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Checklist: What You Need to Apply for a Personal Loan

A personal loan can be a smart financial tool to consolidate higher-interest debt, help finance a life event or assist when you encounter an unexpected event, like paying for an unexpected medical bill.

Applying for a personal loan should be easy. To help speed up the process, take a moment to ensure you have all the application information required.

What You Need to Apply for a Personal Loan

As with most financial commitments, you should start with a plan.

  • Determine how much you need to borrow to accomplish your goal. If you are using a personal loan for a wedding, come up with a budget first. If you are consolidating debt, it’s important to make a list of the total debt you want to combine. Your list should include the interest rate on each account and the amount you currently pay each month so that you can make an accurate comparison with a personal loan.
  • Decide how much you can comfortably afford to pay each month on a personal loan; this will help you determine how much you can borrow and your payoff term. You can borrow $2,500 to $35,000 with a Discover Personal Loan, and you could even find out your potential interest rate on a loan before applying.
  • Decide when you want to pay off your loan. A personal loan calculator can help you evaluate loan terms.
  • Estimate whether you are eligible for a loan. You need to be 18 or older and a U.S. citizen, have a household income of $25,000 or more and meet other credit and income qualifications. Check out your credit score for free. The better your credit, the more favorable your personal loan interest rate will be.
  • Find out if you need to pay an origination fee or a prepayment penalty. Discover doesn’t charge either one.

Get ready to apply with the following information:

  • Household income information – you’ll need pay stubs or bank statements so the income can be verified.
  • Employment history – you’ll need contact information for your employer so your information can be verified.
  • Bank account number and routing number if your funds will be directly deposited into your checking or savings account.
  • Balances and account numbers for creditors if you plan to pay debts directly.
  • Your contact information so you can be reached quickly to answer any questions.
  • Personal identification – you should have your state issued driver’s license or identification card ready and easily accessible.

You can learn more about personal loans and the application process by visiting the Personal Loans Resource Center.