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Getting a $15,000 Personal Loan: What Are Your Options?

Options for Getting a $15,000 Personal Loan
Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward

Updated January 13, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Understanding all that goes into getting a $15,000 personal loan can take some research. Comparing your personal loan options, the good and the bad that can come with having a personal loan, and what to consider before applying are important when looking for a loan that fits your financial needs and your budget.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Personal Loans? 

Here are some things to consider when applying for a $15,000 loan:

Pros of Personal Loans

For many borrowers, personal loans can be a good option if they have a single, fixed expense and don’t need revolving credit. Here’s why:The money can be used for a wide variety of purposes. When you take out a car or student loan, you can’t use the money for anything else other than its intended purpose. Personal loans come with very few restrictions. It depends on the lender, but some things a personal loan can’t be used for include:
  • Making a down payment on a new home.
  • Paying college tuition.
  • Financing business expenses.
If you’re unsure whether or not you can use a loan to finance your purchase, ask your lender. Personal loans often come with lower interest rates than credit cards. It’s not uncommon for a credit card to have interest rates around 20%, but the average rate for a personal loan is just over 10%, as of September 2021. Over time, this means the cost to borrow money with a personal loan is often much cheaper than it is with credit cards. You may be able to borrow higher amounts than on credit cards. It may not be as difficult to get a $15,000 personal loan as it is to get a credit card with a $15,000 credit limit. If you need a higher limit than you can qualify for on a credit card, a personal loan may be the way to go if your credit score still has room for improvement. Most personal loans are unsecured. You likely won’t need to secure your personal loan with any kind of collateral, meaning your house or car won’t be seized if you default on your loan. Of course, there will still be financial consequences if you stop making payments, but your assets won’t be at risk. Personal loans can be used to pay off other debt that has higher interest rates. If you lock in a $15,000 personal loan with low interest rates, you can use the money to pay off your other debts that come with high interest rates, potentially saving you money in the long term. Consolidating can save you a lot of money and can make managing your monthly expenses much easier. Instead of having multiple payments to make to multiple lenders, you can reduce them to one. Paying off debt with personal loans is a common reason people take out personal loans. 

Cons of Personal Loans

Sometimes personal loans aren’t the best fit for borrowers. This is because when personal loans are bad, they often come with loan terms that only benefit the lender.  May have numerous fees. While personal loan rates are often more favorable than the rates you’ll get with credit cards, personal loan lenders often charge fees that can increase the overall cost of the loan. When choosing a lender, make sure to compare the following fees:
  • Origination fee.
  • Prepayment penalty.
  • Late payment fee.
  • Returned check fee.
If you have a poor credit score, the interest rates can still be high. If your credit score is good, loan offers you receive should come with lower interest rates than credit cards offer. However, if you have a poor credit score, expect the rates to be similar if not higher than credit cards — especially if it’s an unsecured personal loan.Monthly payments are higher than credit cards. With a personal loan, you have a fixed repayment term, so you only have a certain amount of time until the entire debt needs to be paid off. Credit cards don’t have a deadline, which means the monthly payments can be much lower. 

Where Can You Get a $15,000 Personal Loan?

Comparing rates and terms from multiple lenders is a good first step to finding a personal loan that works for your financial situation. Using Lantern by SoFi, you can compare numerous lenders with one online application. A personal loan for $15,000 might come with the following terms:

What to Consider When Applying for a $15,000 Personal Loan

When shopping around for a personal loan, it’s important to understand how personal loans work. This means you need to understand interest rates, repayment terms, and monthly payments.

Interest Rates

Generally, the lower your credit score, the lower your interest rates will be. Think of interest as the cost of borrowing. It’s how lenders stay in business and make a profit. A loan that comes with the lowest interest and fees may be a good contender. 

Repayment Terms 

The repayment term is how long you have to pay off the loan. For most loans, you’ll get the lowest interest rate by choosing the loan with the shortest repayment term. 

Monthly Payment

You need to consider your budget when choosing a monthly payment. Monthly payments are affected by the loan amount, interest rate, and repayment term. 

Fees

Many lenders charge fees for personal loans. Some of these fees include:
  • Late payment fees: Make your payment late, and your lender will likely charge a late fee of $25 to $50. Some lenders may charge a percentage of your monthly payment.  
  • Origination fees: An origination fee is a fee a lender charges borrowers for processing a loan. It may also be called an underwriting fee, processing fee, or administrative fee. 
  • Prepayment penalty: This fee may be charged to borrowers who pay off their loan early. Not every lender charges a prepayment penalty, but if they do the amount will be disclosed in the loan agreement. 
  • Returned check fee: If you send in a check for more money than is actually in your account and it’s returned for insufficient funds, your lender will likely charge you a fee. Expect this fee to be anywhere between $20 and $50. In addition to a returned check fee, some lenders charge a late payment fee, too. 

Total Repayment Costs

When choosing a personal loan, consider the total repayment cost, which includes all fees and interest. Pay special attention to the following two numbers outlined in the Truth in Lending Act disclosure:
  • Total payments: Includes the cost of all monthly payments, including finance charges and principal.
  • Finance charge: Assuming you make all monthly payments on time, this charge includes interest and fees.

What Are Some Alternatives to Personal Loans?

While there are many types of personal loans on the market, there are also some alternatives you may want to consider. 

Credit Cards 

If you have a strong credit score, you may be able to get a credit card with a revolving credit limit of $15,000. If you can qualify for a credit card with a 0% introductory APR, you could pay down the balance without paying interest during the promotional period.

Personal Line of Credit 

A personal line of credit is a hybrid of sorts between credit cards and personal loans. When you open a personal line of credit, you are granted access to a set amount of funds. During the draw period, you borrow and repay funds up to the approved credit limit. The repayment plan can either be a monthly payment, balloon payment, or a demand line of credit, which is when the lender has the right to ask for the entire repayment at any time. 

The Takeaway

If you’re looking for a $15,000 personal loan, doing a little research before choosing a lender can help you find a good fit for your unique financial situation. There may be options you hadn’t considered or you may find one personal loan product that fits your budget better than another.Lantern by SoFi offers loan comparisons from lenders offering personal loans to borrowers like you. One application gets you access to loan offers from online lenders, making it easy to compare interest, fees, monthly payments, and repayment terms. Learn more about personal loans from Lantern by SoFi
Photo credit: iStock/baona
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About the Author

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward is a personal finance expert with nearly a decade of experience writing online content. Her work has appeared on websites such as MSN, Time, and Bankrate. Lauren writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SoFi, including credit and banking.
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