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If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, consolidate debt, or pay for another major expense, you might be looking for a $15,000 personal loan. There are plenty of lenders out there that offer $15,000 loans, so it’s worth shopping around for the lowest rates and fees. Lenders generally offer the best rates to borrowers with strong credit and stable income.
Follow these five steps to get a $15,000 loan.
1. Consider qualification requirements
Before approving you for a $15,000 loan, lenders look at your credit, income, and other factors. Although loan criteria vary from institution to institution, some common qualification requirements for personal loans include:
- Credit. Lenders examine your credit to assess your risk as a borrower. Borrowers with good credit (at least 670 on the FICO scoring model) tend to get the best rates. You can check your credit score for free with Experian and Equifax or buy it at myFICO.com. You can also review your credit history with a free annual report from AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Revenue. You will also need a stable source of income to qualify for the loan. Lenders ask for pay stubs, W-2 forms, or other documents to make sure you have the funds to repay the amount you borrow.
- Debt-to-income ratio (DTI). When reviewing your application, lenders also look at your DTI ratio, which shows your monthly debt payments compared to your gross monthly income. Aim for a DTI ratio of 35% or less.
2. Prequalify with multiple lenders
A loan of $15,000 is a considerable sum, so it’s worth shopping around for the best rate. Many lenders allow you to prequalify for a loan online, which means you can check the rates you might qualify for without impacting your credit score or your obligation to borrow.
Prequalification only takes a minute or two. You will enter some basic personal information and consent to an indirect credit inquiry. After you submit your details, the lender will let you know which offers you qualify for.
3. Compare your offers
Once you’ve collected some loan offers, take the time to compare the details of each. Pay close attention to interest rates and fees, including origination, disbursement, application and prepayment fees.
The annual percentage rate (APR) is a more inclusive rate than the interest rate alone, as it takes into account both interest and fees. The loan with the lowest APR will generally be the most affordable.
The repayment terms you choose also affect your borrowing costs. Lenders sometimes offer better rates on shorter loan terms and higher rates on longer terms.
4. Complete and submit your application
Once you have selected a loan offer, your next step is to complete and submit your application. This application will collect more details than the prequalification form.
You will fill in your personal information, such as your contact details and address, as well as the purpose of your loan. You’ll also upload verification documents, such as ID, proof of address, payslips, and W-2s.
Once you have signed and submitted your application, the lender will perform a credit check to review your credit profile. Unlike the soft credit application, this rigorous credit check could lower your credit score by a few points. However, your score should rebound quickly as long as you repay your loan on time.
5. Manage and repay your loan
After completing your application, the lender will review your information and check your credit. This process can take a few days or weeks, but some lenders can approve loans within 24-48 hours.
Once approved, the lender will deposit the proceeds into your bank account, which you can use to pay any approved expenses. Review your documents to find out when your first payment is due. You will repay the loan on a monthly basis.
Some lenders offer a rate reduction if you set up automatic payments from your bank account. Even if your lender doesn’t offer this rate reduction, it might be a good idea to set up automatic payment so you don’t miss any payments.
How to get a $15,000 loan with bad credit
Having bad credit can limit your options for a $15,000 loan. However, it’s still worth shopping around, as some lenders have more flexible credit requirements than others. Start with your current bank or credit union, as they may offer benefits to existing customers.
You can also look for a secured personal loan rather than an unsecured loan. Secured personal loans are backed by collateral, such as a car title or savings account. They tend to have more lax credit requirements, but you risk losing your asset if you fall behind on your payments.
Some lenders also allow you to apply to a co-signer or co-borrower to offset limited credit. Adding a creditworthy co-signer or co-borrower to your application could help you qualify for a $15,000 loan if you cannot meet a lender’s requirements on your own.
Finally, you can take steps to improve your credit score before you apply if you don’t need the loan right away. If you spot errors on your credit report, dispute them. Paying down current loan balances and lowering your credit utilization ratio can also improve your score.
Where to get a $15,000 loan
7.99% to 23.43%
$5,000 to $100,000
5.24% to 19.99%
$5,000 to $100,000
Minimum credit score
Marcus does not disclose this information
6.74% to 19.74%
$3,500 to $40,000
7.99% to 35.99%
$2,000 to $36,500
7.46% to 35.97%
$1,000 to $35,000
Long-term costs of a $15,000 loan
When you borrow a $15,000 loan, you end up paying back over $15,000. This is because interest charges and fees add to your borrowing costs.
Your long-term costs will vary depending on your rate, fee structure, and repayment terms. A higher interest rate will increase your costs while a lower rate will make your loan more affordable.
Let’s say you borrow a $15,000 loan with a repayment term of five years. If you get 10%, expect to pay $4,122.34 in interest over the life of your loan. If you can qualify for 6%, your total interest costs drop to $2,399.52.
The repayment term you choose also impacts your long-term costs. A shorter term generally means lower interest charges, while a longer term means you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan.
Let’s go back to this example of a loan of $15,000 at a rate of 10%. As mentioned, a five-year term equates to just over $4,100 in interest charges. But your interest charges will only be $2,424.28 with a three-year term. Alternatively, a seven-year term would mean interest charges of $5,917.49.
Use a calculator to estimate your loan costs
The Forbes Advisor Personal Loan Calculator can help you estimate your long-term costs for borrowing a $15,000 loan under different repayment terms. As you crunch the numbers, try to find a term that makes your monthly payment affordable while reducing long-term interest costs.