Personal loans can help you in various circumstances. These include paying off high-interest debt or taking advantage of major costs like a wedding or a home improvement project. Personal loans can also cover emergencies and other unexpected expenses.
That said, interest rates, terms, and eligibility vary depending on the state you live in. If you’re looking for personal loans in Florida, this guide will help you review your options.
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Florida Personal Loans Online
One of the biggest draws of personal loans is the flexibility they offer. Loan amounts can be small or large and can be used for just about anything. Additionally, online loan applications can be completed virtually. In some cases, you can get funding the same day you are approved.
See the chart below for a comparison of some of the major online lenders that offer personal loans in Florida.
Local personal lenders in Florida
It can be easy and convenient to get a personal loan online. Nevertheless, you may want to consider applying directly with a local lender. Local banks, credit unions, and lenders often have better deals with lower interest rates and monthly payments for local borrowers, but with limited options.
Local banks and credit unions may require a membership or that you come speak to a representative to apply for a personal loan. One of the benefits of sitting down with a representative is that they can explicitly review your options and answer any questions you may have. If you are an existing customer, you may be able to apply online with a local lender.
Here are some personal loan companies in Florida to consider.
Wells Fargo & Company was founded in 1852. It is headquartered in San Francisco and operates more than 5,000 locations nationwide, including nearly 600 in Florida. It offers a range of financial products, including personal, mortgage, home and auto loans, retirement investments, checking and savings accounts and credit cards.
Florida residents can apply at a branch or online with no collateral required. Rates are based on credit history, income and loan amount requested. You may be able to get funds the next business day if you are approved.
Learn more with our Wells Fargo personal loan review.
Bank of Regions
Regions Bank began in 1971 and today is one of the largest banks serving the South, Midwest and Texas. It offers a variety of consumer and business services, including checking and savings accounts, student and auto loans, and mortgage products.
Prior membership is not required. That said, you can get a discount if you already have an account with Regions. Borrowers have three options for personal loans: a secured installment loan, a secured deposit loan (collateral required), or an unsecured loan.
Find out more with our review of Bank of Regions personal loans.
First Florida Credit Union
Based in Jacksonville, First Florida Credit Union opened its doors in 1950. Today, it has 16 branches with more than 54,000 members throughout Florida. It prides itself on forging personal relationships and a “people before profits” approach to providing its members with lower interest rates and higher incomes.
It offers checks, savings, loans and lines of credit. You can apply online, over the phone or in person for a personalized personal loan. Membership is only open to Florida residents who live or work in eligible counties, belong to certain employee groups, or are members of Florida Southern Baptist Church.
Visit the First Florida Credit Union website to learn more.
Florida Credit Union
The Florida Credit Union began in 1954 as a state-chartered credit union for teachers. Today it serves over 90,000 members in 45 counties. Membership is open to residents who live, work, or have a child in school in eligible counties, as well as students or alumni of Santa Fe College, Florida Gateway College, or College of Central Florida.
The Florida Credit Union offers personal and business deposit accounts, loans, and credit cards. The company also offers state-of-the-art financial technology.
Visit the Florida Credit Union website to learn more.
Miami Federal Credit Union
Miami Federal Credit Union was founded in 1954. It provides financial services to government employees and their family members in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. It has earned a five-star rating from Bauer Financial.
Members have access to checking and savings accounts, car, mortgage and personal loans, GAP coverage, IRA certificates and credit cards.
Visit the Miami Federal Credit Union website to learn more.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Personal Loans in Florida
Personal loans appeal to borrowers because of their many advantages, but they also have disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
- Personal loans offer flexibility in loan amounts and uses.
- They have lower interest rates than credit cards.
- No collateral is required if it is an unsecured personal loan.
- The application process is short and the time for funding is usually less than a week.
- Collateral is required if it is a secured personal loan.
- Home equity loans and HELOCs have lower interest rates, although they use your home as collateral.
- Terms and rates vary widely from lender to lender.
- Some personal loans come with origination fees, i.e. loan processing fees.
- It can be difficult to determine the integrity and credibility of lenders in the online personal loan market.
What can personal loans be used for?
There are not many usage restrictions when it comes to personal loans. However, you should not borrow a lump sum of money for non-essential expenses.
Potential uses of a personal loan include:
- Debt Consolidation
- Home repair or renovation
- An emergency expense
- Medical or veterinary bills
- Business start-up
- Car or school loan
- Moving expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Adoption fees
What you need to apply
Most personal loan applications require similar customer information. You can most likely expect to be asked the following:
- Identification data: This includes your social security number, date of birth, phone number, home address, email address, nationality and marital status.
- Income information: This includes information about your employer, gross monthly income, and monthly rent or mortgage amount.
- Loan information: This includes the type of loan desired (secured/unsecured), the term and the amount requested.
- Docs: These include pay stubs and a copy of your driver’s license or utility bill to verify your address.
Beware of payday loans
A payday loan is a quick cash advance that usually comes with a high interest rate. The lure of quick money attracts borrowers. However, unreasonably high interest rates are difficult to repay and aim to trap them in a cycle of debt.
Unfortunately, predatory payday loans from online and local lenders are common in Florida. If you need a loan, it is best to borrow from one of the trusted lenders listed above. You’ll be safer and pay less in the long run.
Restrictions on payday loans in Florida
Florida lawmakers have tried to protect consumers with legislation that restricts the terms of payday loans and the interest payday lenders can charge borrowers. For example, borrowers can only take out one payday loan at a time and borrowing limits cannot exceed $500. In addition, delays cannot exceed 31 days and the maximum charge is 10%.
Visit the Florida Office of Financial Regulation website for more information on Florida payday loan restrictions.
Shop around to find the best personal loan for you
It’s a buyer’s market when it comes to personal loans. It’s important to shop around and compare rates and terms to get the best deal for you. Start by checking out our top picks for the best personal loan rates and companies.
*The terms of your loan, including the APR, may differ depending on the purpose of the loan, the amount, the term and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for the lowest rates. The fare is shown with the AutoPay discount. The AutoPay rebate is only available before the loan is funded. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and conditions are subject to change without notice.
**Payment Example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95% APR with a three-year term would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.