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Finding and applying for loans can feel confusing. Unfortunately, many people accept loan offers that charge high interest rates and additional fees. Follow these four tricks to find and apply for the right loan for you.
The federal government requires the three major credit reporting agencies to give you a free copy of your credit report each year. You have to request a copy before the companies will give you access to your free report, though.
Once you have your free copy, review every line for accuracy. A single mistake can lower your credit score significantly.
If you find a mistake, you need to dispute the error and have it fixed before you apply for loans. Contact the credit agencies to notify them of mistakes. They have 30 days to investigate your claim, so you should request your credit history at least one month before you plan to apply for a loan.
Improving your credit score will make it easier for you to get more low-interest loan offers. Paying off credit card debt is the fastest way to improve your credit score. If you have credit card debt, repay as much of it as you can afford. You should see your credit score go up within a month.
Don’t limit yourself to the banks and credit unions that you already know. Instead, get offers from several lenders so you can compare their interest rates. Just because one lender wants to charge a high rate doesn’t mean that you won’t get better offers from other lenders. In fact, some lenders like Upstart use a different set of criteria to rate loan applicants. See our Upstart review for how they make their final decisions.
The internet makes it easy for you to get several loan offers quickly. Search for lenders, fill out the preliminary paperwork, and see what kind of offers you get. The best online loan sites will let you research, compare and select the loan with the best terms for you.
Low interest rates can help you save a lot of money over the life of your loan. Still, you need to consider other factors before you accept a loan offer. Read the fine print to learn about:
These and other fees should play a part in your decision-making process.
Give yourself plenty of time to compare loan offers from several lenders. You don’t want to rush a decision like this. As long as you take the right steps, you can find the best loan for your financial situation.