Are you a physician thinking about taking out a personal loan? Whether you’re looking to refinance your student loans, beef up your credit history or open up a private practice, a personal loan may be the solution to your financial quandaries. Use Benzinga’s list of the best personal loans for physicians to find a personal loan today.
Best Personal Loans for Physicians
Personal loans can be used for just about anything and can be particularly helpful when you want to consolidate debt.
Maybe you want to pay for that much needed vacation and could use another lender on your credit report to bump up your score. Establishing good relationships with multiple lenders across a variety of credit types demonstrates your trustworthiness as a credit user.
Because personal loans are a 1-time lump sum cash infusion that you pay off following an installment plan, they can be a strategic addition to your list of creditors.
Types of Personal Loans for Physicians
Personal loans are shaped by a few things, including rates, loan amount and terms. If you have multiple lenders vying for your business, choose 1 by weighing your individual offers against what best fits your unique situation.
You may choose longer terms so you can have low monthly payments, even if that means paying more interest. Or you may want to repay it as quickly as possible so it costs you as little as possible, so you’ll want to look for a loan with no prepayment penalties.
Many personal loans are for general use, and you’ll only need to disclose your credit history for approval, but some loans may require collateral. And some lenders offer specific-use loans with rates and terms dependent in part on what it’s being used for.
Lenders also determine your offers based on your creditworthiness. This is a comprehensive view of your finances, including your history with credit. How a lender interprets this overall picture determines what type of loan you’re offered, like a secured, unsecured, fixed or variable rate loan.
If a lender offers you a secured loan, you’ll have to provide some sort of collateral to back the loan. This may occur if your credit history gives a lender pause but doesn’t totally exclude you from approval, they may meet you in the middle with a secured loan. If you request a large loan, a lender may also require collateral.
A secured loan is less risky to a lender as your collateral ensures they will be repaid for the loan somehow no matter what. Be sure you are able to properly meet loan terms. Less risk for the lender definitely means more personal risk to you.
As you can probably guess, an unsecured loan is opposite of a secured loan — you don’t have to back the loan with anything but your creditworthiness. These loans are preferable as they pose less personal risk, but they are still just as serious of a financial obligation as a secured loan. If you need a smaller personal loan or don’t really have assets to put up, an unsecured personal loan may be perfect to you.
BadCreditLoans.com offers general personal loans that don’t require collateral. You can borrow up to $10,000. This service connects you with lenders that offer unsecured loans to people with imperfect credit.
Fixed Rate Loans vs Variable Rate Loans
Fixed rates loans have a set interest rate that stays the same throughout the duration of a loan. Variable rate loans may change throughout the duration. Many lenders offer both. If possible, you want to get a fixed rate loan. You can calculate the exact amount of interest you’ll pay, making it easier to budget for the cost of a loan.
The only real downside is that the lower rates could be higher or come with larger monthly payment plans. This may be an issue if you’re transitioning into your career and don’t have much income or your cash is tied up into opening a new practice.
The only other potential con is that if interest rates do fall, yours won’t. Generally, the advantages outweigh this.
You might want to choose a variable rate loan if you’re not eligible for a fixed rate loan or want low monthly payments and a lower rate now. This can preserve your cash flow now if you’re willing to pay a little more in the long run.
Personal Loan Requirements and Criteria
You’ll have to firm up on the details with any lender, but generally, you can expect a lender to analyze the following when considering approval for a loan:
- Your FICO credit score
- Debt-to-income ratio
- Delinquencies or negative remarks on your credit report
- Credit utilization (your credit balance vs. your credit limit)
- Open accounts with a positive standing (payments being made on time and so forth)
You’ll need to be in good credit standing in order to qualify for most loans. Some services like BadCreditLoans.com work specifically with borrowers who have less than perfect credit. This is useful if your credit took a hit in the long journey to the start of your career or you haven’t had a chance to build up your credit yet.
There are also significant costs associated with becoming or being a physician outside of education. For example, the expenses associated with interviewing to be accepted into a residency program can stack up. A personal loan from a service like SmarterLoan can help cover these costs.
The American Medical Association (AMA) also provides resources to connect future and current physicians with funding options and financial assistance. AMA members can qualify for rate discounts on resident interview loans, physician personal loans, medical school loans and student loan refinancing.
Personal Loan Considerations
No matter what you plan on using a personal loan for, remember that it’s a serious financial obligation. Make sure you’re completely clear on the terms of any loan before agreeing to them. You must meet the terms to keep good faith with your lender and maintain the integrity of your credit report. If the loan is secured, you could also see your collateral seized if you default.
All in all, just be sure you are able to meet the terms offered before you legally sign for a loan. Be sure to communicate with your lender and ask about what, if any, relief options they offer.
Another thing to keep in mind is the possibility of shady lenders with shoddy loans, especially online. Try to use vetted lenders with established track records whenever possible.
If a loan seems too easy to access or looks too good to be true, there is likely a good reason for this. Loan comparison services like Even will only like you with trustworthy lenders, diminishing your risk.
Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards
Although having both credit cards and installment loans provide a healthy mix to your credit report, there are instances in which 1 is more useful than the other.
The main difference is that a credit card is a revolving line of credit and a personal loan is a 1-time credit extension, usually in the form of a deposit in your bank account. Their unique natures mean that a personal loan is best for larger purchases and credit cards can cover smaller or recurring purchases.
As you pay off your credit card, you restore your available credit, which you can then reuse.
Personal loans have set monthly payments with a predetermined close date. Your payments simply go toward paying down the balance of your loan, not toward your available credit.
Credit cards tend to have variable rates; personal loans have fixed rates or offer both options. Personal loans can offer higher credit limits than credit cards and often offer lower rates. This is why personal loans are so useful for debt consolidation. You can streamline any debt incurred during school or when opening your private practice and save money overall by consolidating them with a low-rate personal loan through a service like Payoff.
Find Your Personal Loan Today
If you’re a current or future physician and need 1 quick lump sum payment to simplify your debt management or cover residency expenses, a personal loan can be your solution.
Use 1 of our recommended loan comparison services or get in touch with a lender to prequalify for offers without risk. You can get started today and have your money in no time.