this is with a personal loan.
What is a Personal Loan?
A personal loan is a highly flexible type of loan offered by many banks and specialized lenders.
Unlike mortgages or auto loans, which are designed for specific purposes, you can use the money you borrow with a personal loan for almost anything. Personal loans are great for consolidating debt, paying a car repair bill, or funding a project.
Beyond their flexibility, personal loans are useful because they tend to offer reasonable interest rates. Where credit cards often charge double-digit interest rates, many lenders offer low rates on personal loans to people with good credit histories. This makes them a good way to borrow money at a low cost.
Many personal lenders also offer secured personal loans. These loans require some form of collateral, often a CD at the lending bank, but are easier to qualify for and charge even lower interest rates than the typical unsecured personal loan.
Why are Personal Loans Good for Emergencies?
Personal loans are good for emergencies for a variety of reasons.
One is that there are many banks and lenders that offer them. You can easily find half a dozen or more lenders to work with. This gives you the opportunity to compare multiple lenders and find the best deal for your situation.
Another is their customizability. Typically lenders will let you borrow anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. You can also choose repayment terms ranging from two to five years. Some lenders, of course, break this mold, letting you borrow up to $100,000 or extend your repayment out to seven years or longer.
This customizability is very useful because it makes it easy for you to set your monthly payment at an amount that falls within your budget.
Good Personal Lenders for Emergencies
If you’re facing a financial emergency and need to borrow money, there are many lenders that can help you. Here are a few of our favorites.
LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending site that can help people borrow up to $40,000 for anything from refinancing your credit cards to paying for a hospital bill.
When you apply for a loan through LendingClub, you’ll outline why you need to borrow money and how much you want to borrow. Then, investors will get to view your loan details and the risk score that LendingClub assigns to your loan based on your credit. Investors can pledge a certain amount of their money to your loan if they want to help fund it.
When investors fully fund your loan, you’ll get the money and can use it to cover your financial emergency. When you pay your bill each month, LendingClub distributes it to the investors based on how much they invested in your loan.
A drawback of LendingClub is that it’s somewhat less flexible than other personal loans. The only available repayment terms are three and five years, which makes it harder to adjust your monthly payment.
Prosper.com offers personal loans between $2,000 and $40,000, making it a great choice for needs both small and large.
You can easily get an interest rate quote from the company’s website without impacting your credit and you can choose from a loan term of three or five years, giving you some chance to determine your monthly payment.
Prosper.com offers quick funding, as little as three days, and keeps the fees to a minimum. For example, the company doesn’t charge an early repayment fee if you want to pay down your balance ahead of schedule.
Even Financial isn’t a lender itself. Instead, its service lets you compare multiple offers from top personal lenders.
What’s great about Even Financial is that it can match you with lenders that meet incredibly specific needs. Do you want to borrow $100,000, an amount that most lenders won’t be willing to lend? Even can help you find lenders who can lend large amounts. Do you have poor credit? Even has a network of lenders that specialize in lending to people with less than ideal credit histories.
Best of all, Even doesn’t charge a fee for its services, so you can compare loan options for free.
The primary drawback of Even is that the company only refers you to lenders in its network. There might be other options out there that can give you a better deal, so it shouldn’t be the only place you shop for your lender comparison.
Monevo is a loan matching platform that seeks to connect borrowers who need funds with lenders who offer loans.
A standout feature from other loan aggregators is Monevo works in real time, meaning you get rates that are the most accurate and up to date as possible.
Once you submit your information, Monevo’s award-winning technology communicates with lenders instantly. This means you, the borrower, can quickly see which lenders are willing to make an offer and can get the loan process started as soon as possible.
Credible is a marketplace providing borrowers with the opportunity to get competitive loan offers from multiple lenders, which are some of the biggest names in the industry.
They offer many types of loans, including student loans, student loan refinances, personal loans, mortgages and credit cards.
After submitting an application to Credible’s system, borrowers get to see lenders’ real-time rates, not just a range, before they decide to move forward with the loan process.
Facing a financial emergency is more common than you think. Fortunately there are plenty of personal loan options available to fit each person’s unique situation. And these personal loans can go a long way to ensure your financial future and credit score. Start using the resources above to find the perfect loan to get you through your financial emergency.