Personal loans are valuable for Tampa residents needing cash now to be paid back over time. Personal loans can be used for tuition, medical bills, home improvements and large purchases beyond what credit cards and savings can cover. ConsumerAffairs researched the best personal loans in Tampa based on their rates and reputation.
Consumers may need a personal loan in Tampa to pay for tuition at Tampa Preparatory Academy or to modernize a 1920s bungalow in Hyde Park. Borrowers take personal loans from banks, credit unions and financial institutions to consolidate debt, pay for travel, catch up on bills, finance a wedding or make a large purchase. A personal loan is more flexible than car loans or mortgages. You can use the money for anything.
There are several types of personal loans in Tampa:
Unsecured loans, in which no collateral is needed to borrow money.
Secured loans, in which an asset must guarantee the loan, like a home or car.
Fixed-rate loans, where the interest rate is fixed.
Variable rate loans, where the interest rate changes according to the loan terms.
Installment loans, which are paid back in consistent amounts at a fixed rate.
Payday loans, which are paid back with your next paycheck.
Debt consolidation loans, which refinance what you owe other lenders into one payment.
If you’re a Tampa borrower with bad credit, personal loans are still within reach. Credit unions are often willing to make loans to their members, even if their credit isn’t good. There are also online lending platforms for people with credit scores below 600. You will have limits on what you can borrow, and your interest rate will be higher.
Applying for a personal loan in Tampa
Most Tampa personal loans are easy to apply for, and you’ll get a decision quickly. Start by checking your eligibility, and then fill out the applications. This can often be done online. If you’re using your own bank or credit union in Tampa, you can go into your branch and get help from a loan officer.
Florida law regulates the amount of interest charged on your personal loan. On loans less than $500,000, you should not be charged more than 18 percent interest. There are always exceptions, however, so read your loan documents carefully before signing. You want to know how much you’re really paying.
The limits for personal lending are not mandated, but most financial institutions will not make a personal loan for more than $35,000 or $50,000. If you’re exploring a home equity personal loan, you can borrow more. If you only need to borrow $1,000 or $2,000, you might want to ask for a credit increase on one of your credit cards unless you find a personal loan with good terms and low interest.
Fees and costs will depend on your lender, your credit history and the amount of money you need. The origination fee will cover the costs of researching your creditworthiness and preparing your loan documents. Late payment fees will be charged if you are late repaying the loan, and there may be a prepayment fee if you pay off the loan earlier than the terms dictate.
Most personal loans are paid back with a monthly payment. You may have one year, three years, five years or another repayment period. Discuss options with your lender. It may save you money to pay off the loan sooner.
Tampa consumers who borrow money are protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you are denied a personal loan or you believe you’re being overcharged, contact the Federal Trade Commission with your complaint.
Best Egg provides low-cost loans for anyone in Tampa needing money to pay a bill or finance a major life change such as college or a wedding. Its online platform is user-friendly and supported by a team of customer service professionals who are ready to answer questions. Tampa customers can apply online.
Loan consultants at FreedomPlus are prepared to help Tampa consumers complete an application, decide how much to borrow and set up easy repayment terms. The company prides itself on being simple, clear, fast, smart and personal. Freedom Plus sets itself apart by providing customized loans and service.
Credit Direct Loans
Credit Direct Loans aims to make personal lending easy. Tampa residents needing money can choose an amount to borrow up to $40,000. The funds will land in your bank account within 24 hours. Local Tampa residents have found Credit Direct Loans to be responsive and accessible, and recommend the company with good reviews.
Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union
Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union is a local financial institution helping Tampa residents with everything from mortgages to personal loans offered at low, fixed interest rates. Anyone who lives and works in the Tampa area can join the credit union and benefit from an unsecured personal loan. The company has been in Tampa since 1935.
GTE Financial is a Tampa credit union and a popular local employer. The company gives personal loans to qualified members. In addition to borrowing money at competitive rates with great service, Tampa consumers enjoy their GTE membership because of the monthly member events and giveaways.