- Check your credit score
- Get prequalified
- Compare lenders
- Gather necessary documents
- Apply and get funding
1. Check your credit score
You should know your credit score before applying for a loan. My LendingTree allows you to see your credit score for free, and helps you keep tabs on your financial health and explore loan options.
Your credit score will affect both your eligibility for certain loans as well as the interest rates you’ll be charged. The better your score, the better the interest rates you’re liable to be offered. Knowing your credit score will also help you filter through lenders as you begin to shop.
It’s common for students to have little to no credit history and to struggle to qualify for credit. If this applies to you, know that flight school loans for bad credit do exist. Some credit unions and banks offer loans designed for students in trade school programs, some specifically for flight school. These include:
• FMS Bank
• Sallie Mae
• Wells Fargo Bank
Having a cosigner with a strong credit profile, like a parent or trusted friend, can also help you qualify for a better loan.
2. Get prequalified
When you apply for prequalification, you’ll typically submit to a soft credit check with a lender and provide basic information about your financial situation, such as your income, monthly housing cost and any savings.
Using this information, lenders will determine whether you’re a good candidate for a loan and what types of terms they may offer you. Getting a preview of loan terms can you help choose between several different lenders.
How do I find lenders?
In addition to reaching out to local banks and credit unions, you can find lenders online. LendingTree is an online loan marketplace that allows you to see offers from multiple lenders, depending on your eligibility.
3. Compare lenders
Once you prequalify with a few lenders, you should compare loan terms such as:
The annual percentage rate takes interest charges and certain fees into account. A lower APR means a lower overall cost of borrowing.
A shorter repayment period means higher monthly payments but lower interest charges. A longer term can make payments more affordable but cost you far more in the long term.
Remember to only borrow what you need and can reasonably repay.
Origination fees are common among personal loans and can reduce the amount you receive. Prepayment penalties, meanwhile, punish you for early repayment.
Not all lenders offer them but features like unemployment protection and forbearance for enrolled students can help keep your account in good standing when you’re in a financial pinch.
Once you’ve honed in on a lender you’d like to borrow from, it’s time to move forward in the application process.
4. Gather necessary documents
When you’re ready to formally apply with a lender, make sure you have all necessary documents handy. This will expedite the loan process.
Required documents may include:
Proof of identity, such as your passport or driver’s license
Recent bank statements
Tax forms like W-2s, 1099s and/or pay stubs
Debt information which may include credit cards and student loans
5. Apply and get funding
Once you’ve compared loan terms and have your paperwork ready, it’s time to formally apply. Many lenders offer online applications, allowing you to apply and upload documentation within minutes. During the application process, you’ll have to submit to a hard credit check, which will affect your credit score.
A loan application can be approved anywhere from a few hours to a week or more. The speed with which you get your decision and loan funds depend on the lender.
Once approved, you may be able to get your funds within a few hours or business days. Electronic deposit will be the fastest way to get funds.