Should You Apply for a Personal Loan Online?

While not exactly new, one of the more recent developments in the world of consumer credit is that you can now apply for a personal loan online. Whether it’s brick and mortar institutions branching out into online banking or from strictly online operations, personal finance has made the move to the web and this has made it easier than ever to apply for a loan.

One thing should be mentioned before we go any further. Just because the initial application process can be done online doesn’t mean that you won’t still have to send documents to the lender via mail (or in some cases, fax or email), but it does mean that you can be pre-qualified for a loan while saving a lot of time in the bargain. Speed and convenience are the chief advantages of applying online for a personal loan, but there are some other advantages as well as downsides which consumers should be aware of.

You Can Comparison Shop For Loans Easily

There are a lot of lenders available online and this allows consumers to shop around for the best terms on the loan they’re looking for. Some online lenders charge very high interest rates and have very stringent terms attached to their loans, while others offer terms which are as good or better than those available from traditional lenders. There are even websites which can help you compare the loans available from different lenders; whether you’re looking for a loan online or off, you’re always better off knowing what all of your options are.

You’ll Generally Get A Response Quickly

If you’re applying for a relatively small personal loan online, you’ll tend to get an answer via email very quickly, sometimes in a matter of minutes. The amount of time you’ll wait for a response can vary depending on how long it takes the lender to verify the information you’ve provided, but it is almost invariably quicker than applying in person at a brick and mortar bank or credit union.

Downside: You Won’t Have Someone There In Person To Answer Any Questions You May Have

One of the disadvantages of applying for a loan online is that you’re not sitting across from someone who can explain anything you don’t understand on the loan application or other documents. If you have any questions or need clarification, contact the lender immediately before signing anything. A personal loan, even a small one, can have a significant impact on your financial situation, so make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into before you submit your application.