- Decide how much you want to borrow and check your credit score.
- Gather the documents you’ll need to apply, including proof of identity and income.
- Apply for the loan or line of credit and agree to the terms.
Loans and lines of credit can be a good way to finance the bigger expenses in life like a car, home, or college education. Get an idea of what the process is like to begin it well prepared.
1. Decide How Much You Want to Borrow
What do you want to achieve with the loan or line of credit—and how much will that cost? Begin with a ballpark budget in mind with a buffer for fees. Then, break the total amount into a monthly payment that feels comfortable. Use the United loan calculator for quick estimates.
2. Check Your Credit Score
Your credit score affects whether you’ll be approved for a loan or line of credit, how much money you can borrow, and the interest rate you’ll pay on the debt.
At United, we’ll run your credit score when you apply for a loan, but you don’t have to wait for that. You can request official credit reports in advance for free from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. This will give you a good idea of where you stand and the opportunity to improve your credit score before you apply if you need to.
3. Line of Credit vs. Loan: Time to Choose
Loans and lines of credit work a little differently. With a loan, you receive the whole amount up front. With a line of credit, you can access the funds you need as you need them, up to the approved limit. Everyone’s situation is different, but loans often make sense for one-time expenses like medical bills or a home improvement project. Lines of credit often make sense as an alternative to higher-interest credit card debt.
4. Gather Your Documents
To apply for a loan or line of credit, you’ll need to have these documents handy.
- Loan application
- Proof of identity: government-issued driver’s license or identification card, passport, birth certificate
- Employment and income verification: paystubs, W-2s, bank statements
- Proof of address: utility bill, lease agreement, mortgage statement
Look for a reputable lender and make an appointment to go over your lending options. At United, we’ll walk you through your choices, answer all your questions, and stay with you throughout the process.
6. Accept the Terms
If you’re approved for a loan or line of credit, you’ll have some paperwork to sign to accept the terms by a certain date. The terms include:
- Loan amount
- Interest rate
- Monthly payment
Make your payments on time every month to keep your credit in good standing. You can also pay extra to reduce the debt faster, as well as the overall interest you’ll pay.
When you’re ready to take your next step, United is here to help. Just schedule an appointment.