What are Signature Loans and How do They Work?

A signature loan, also known as a good faith advance, is personal financing that doesn't require collateral against the financing. When you get a signature loan, the primary collateral that secures your borrowing is your promise to make on-time payments. In addition, most lenders qualify borrowers based on a FICO score rather than valuable assets attached to debt. 

Signature funding tools usually refer to installment loans meaning a borrower has to pay off the debt in equated monthly installments (EMI) that don't change over the debt repayment period.

If you default on paying off a signature loan or fall behind in a repayment schedule, your lender cannot seize the collateral to compensate for financial losses. However, nonpayment may harm your FICO score and even lead your debt to a collection agency. Keep in mind information on late repayment and collection may remain on your report for seven years. As a result, you may harm your borrowing power and lead you to either credit denial or high interests. 

How to Get a Signature Loan? 

To take out a signature loan, you first need to locate a lender. It is possible to do it online or in-person at the storefront lender's office. Most lenders consider your FICO score to evaluate your borrowing power, thus the likelihood of on-time debt repayment. Indeed, the payment history is a key consideration factor if you're dealing with traditional lenders like banks or credit unions. Thus, it's always essential to get a copy of your credit report before submitting your application. At annualcreditreport.com, you may get a free report from each major reporting bureau - TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. 

Typically, traditional lenders choose to work with those with good-to-excellent credit. This is because signature loans are an unsecured form of lending, meaning no collateral is attached to your debt. Consequently, lenders have no security to repossess if a borrower defaults on paying back debt. In addition, compared to secured financing, uncollateralized signature advances offer relatively higher interest rates. Therefore, be informed that your FICO score is the most important criterion when determining interest rates.

You may have various options to take out a signature loan, so you can opt for one and receive the funds in as little as a few days. Although banks and local unions are marketed as the most secure lenders, getting funds from them may take a little longer. So consider online lending options if you are looking for something quicker than brick-and-mortar lenders.

What are Signature Loans and How do They Work?

What to Consider When Taking out a Signature Loan? 

Most lenders consider FICO scores between 670 and 800 most desirable, while a range falling below 670 is regarded as troublesome. Traditionally borrowers with poor credit scores qualify for worse terms, such as high-interest rates, lower amounts, or secured forms of lending. 

Here are some key factors you should consider when taking out a signature loan: 

Interest Rate: The interest rate is one of the primary factors when considering the financing option. Indeed, the interest rate mainly depends on the borrower's score, the amount borrowed, credit risk, etc. Therefore, compare multiple offers from different lenders to get the best interest rates fitting you best. 

Origination Fees: Many lenders charge origination fees to process a loan, which may range from 0.5% to 1% of the total amount of borrowing. Origination fees also fall into the calculation of the actual cost of borrowing. 

Early Repayment Fees: An early repayment charge (ERC) is a penalty that your lender may levy if you overspend on your mortgage by more than the maximum amount allowed or pay off the entire debt too soon. Paying off debt early may cost you less in interest; however, make sure to check whether or not the lender applies early repayment charges. 

Late Payment Fees: To prevent you from paying extra fees, it's important to meet your contractual obligations and make on-time payments. Aside from being charged extra money, falling behind on your payment may hurt your score, thus negatively affecting your borrowing power. For example, 30 days past due payments may stay on your financial report for up to seven years.

What are Signature Loans Used For? 

A signature loan is a non-purpose financing option which means you don't have to consider spending cash for an exact purpose. As a result, you may use financing for almost any purpose, from debt consolidation and emergency car repair to financing a honeymoon trip. Here are some most common reasons Americans go for signature debt: 

Debt Consolidation 

One of the primary reasons borrowers opt for a signature loan is debt consolidation, which entails combining all high-interest debts into a single monthly check. Signature tools are especially advantageous for paying credit card debt since most companies apply predatory interest rates. So choose a good faith advance over a credit card with three-digit interest rates and start paying lower on your debt. 

Wedding Costs

Using a signature loan to cover wedding expenses can be wiser than deciding on a credit card or similar revolving tools. First of all, with a signature debt, you will likely have lower interest rates; secondly, you would have a fixed repayment plan. Thus, the money you owe cannot fluctuate from month to month. We do not advocate taking out quick financing to pay for a wedding. Instead of increasing your budget to match your wants, try reducing your wants to treat your budget.


Although it's practically impossible to forecast an emergency, it's suggested that you have money set aside, known as an emergency fund, to deal with money challenges that life throws your way. However, if you don't have that money, a signature loan might be the best resort to get extra cash. These funding options usually come in unsecured form, meaning that you don't have to back up your debt against cash. Plus, they are easy to get online from the comfort of your home. 

What are Signature Loans and How do They Work?

The Process of Getting a Signature Loan 

Credit Score Check

It's always worth checking your score before submitting a credit request for a signature loan. If you have bad or no credit, you are highly advised to work on it before submitting your request. In fact, the higher your score, the better chances you have to qualify for low-interest rates. Thus, if you are not in a hurry to come up with a financial emergency, waiting till your score improves will be a wise choice.

Gather Required Documentation

When filling out your credit request, you may be required to provide some personal information, such as name, surname, email, phone number, money income, banking information, etc. Sometimes you may also be requested a wage tax statement, known as Form W-2; thus, having all documents at hand is always a good idea. 

Comparing Loan Offers

The best lending advice may be shopping around and not deciding on the first funding option you come across. Doing proper market research may help you find the most suitable option and not overpay for a loan. Requesting a signature loan may easily result in a hard inquiry on your credit report. Therefore, don't initiate multiple hard pulls during a short period and only opt for financing you are most likely to qualify for.

Keep in mind holding a bad or no credit score is not the endgame since you may decide on a no credit check loan and get quick funding right away. Most bad credit lenders pre-qualify you to decide whether to approve or reject your request. Prequalification allows you to fill multiple requests without hurting your credit score. 

Check Credit Terms 

Once you have decided on a signature loan, you are highly advised to look through interest rates, origination fees, late repayment fees, and other related fees that may raise the cost of borrowing. 

Get a Loan and Start Making Monthly Payments

If you are satisfied with the offered terms, you can accept the offer and expect the funds in as little as one business day. Compared to brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions, online lenders offer simple, convenient, and completely online application processing. Thus, online lenders are always worth examining if you require access to cash in a hurry. 

Once you get your financing, make a note of your first payment date or even consider automatic payments not to miss a payment deadline. You may also consider paying more than your monthly payment to settle your debt quicker and save money on interest. 

Signature VS Revolving Credit Tools

Although both signature and revolving funding options are good methods to get financing on the side, there are key differences that you need to consider before getting one. With a signature loan, you may get a fixed amount and pay it back consistently over time with equated money installments. However, with revolving credit tools, such as a credit card, you may get varying amounts and pay only interest each month. Plus, a revolving lending process may result in financing delays as most lenders check borrowers' payment history to determine whether to qualify for funding. Meanwhile, the cash-secured through signature financing is usually placed in your account faster, allowing you to satisfy your financial necessities sooner.

While revolving tools may come in a secured form, such as secured credit cards, signature loans come especially in unsecured form, which implies that no collateral is required against funding. 

Revolving debt enables borrowers to pay off debt and borrow again while still maintaining the credit line to meet their financial needs. This may continue until the account is closed. Indeed, a revolving tool may be a better alternative to a signature loan if you look for quick financing on a recurring basis. If you're merely looking to pay off some debt or cover an unexpected need, a signature loan is a smart option.

Getting a Signature Loan with Bad Credit 

Having a low FICO score means having lower chances to qualify for quick advances, whether it's a mortgage, car, or signature loan. This is because most lenders, especially traditional ones, don't want to risk granting funds to those who are more likely to default. A bad credit frequently expresses a poor score, generally below 670 on the FICO score scale of 300 to 850. 

Although getting a signature loan with bad or no credit seems impossible, you can do it with the help of online lenders. On online platforms, you may get connected with no credit check lenders that may qualify your request despite negative marks on your financial report. This is because our lenders consider your ability to pay back debt rather than your score. To get a cash advance, submit your online request on our website and get linked to multiple trustworthy lenders. Make sure to check the eligibility requirements before filling out your request. 

Opting for a no-credit-check alternative may help you get quick cash on the side. However, you need to consider it a last resort and primarily target credit repair to get your finance back on track. Find a credit repair company near you and start the financial rehabilitation as soon as possible.

A Final Word 

If you require quick money urgently, signature financing might be a good option to decide on. This option requires no collateral and is available online; thus, you may get a fair chunk of cash with minimal effort. As mentioned above, a signature loan is a type of installment tool, meaning you need to pay off your debt with equate money installments without exhausting your budget. However, before considering a signature loan, make sure to analyze your financial health and understand why you are cash strapped and what type of financing may help you best. 

23 May, 2022