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If you need a little extra cash to consolidate debt, pay for a vacation, or fund a renovation, comparing personal loans may be the logical next step for you. A personal loan is a straightforward way to get an influx of cash quickly. If you’re trying to pay off debt, a personal loan may be helpful because you can consolidate your bills into one payment, which can make budgeting a bit easier. Using funds from a personal loan to pay off other debt can increase your credit score by creating more available credit.
While personal loans can be a convenient way to make budgeting easier, add a little extra cash flow, or fund a big project, they can be an expensive mistake if you don’t take the time to do a little research before jumping into the financial commitment.
If you’re looking for a personal loan in Seattle, there are plenty of options. We’ve highlighted a few lenders and display their terms, so you know what you might expect to see if you decide to move forward.
*LendingTree is not a lender. **Rates current as of June 29,2018
Founded in 1933, Seattle Credit Union offers personal loans including lines of credit for vacations, emergency loans, wedding loans, and loans for home repairs to individuals in with a variety of credit scores. The credit union services anyone who works or lives in Washington.
They do not have minimum credit or income requirements for applicants but review each applicant on an individual basis. Applicants will undergo a credit history and income assessment. Seattle Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA and is an Equal Opportunity Lender, according to Jill Vicente, the media relations specialist with Seattle Credit Union.
Borrowers can take advantage of the skip-a-pay option twice per year. However, there is a fee associated with skipping the payment and interest will still accrue on the skipped payment.
Verity Credit Union offers a variety of personal loans including loans for vacations, school supplies, debt consolidation, and home improvement projects. They also offer lines of credit to qualified customers. Verity doesn’t have set credit requirements, but they do use utilize multiple types of information to determine qualification, including background checks and credit reports. Members of the credit union may receive a discount of up to 0.25% on their loan interest rate if they autopay their loan from their checking or savings account.
Verity Credit Union opened in 1933 under the name Postal Works Credit Union #8, one of the oldest credit unions in the state. This mid-sized credit union has several branches near Puget Sound.
Peoples Bank has more than 20 branches across Western Washington. They offer different types of personal loans, including an express line of credit, savings secured loans and unsecured personal loans. They require a credit score of 680 for most personal loans but may make exceptions on loans that are backed by some form of collateral. They offer exclusive benefits to their members, including a perk program that includes discounts on shopping, roadside assistance, identity protection and travel insurance.
Borrowers who also bank with Peoples are eligible to have fees waived on most loan and investment programs.
Washington Trust offers personal loans for various uses, as well as lines of credit, business loans, agriculture loans, and loans for a commercial real estate. They offer special rates to members who use their checking account to make their loan payment (a discount of 0.25% on all loans). Additionally, borrowers may be able to skip a payment once during the year. There are no minimum requirements to apply, but Washington Trust will consider credit scores and other factors, ultimately deciding qualification on a case-by-case basis.
Washington Trust only lends to borrowers who live within 100 miles of their Washington, Oregon, or Idaho branches.
If you’re looking for a personal loan, you can often shop for and apply for funding right from the comfort of your own home. Many lenders today offer personal loans online. This makes it very easy to compare different loan options at one time, which is highly recommended.
LendingTree’s personal loan marketplace can potentially match you with multiple lenders. The interface is simple to use. You select the purpose of your loan from a drop-down menu (debt consolidation, major purchase, vacation, etc.), then enter how much money you need on a sliding scale. Then you’ll have to enter some personal information before moving on. You may receive a list of up to five personal loan lenders that could match with your needs. If you’re matched with lenders, you may be able to view a summary of the loans including how much you may qualify for, fees, rates, and other information. LendingTree does not finance the loans directly, so that means you’ll have to complete a detailed application with the individual lender once you choose. However, you’ll be able to access the application right from the LendingTree page.
Understanding the terms and agreements of a personal loan is essential. The more you know about your loan, the better luck you’ll have to sign an agreement that works best for you. When you’re applying for loans in Seattle, Wash., you’ll likely see some of these terms:
A loan origination fee is a charge the lender adds to your loan to cover the cost of processing your application. Some lenders charge no origination fees at all but be careful — they may charge you a higher APR, which may actually make their loan more expensive in the long run. Depending on the type of loan, an origination fee can range from 0.5% to 2% of the total loan, although some lenders charge origination fees as high as 8%.
It’s important to understand fees that the origination fee is typically taken out of your loan amount. — for a $10,000 loan with a 1% origination fee, you may receive only $9,900 when your loan is funded. Some lenders will allow you to roll the fee into the loan, so you don’t have to pay it up front. Note that if you add the origination fee into your loan, the total amount of interest you pay will likely be higher too.
A prepayment penalty is a fee that a lender charges if you pay the loan off early. Typically, the penalty is the total of several months’ worth of interest. These penalties are most common on mortgage loans, but some lenders may apply them to larger personal loans as well. This fee can be a game changer if you plan to use the funds to help increase your credit score, and then pay off the loan quickly.
Your interest rate is one of the most critical parts of your loan. The interest rate affects the total cost of your loan. For example, a loan of $10,000 with an APR of 6% over five years will cost $11,599.68. You’ll pay $1599.68 in interest. That same loan at 4 percent totals $11,049.91, with interest paid at $1049.91 (a savings of $549.77).
It’s worth noting that if you have poor credit, your interest rates may be significantly higher. Lenders look at your credit score, income and payment history when determining loan conditions.
Some lenders will offer special rates to members of their financial institution, others offer a certain period of no pay-no interest. Check out what each lender provides as an incentive to work with them. If you are torn between two similar options, these extras might help make your decision a little easier.
If you plan to take out a personal loan, make sure you understand exactly what the terms include. Spending a little extra time checking out the best options is a great way to save money and find a company that meets your needs best.