November 8, 2022 — Rates hike for well-qualified borrowers – Forbes Advisor

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Personal loan rates are gradually increasing. But you can still get a reasonable rate, whether you’re looking to finance a home improvement project, a vehicle, unexpected bills, or just temporarily need to improve your cash flow.

From October 31 through November 5, the average fixed rate on a three-year personal loan was 12.81% for borrowers with a credit score of 720 or higher who prequalified on Credible.com’s personal loan marketplace. . The rate was 12.75% the previous week, according to Credible.com. The average five-year personal loan rate fell 1.11% last week to 15.82% from 16.93%.

However, the actual rate you receive depends on your creditworthiness and what’s available from your preferred lender. Well-qualified borrowers may be able to find rates well below average.

Related: Best Personal Loans

How to Compare Personal Loan Rates

If you want to get the best rate, be sure to research lenders that offer a prequalification process for personal loans. Although many lenders post their rates online, this only gives you a range of what they offer, not an exact rate based on the qualifications you meet. However, when you prequalify for a personal loan, a lender will perform a soft credit check to prescreen you, which has no impact on your credit score.

Based on this information, the lender will give you an overview of the terms you may qualify for, including loan rates, terms and limits. You can prequalify with multiple lenders and compare terms to find the best loan for your specific situation.

Prequalification does not imply loan approval. You will still need to submit a formal application and additional documents to get the loan you want. Typically, lenders do a thorough credit check when you formally apply for a loan. Credit checks can lower your score by one to five points.

Related: 5 personal loan requirements to know before applying

Calculate your personal loan payments

To see if this fits your budget, it’s important to estimate how much you’ll pay on a monthly basis and how much you’ll pay in interest over the life of the loan. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a personal loan calculator. You will need the rate, term and amount of your loan.

For example, suppose you have a personal loan for $5,000 with a fixed interest rate of 12.81% and a term of 36 months. The Forbes Advisor Personal Loan Calculator indicates that your monthly payment would be around $168 and you would pay around $1,048 in interest over the life of the loan. Overall, you owe $6,048, which includes both principal and interest.

Personal loan rate by credit score

The rates below are estimated average interest rates for personal loans based on VantageScore risk levels, according to Experian. Although the rates below can serve as a general guideline, note that interest rates are ultimately set and determined by the lenders.

How to get the best rates

Personal loan interest rates are based on a number of factors, including your overall creditworthiness, credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Two quick ways to help you qualify for better rates is to pay off existing debt to help lower your DTI and improve your credit score.

Rod Griffin, senior director of education and consumer advocacy at Experian, recommends “checking your credit report and scores three to six months before applying for a personal loan” as this will give you plenty of time to bring the necessary improvements.

Although qualification requirements differ from lender to lender, a minimum credit score of 720 will generally get you the best deal. If your score falls below this marker and you’re looking for the lowest possible rate, you can take steps to improve your score. Try strategies such as reducing your credit utilization rate, removing errors from your credit report, and paying your bills early or on time.

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