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This article first appeared on the Credible blog.
Whether you’re planning home renovations, are facing medical procedures, or need to cover another major expense, a personal loan could help.
You can use a large personal loan — such as a $70,000 personal loan — for a wide variety of purposes. But before you borrow such a large amount, it’s important to carefully consider all of your lender options to find the right loan for you.
If you’re looking for a personal loan, Credible makes it easy to compare rates from multiple lenders. Here’s what you should know before getting a $70,000 personal loan.
Where to get a $70,000 personal loan
Here are a few of your lender options for getting a $70,000 personal loan:
An online loan can be one of the most convenient choices when it comes to getting a personal loan. The time to fund for an online loan is typically five days or less — though some lenders will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day if you’re approved.
Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer $70,000 personal loans:
LightStream personal loans range from $5,000 to $100,000 and could be a good choice if you need your money fast — you could have your loan funded as soon as the same business day if you’re approved. Most LightStream loans come with terms ranging from two to seven years, but you could have up to 12 years to repay your loan if you use it for home improvements.
SoFi is one of the few lenders that allows cosigners on personal loans, which could make it easier to qualify for a large loan size like $70,000. If you take out a loan with SoFi, you’ll also have access to unemployment protection, career coaching, and other perks.
Banks and credit unions
Banks and credit unions don’t typically offer loan amounts as high as $70,000 — most only provide loans of $50,000 or less.
One exception is Wells Fargo, which offers personal loans up to $100,000 with terms up to seven years. Plus, if you’re an existing Wells Fargo customer, you could qualify for rate discounts.
Tip: If you only need to borrow less than $70,000, a bank or credit union might still be a good option. For example, Citibank offers personal loans up to $30,000, though you might be able to borrow more if you visit a branch in person. And Alliant Credit Union offers personal loans up to $50,000.
What to consider when comparing $70,000 loans
Getting a personal loan as large as $70,000 is a big decision. Here are several points to consider before you apply:
1. Interest rates
Most personal loans are unsecured, which means you don’t have to worry about collateral. While this can be convenient, it also means the loan is more of a risk to the lender — especially with larger loan amounts like $70,000.
As a result, lenders tend to charge higher interest rates on unsecured loans to mitigate the risk.
Your interest rate will have a major effect on your overall loan cost. Make sure to consider your rates from as many lenders as you can to find an interest rate that works for you.
Keep in mind: Most personal loans come with fixed interest rates, though there are some lenders that also offer variable rates.
You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan — and see the effect of different interest rates — with Credible’s personal loan calculator.
Fees vary from lender to lender, so be sure to do your research while comparing lenders to avoid any surprises. Some personal loan fees you might come across include:
Origination fees that are deducted before the loan is disbursed to you
Late fees for missed payments
Prepayment penalties if you pay the loan off early
Tip: If you take out a personal loan with one of Credible’s partner lenders — like LightStream or SoFi — you won’t have to worry about prepayment penalties.
3. Repayment terms
Personal loan repayment terms generally range from one to seven years, depending on the lender. Keep in mind that if you choose a longer repayment term, you’ll pay more in interest over time.
Tip: Lenders typically offer lower rates on short terms. It’s usually a good idea to opt for the shortest term you can afford to save as much as possible on interest charges.
4. Monthly payment
While unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, that doesn’t mean there are no consequences if you fall behind on your payments. Missing payments can wreck your credit score, and lenders might send your debt to collections or even sue you.
Make sure to consider whether the monthly payment for a $70,000 loan will fit comfortably within your budget.
Tip: Choosing a longer repayment term could get you a lower monthly payment, which could lessen the strain on your budget. While you’ll pay more in interest over time, it’s likely worth it in comparison to missing payments.
5. Total repayment costs
Be sure to estimate the total repayment costs of the loan so you can prepare for the additional expense. Before you sign a loan contract, review the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure that the lender will provide, which will detail your full repayment cost including interest and fees.
Pay special attention to these two numbers:
The finance charge: This is the cost of your loan, including interest and fees, assuming you make all your payments on time.
Total payments: This is the sum of all the payments you’ll make to pay off your loan, including the loan principal and finance charges.
Cost to repay a $70k loan
The table below illustrates how the loan term, interest rate, and monthly payment affect the total repayment cost of a $70,000 loan. The interest rates in these examples are hypothetical and are solely for illustration.
If you’re ready to take out a $70,000 loan, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find a loan that suits your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.
Alternatives to a $70,000 personal loan
Depending on your credit, qualifying for a loan as large as $70,000 might be difficult. If you’re struggling to get approved, here are some other options to consider:
Add a cosigner. Having a cosigner could improve your chances of getting approved for a large personal loan. Even if you don’t need a cosigner to qualify, having one might get you a lower interest rate than you’d get on your own.
Apply for a home equity loan. If you’re a homeowner and have equity in your house, a home equity loan could be another way to get the funds you need. If you’re considering a home equity loan vs. personal loan, keep in mind that you might get a lower interest rate on a home equity loan because it’s secured by your house. However, this also means your home could be at risk if you miss payments.
Consider a HELOC. Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are another way to access the equity in your house if you’re a homeowner. But unlike home equity loans, HELOCS are a type of revolving credit that you can repeatedly draw on and pay off — similar to a credit card. Just remember that because your home acts as collateral, you risk losing it if you can’t keep up with your payments.
Take out a smaller loan. If you can borrow less than $70,000, you might have an easier time qualifying for a loan. For example, several lenders offer $50,000 personal loans.
Use a reverse mortgage. If you’re 62 or older and live in your property as your primary residence, you can apply for a reverse mortgage to finance major purchases or to supplement your retirement. However, keep in mind that if you die or move out of the home, the loan will have to be repaid — typically by selling the house.
About the author: Kat Tretina is a freelance writer who covers everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.