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Quick and Easy Online Loans: What You Need to Know

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Sometimes you need to borrow money quickly. That's especially true if you're coping with an emergency situation or an unexpected expense. 

Easy online loans could be the answer. You can get a quick loan online with either an online or traditional lender. Your lender will enable you to complete your application process digitally without going to a bank or working with a loan officer. In some cases, it's possible to get an emergency loan same-day, all without leaving the comfort of your home.

What are online loans?

Online loans are simply personal loans you can get without visiting a bank or a credit union. Easy loans online usually won't even require you to talk to a loan officer. 

You can do all of the following online:

  • Compare rates, loan amounts, and terms
  • Submit an application
  • Get pre-approved for a loan
  • Arrange to have money deposited directly into your bank account

Loans with an all-digital application process are routinely offered by online-only lenders that don't have physical bank branches. But a growing number of traditional banks and credit unions also offer fast loan options that don't require in-person or phone contact. These lenders want to compete for your business and they know many people prefer to complete financial tasks on the internet. 

What can online loans be used for?

Online loans are no different from any other personal loan in terms of how the money can be used. You can generally use the funds for anything you want. This could include paying for home repairs, financing big purchases, or consolidating your debt. 

What are the easiest online loans to get? 

If you're looking for easy loans online, you'll want to research the best personal loans with an all-digital application process. Here are some of our top lenders that offer the easiest online application processes:

Some of these loans, such as those issued by LightStream or SoFi, require you to have good credit. They are easy to apply for because they streamline the process. They allow you to complete all the steps to secure a loan without visiting a bank branch or speaking with a customer service representative. But they're not necessarily easy to qualify for. 

Others, such as Avant, charge a higher interest rate but make loans even to borrowers with poor credit scores. You can easily apply and qualify even if you don't have a perfect financial history. 

Can I get a loan online with bad credit?

Yes -- there are a number of online lenders that specifically cater to bad credit borrowers. They make it possible to get a personal loan with bad credit

You'll typically need at least a fair to good credit score for a personal loan -- even from an online lender. If your credit score isn't perfect, make sure to shop around with multiple loans for fair credit (rather than simply applying to the first loan you find) to increase your chances of getting approved.

Here are three steps to finding a loan regardless of your credit score:

  • Shop around with multiple lenders. There's a lot of variation in interest rates from one to the next. The more quotes you get, the better the chance you'll find a competitive loan offer. 
  • Apply with a cosigner. Lenders will consider your cosigner's credentials as well as your own. As such, you might get approved with a better interest rate. 
  • Look into getting a secured loan. You'd have to offer something you own as collateral -- a guarantee you'll pay back your loan, which could be risky. However, secured loans can also help you build credit. 

Just be sure to read the fine print carefully when you shop for a bad credit loan. Some personal loans for bad credit have poor terms, such as high fees. Make sure you compare interest rates and check the lender's Better Business Bureau rating or other customer reviews to ensure you're dealing with a reputable lender.

Be careful!

Find out what your monthly payment will be before you agree to a loan. If you can't afford the monthly payment, look for loans with longer repayment terms (more time to pay off the loan) -- this will lower the monthly payment. Never agree to a loan you can't afford to pay back. Usually, a little shopping around can help you find a loan that's right for your budget.

Where can I get a same-day online loan? 

Some lenders provide an easy online loan application process and fast funding. Good options from our recommended lenders that fund your loan the same day you're approved include: 

  • LightStream
  • OneMain Financial

Many lenders offering same-day personal loans are payday lenders that charge high fees. You should steer clear of them as much as possible.

How to apply for an online loan

It's simpler than ever to get easy loans online. You just need to follow a few key steps, including:

  • Get your documents together. In most cases, you can submit an application for a loan with very little financial paperwork. However, you should collect a few key documents, including pay stubs, tax returns, and a recent bank statement. That way you won't hold up your loan approval while you hunt down a document.
  • Compare rates and fees. Unfortunately, some online lenders offering quick loans charge high origination fees or high interest rates. Compare total loan costs carefully to find a loan that's affordable. 
  • Complete and submit your application. Most online lenders have streamlined the loan application process so you can complete it entirely online in just a few minutes. You should even be able to upload any requested financial documents. 
  • Provide bank details for the funds transfer. The quickest way to get your hands on the cash is usually to have your money directly deposited. So make sure you provide the details necessary to complete the transaction. 

As you can see, it's pretty straightforward to get a fast loan online. Once you've found the right lender with an affordable loan offer, just submit your application and provide your bank information. If you qualify based on the lender's requirements, you should be able to get funding ASAP and can use it for pressing financial expenses.

The Ascent's best personal loans

Looking for a personal loan but don’t know where to start? Our favorites offer quick approval and rock-bottom interest rates. Check out our list to find the best loan for you.

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