Need cash to finance a home improvement project or consolidate debt? Take out a personal loan. Here is a step-by-step process to help you apply for your personal loan:

Run a Quick Number Check

It is a good idea to add up the numbers and see how much money you need to borrow while applying for a personal loan. Even though the lenders will do their due diligence, you should know you can afford to pay the amount back on whatever income you are currently earning.

Check Your Credit Score

Most personal loan lenders need you to have fair credit to issue a loan, but good to excellent credit if you want to secure a low-interest rate.

Checking your credit score will help you know what kind of interest rates to expect. If you aren’t happy with your score, you can take certain steps to do some damage control and fix it.

Consider Your Options

You’ll have to look at the options available to you depending on your credit score. If you have bad credit, you may face a hard time trying to secure a loan from a traditional bank and may even need a cosigner to secure a decent interest rate. In this case, you can consider approaching online lenders who specialize in giving loans to bad-credit borrowers, or credit unions that offer short-term loans.

Shop Around to Find the Best Interest Rates

Shop around for multiple offers from banks, credit unions, and online lenders and then choose the best option after careful comparison.

Make Your Pick and Start Your Application Process

After a few rounds of comparison, pick the lender offering you the best rate and start the application process. Most lenders let borrowers carry out the entire application process online, but be sure to check in and see if they need you to come in for certain documentation.

Make sure you have all your information like; personal information, employment information, income details, and the reason to apply for a personal loan, handy when you start the application.

Read through the fine print for any hidden fees or other pitfalls.

Accept the Loan

Once the lender assesses your application, they will notify you when you’ve been granted approval. After you accept the loan, the funds will reflect in your account within a week.