Sometimes life’s ups and down make finances impossible to predict or prepare for. You don’t always have a lot of options in what you should do, but a personal loan is an option for a lot of people that they don’t even know about.  You can get a personal loan in a variety of ways—through a bank or credit union, through a car title or registration loan service, or through friends and family. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so knowing how each works is the best way to make your choice.

A personal loan through a bank or credit union will depend entirely on your credit score and how much you want to borrow. These lending institutions always use a credit score, even if you have security like a home (home equity loans, for example).  If you don’t borrow against your home, you are getting a personal loan rather than a secured loan, and the interest rate will be higher than for a home equity loan.

A car title or registration loan is a type of personal loan, but unlike banks and credit unions, we don’t run a credit check to see whether you qualify. Instead, we use your car or truck as collateral on the loan—much like a home equity loan—and you get your loan based on the age of the vehicle, its condition, its value, and whether you have any history with us.

A personal loan through family or friends is frequently the cheapest for interest rates, but the most difficult for long-term relationships because they might need the money back in a shorter time than you agreed on, and you might skip a payment, which family and friends take personally; with family, it is never just business.