Personal Loans in Columbus, Ohio

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First Commonwealth Bank OneMain Financial Bridge Credit Union
APR Starting at 11.09% 18.00% to 35.99% As low as 9.32%
Borrowing limits $2,000 to $35,000 $2,000 to $20,000 Based on income and credit score
Terms 12 to 60 months 24 to 60 months Up to 60 months
Origination fee $54 processing fee Flat fee ($25 to $400) or percentage-based fee (1.00% - 10.00% of loan amount), depending on state $95 document preparation fee
Minimum credit requirement Not specified Not specified Not specified

First Commonwealth Bank

First Commonwealth Bank, which has two locations in Columbus, Ohio, can be a good option for fixed- or variable-rate personal loans if you’re looking to borrow a larger sum or you’re primarily concerned about lower starting APRs or fees.

APRs from the bank start below those offered by Bridge Credit Union — and well below those from OneMain Financial. (It is important to note that the low starting APR for First Commonwealth Bank is for its variable-rate offering; plus, we don’t know the maximums APRs.) The upfront borrowing cost is low, too, with a $54 processing fee. And while other lenders with Columbus locations may cap your loan amount at $25,000 or less, First Commonwealth Bank allows you to borrow up to $35,000.

Existing First Commonwealth Bank customers can get an interest rate discount on fixed loans by setting up automatic payments from a checking account held at the bank.

Applying with First Commonwealth Bank

Borrowers in five states — Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — can apply for a personal loan with First Commonwealth Bank. The application process, which can be completed online or at a local branch in Columbus, involves providing details about your finances. You’ll need to include, among other things:

  • ZIP code
  • Purpose of the loan
  • Desired amount you want to borrow
  • Desired loan term
  • Driver’s license information
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship status
  • Contact details and preferred method
  • Gross monthly income and monthly mortgage or rent payment amount
  • Employment details
  • Whether you have any co-applicants

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial is a good option for borrowers who may not be able to qualify for loans with lenders that have more stringent qualifying requirements. However, their APR is higher than many competitors, so you should consider less costly loans if you have strong financial credentials.

While the maximum loan amount is lower than First Commonwealth Bank, OneMain Financial provides fast access to funds. If you’re approved for a fixed-rate personal loan in Columbus, you could get your money as soon as the day you’re approved.

The lender, which doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, has three branches in Columbus.

Applying with OneMain Financial

You can apply with OneMain Financial at a local Columbus branch or online. If you complete an application online, you’ll need to head to a branch to talk to one of the lender’s loan specialists. They’ll verify your information and work with you to determine your loan options.

You can prequalify for a loan with OneMain Financial without affecting your credit score. Its application requires some basic information, including:

  • Name, address and email
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Monthly net income
  • Sources of income
  • Whether you own or lease a vehicle

Bridge Credit Union

Bridge Credit Union offers lower starting APRs than some competitors, such as OneMain Financial, but we don’t know its high end. It also charges a flat-rate documentation preparation fee rather than a percentage-based fee for the loan.

While you have to be a Bridge Credit Union member to qualify, membership is open to:

  • People who live, work or worship in Montgomery County or western Columbus’s Hilltop neighborhood
  • People who work in certain fields, including public transportation agencies and the Ohio Department of Youth Services
  • You can view the full membership eligibility list online.

Bridge Credit Union, which is headquartered in Columbus, has nearly 350 available branches statewide through the Co-Op Network.

Applying with Bridge Credit Union

If you’re interested in a personal loan from Bridge Credit Union, you can visit a local branch or apply online. If you’re already a credit union member, you can sign in with your username and password to streamline the process. If you aren’t yet a member, you would start by selecting the type of loan you want and continue with the rest of the application.

Be prepared with the following, among other things:

  • Desire loan amount
  • Desired loan term
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Phone number
  • Marital status
  • Whether you have a preferred loan officer
  • Address and the date you moved to your current address
  • Previous address if you’ve lived at your current address for less than 6 months
  • Information about any co-applicants
  • Details about your finances

How to shop for a personal loan online

Just because you’re looking for personal loans in Columbus doesn’t mean you can borrow only from local lenders. You can shop for personal loans online by following a few easy steps.

Compile your financial info

Most lenders consider certain basic financial criteria to determine if you can qualify for a personal loan — this includes your credit score, which you can check for free through LendingTree.

Lenders also want to make sure you have stable employment and enough income to pay back what you’re borrowing. Proof of employment and income, such as pay stubs and tax returns, are often required.

Compare personal loan offers using LendingTree

You may be matched with up to five lenders in LendingTree’s network based on your creditworthiness. Personal loan lenders charge different APRs and offer different terms, so it’s always a good idea to comparison shop and get several quotes.

You should look for lenders that allow you to prequalify while performing a soft credit inquiry. Soft credit checks don’t show up as inquiries on your credit report. Other lenders require a hard credit check, but too many in a short period can hurt your credit score, so aim to keep your rate-shopping in a 14-day window.

Research lenders and choose your best offer

When shopping for a loan, it’s important to look at the big picture. Your APR and loan term determine what your financing will cost, but they aren’t the only factors.

Some lenders have a shorter time to fund your loan than others, while some allow for your loan to be funded via direct deposit or check. If you need money right away, you may want to opt for a lender providing faster access to cash.

You’ll also want to consider customer service and other features of the loan. By looking at the big picture, you can decide which lender is offering your overall best deal.

What to look for in a lender

Some of the key factors to look for when comparing lenders include:

  • Flexible loan terms: You’ll want a choice of repayment timelines, since the time you have to pay back the loan affects the size of your payments. A longer schedule will give you lower monthly payments, but a higher overall cost. 
  • Low APRs: APR takes into account both interest and fees. The lower the APR, the lower the overall cost of your loan.
  • No origination fees: Origination fees, or upfront fees, make borrowing more expensive. Some personal loan lenders charge them, but others don’t.
  • No prepayment penalties: If you want to pay off your loan ahead of schedule, some lenders will charge you a fee. Aim to avoid these lenders if you think there’s a chance you’ll make extra payments to become debt-free faster.

Calculate your personal loan payments

When you’re considering applying for a personal loan in Columbus, Ohio, you want to understand both the monthly payments you’ll owe and the total loan cost. You can use our personal loan payment calculator to see what your loan would cost and check how your balance will change over time as you work to pay down your debt.

Methodology

To select personal loan lenders for this roundup, we used Google Maps to search for “personal loan lenders” with local branches in Columbus, Ohio. We then researched the first 45 unique lenders that appeared in our results, and selected three lenders to feature based on 1) lowest minimum APR, 2) lowest maximum APR, 3) lowest origination fee, 4) widest range of borrowing limits and 5) widest range of term length. Lenders that didn’t offer information on at least three of the five factors listed above weren’t considered.