Life's financial challenges don't always come with a warning. Whether you're facing an unexpected medical expense or considering an investment in home improvements to increase your property value, a personal loan can offer a structured way to pay these expenses.
Your particular needs and borrower profile are important factors in finding the best personal loans in North Carolina for you. Truist is MoneyGeek’s pick for the best overall personal loan lender. Upstart is the best lender if you have bad credit, while SoFi is the top choice if you have good credit. Consider Upgrade for the best debt consolidation loans and Best Egg for the best home improvement loans.
- 8.14% to 18.99%APR Range
- NoneMinimum Credit Score
- $3,500 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
- 6 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
- Next DayTime to Receive Funds
- 6.4% to 35.99%APR Range
- 300Minimum Credit Score
- $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
- 3 or 5 yearsRepayment Terms
- 1 business dayTime to Receive Funds
- 8.99% to 25.81% (with all discounts)APR Range
- 680Minimum Credit Score
- $5,000 to $100,000Loan Amount Range
- 12 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
- 2 DaysTime to Receive Funds
- 8.49% to 35.99%APR Range
- UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
- $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
- 24 to 84 monthsRepayment Terms
- Within a dayTime to Receive Funds
- Best Egg
- 8.99% to 35.99%APR Range
- UndisclosedMinimum Credit Score
- $2,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
- 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
- Next DayTime to Receive Funds
Best for Bad Credit
Best for Good Credit
Best for Debt Consolidation
Best for Home Improvement
Understanding Personal Loans
Personal loans are versatile financial solutions that can address a wide range of needs. In rural areas where public transportation options are limited, a personal loan can be essential for buying a dependable vehicle. These loans are also frequently used to cover medical expenses, consolidate multiple high-interest debts and finance home improvements.
Personal loans entail borrowing a specific sum and agreeing to repay it with interest in monthly installments over an agreed-upon period. While interest rates can be fixed or variable, fixed rates are generally the most common. This structure is particularly beneficial as it provides a consistent monthly payment for easier budgeting. Variable interest rates, on the other hand, can change over time.
Lenders use a variety of criteria to determine your loan eligibility, including your credit score, existing financial commitments — such as any current loans you may have — employment history and income.
Types of Personal Loans Available in North Carolina
When you're in the market for a personal loan, you'll find that there's no one-size-fits-all option. The landscape of personal loans is diverse, offering various types to suit different financial situations and needs. Understanding the nuances of each one can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your specific circumstances.
Unsecured personal loans: Unsecured personal loans are popular for their no-collateral requirement, making them accessible for renters or those without significant assets. However, the trade-off often comes in the form of elevated interest rates.
Secured personal loans: Using an asset as collateral can often get a lower interest rate with a secured personal loan. However, if you default, you risk losing whatever asset you've offered.
Debt consolidation loans: Debt consolidation loans are a lifeline for those drowning in multiple debts, as they consolidate them into a single payment. These loans often come with the added benefit of a lower overall interest rate.
Fixed-rate loans: Your interest rate remains constant with a fixed-rate loan, making it easier to budget for payments. This is particularly useful for those with a set monthly income who want to avoid surprises.
Variable-rate loans: Variable-rate loans offer initial lower rates, but those rates can increase over time. They're a bit of a gamble and best suited for those who can absorb potential rate hikes or plan to pay off the loan amount quickly.
Co-signed loans: Co-signed loans require a co-signer who agrees to take on the debt if you can't pay. It's a way to get approved when your credit history is lacking, but it does place a financial burden on the co-signer.
Pros and Cons of Personal Loans
Personal loans come with advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these pros and cons is key to making a decision that will benefit your current and future finances.
- Predictable monthly payments: Fixed-rate loans offer stable monthly payments, making budgeting easier.
- No need for asset collateral: You don't have to risk losing your home or car with an unsecured personal loan.
- Can consolidate high-interest debt: Personal loans can be used to pay off credit card debt at a lower interest rate.
- Wide range of loan amounts: Lenders offer loans as small as $1,000 and as large as $100,000, suiting various needs.
- Quick funding: Online lenders often provide funds within a day or two.
- Variable rates can increase: Variable-rate loans can see interest rates spike, increasing your financial burden.
- Possibility of hidden fees: Always read the fine print, as some loans have hidden fees that can add up.
- Risk of overborrowing: With quick access to funds, you may be tempted to borrow more than you need.
- Risk of debt cycle: Failure to repay can lead to additional loans, creating a cycle of debt.
Where to Get Personal Loans in North Carolina
Navigating the landscape of personal loans involves understanding the types of loans available and the variety of lenders offering them. Each lender category, from traditional banks to credit unions, has unique benefits that could make them the right fit for your financial situation.
One of the key advantages of traditional banks is their comprehensive financial services, which means you can manage all your financial needs, including loans, in one place. Moreover, they often offer robust customer service, including the ability to consult with financial advisors in person.
The digital-first approach of online lenders often results in a more user-friendly experience, complete with easy-to-use interfaces and quick decision-making algorithms. Additionally, online lenders frequently offer competitive rates, especially for borrowers with good credit scores.
Credit unions often focus on community and personalized service, giving you a more tailored loan experience. Because they are not-for-profit organizations, they can offer loans with lower fees, benefiting members with more affordable options.
How to Get the Best Personal Loan in North Carolina
In North Carolina, the average personal loan debt is around $17,141 per borrower, according to Experian. People seek personal loans for many reasons, such as financing home improvements, covering unexpected medical bills or even taking that dream vacation. If you're considering a personal loan in North Carolina, the following detailed guide will walk you through the steps to find and secure the best loan for your specific needs.
Assess your financial situation
The first step in your journey toward a personal loan is thoroughly evaluating your financial situation. Pull your credit report to understand your creditworthiness, as this will be a key factor in the interest rates you're offered. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio to gauge your ability to manage additional debt. Also, consider any upcoming life changes, like a job transition or a move, that could impact your financial stability.
Determine the loan's purpose
Clearly defining why you need the loan will guide you in selecting the right loan product. For example, a debt consolidation loan could be advantageous when dealing with multiple high-interest debts. On the other hand, if you're planning a wedding, some lenders offer loans specifically designed for such events. The purpose will also help you determine the ideal loan amount so you only borrow what is needed.
Research lender options
North Carolina offers a variety of lenders, from local banks to credit unions and online lenders. Each type of lender brings its own set of benefits. For example, local banks may offer personalized service, while online lenders often excel in quick approvals and fund disbursement. Take the time to research and list potential lenders that align with your needs.
Prequalify and compare loan offers
During prequalification, lenders typically conduct a soft credit inquiry and give you an estimate of the loan terms you could qualify for. Use this as a tool to compare offers from different lenders. Pay attention to not just the interest rates but also the loan term lengths and any additional fees. This will help you identify the loan that makes the most financial sense for your situation.
Gather required documents
After you've shortlisted your preferred lenders, start collecting the documents each requires for their loan application. This usually includes identification, proof of income and sometimes even employment verification. Organizing these documents in advance can speed up the application process and reduce the likelihood of delays.
Submit the loan application
Once your documents are in order, you can complete the application form. Many lenders offer online applications for added convenience. Ensure all your information is accurate and complete to avoid hiccups in the approval process. After submission, lenders usually take a few days to review the application and make a decision.
Read the fine print
Before you accept any loan offer, it's crucial to read through all the terms and conditions. Look out for clauses that could be disadvantageous, such as variable interest rates that could skyrocket or penalties for early repayment. Make sure you fully understand your obligations under the loan agreement. If anything is unclear, consult the lender for clarification.
Finalize the loan
The last step involves signing the loan agreement and setting up your repayment schedule. Once everything is in place, the lender will disburse the funds, often directly into your bank account. The disbursement time can vary, so it's good to ask your lender how long this typically takes.
Alternatives to Personal Loans
Before settling on a personal loan, consider other financial avenues that might better fit your needs. Each of these alternatives has benefits and drawbacks that could make it the right or wrong choice for you.
Credit cards can be a viable option for smaller, short-term expenses and often come with rewards or cash back offers. However, the ease of swiping can lead to overspending, and interest rates can skyrocket if you miss a payment.
Home equity line of credit
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) offers a flexible way to use your home's equity to cover large expenses like home improvements. That said, it's crucial to remember that fluctuating interest rates can affect your repayment amounts, and your home is at risk if you can't make the payments.
Taking a loan from your 401(k) doesn't affect your credit score and offers a straightforward repayment plan through payroll deductions. On the downside, you'll miss out on potential investment gains, plus there are tax implications if you leave your job before repaying the loan.
Peer-to-peer platforms offer the chance to bypass traditional financial institutions when borrowing money, potentially leading to lower interest rates. However, these platforms often charge origination fees, and there's no guarantee of loan approval.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best personal loan in North Carolina can vary depending on your needs and borrower profile. To help you navigate your personal loan journey, MoneyGeek addressed some frequently asked questions below.
MoneyGeek assessed more than 30 personal loan lenders using 35+ individual data points across six key categories: loan affordability, accessibility, consumer friendliness, customer service, flexibility and lender transparency.
Within each ranking criteria category, we took into account several individual data points that we feel carry the most weight when choosing a personal loan lender. These factors include APR ranges, available loan amounts, minimum credit score and income requirements, application fees and disbursement time.
MoneyGeek values you, the consumer, so we also considered each lender’s customer support, business ratings and additional features that could improve your experience — including mobile apps, payment options and prequalification.
With your best interest in mind, we selected our top picks after careful consideration and calculation. Our personal loan recommendations and expert tips are meant to help you make the best decision when choosing a lender that meets your particular needs.
About Christopher Boston
- Experian. "The Average Personal Loan Balance Rose 7% in 2022." Accessed October 5, 2023.
The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.
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