Man looking up online loan application options

The question of whether to apply for a personal loan online or in person may seem a trivial one, but you may be surprised by the impact your choice can have. Today, there are many online personal loan lenders to choose from – including both big banks and newcomers to the market. There are also traditional physical branches you could visit for a loan.

Looking for more information on the general process of applying for a loan? Check out out five steps to take prior to completing your application.

Let’s review how applying online for a personal loan provides a different experience than going to a physical location.

Applying for a personal loan online

We’ve become accustomed to the ease of shopping online – often just using our phone.

Shopping for a personal loan online is similar in that you might be able to apply on any device, at any time of day. Applying online allows you to:

While online may seem easier, you may be concerned about customer service. Will you get the same level of service when applying for a loan online vs. in person?

Customer service — whether online or offline — will, of course, vary by lender. Discover Personal Loans in particular offers 100% U.S.-based customer service. Our loan specialists will explain your options, walk you through our available repayment terms and even help you complete your application. That way you can shape a personal loan to fit your unique needs.

Applying for a personal loan at a bank branch

Some people may prefer sitting down with someone when seeking a personal loan. However, applying for a loan in person comes with certain drawbacks:

  • You’re limited to specific hours when you can do business with the lender, and you have to organize your schedule to get to the physical branch during those limited hours.
  • If you’re missing any paperwork for the application, you may need to go home to retrieve it.
  • You may not have access to as much information on personal loans when considering your decision or as easily be able to surf the internet for answers in the midst of your application process.

Making the process quick and easy

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of going through the personal loan application process online is speed.

There are no appointments to make or long waiting periods.

Choosing the right lender matters

It’s important to do some research to ensure the lender has a good reputation. When choosing a lender, you’ll want to think about:

Customer service: Does your lender have a loan specialist team that is willing and able to clearly articulate the key points of a personal loan? Are they available when you are, and by channels (phone, messaging) that work for you? After all, you’re entering a relationship that may last for a few years.

Loan features: Customers’ priorities for personal loans generally include competitive rates and flexible repayment terms. You might also consider fees, whether you have the option to pay off your loan early or return your loan within 30 days without paying interest.

All these benefits and a high-level of customer service should be part of the online lending experience.

Whether your goal is consolidating debt, paying for big life events, taking care of major purchases or handling unexpected bills, a personal loan can help you achieve your financial goals. And it’s a big decision.

We think there are great benefits to applying for a personal loan online. Ultimately, of course, the choice is yours.

Ready to explore an online application for a Discover personal loan? Check Your Rate