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Best Personal Loans in Chicago, IL

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Written by Sandi Pope

Emergency or pricey expenses don’t need to take a bite out of your savings. Taking out a personal loan with a reasonable interest rate allows you to pay for what life throws your way without needing to make a large, upfront payment. Start your financial journey with our recommendations for the best personal loan providers in Chicago.

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Top 13 Chicago Personal Loan Companies

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Typical personal loans in Chicago range from $1,000 to $50,000, but some banks offer loans for larger amounts. Borrowers in Chicago use personal loans to pay for weddings, medical expenses and vacations. Personal loans can also help borrowers save money by paying off credit card bills with high interest rates more quickly.

Picking a loan in Chicago, IL

It can be confusing to choose between the various types of personal loans available in Chicago. Here’s some guidance on when to use the most common ones.

  • Secured loan: Chicago locals looking to buy a new car usually take out a secured auto loan for the purchase. A secured loan needs collateral to be approved, and in the case of an auto loan, you would use the purchased car as security. Secured loans are the most common type of loans, and they generally are used to purchase vehicles and homes.
  • Variable-rate loan: Chicago residents looking to purchase a home to flip in Lincoln Park or Logan Square usually use a variable-interest loan. This type of loan works best if you have a short repayment term — initial APRs are often lower than fixed-rate loans but tend to increase over time.
  • Personal line of credit loan: Business owners founding startups in neighborhoods like The Loop and Wicker Park may be interested in establishing a line of credit. These loans are an excellent choice because the business can borrow money up to the credit limit and is only charged interest on the funds it uses.

State regulation for Chicago personal loans

As of January 1, 2020, interest rates are capped at 5% on consumer debt below $25,000 in Chicago. The window for creditors to collect the debt also decreased from 26 years to 17 years.

Choosing a Chicago lender

Choosing the right personal loan company in Chicago starts with understanding the options for your situation and finding which companies offer the loan you need. If you've never signed a loan before or are still building credit, some Chicago companies offer loans designed for people who have bad credit or no credit history.

The next steps involve gathering quotes and reading online reviews. Friends and family can provide recommendations on which companies are good and which ones to avoid. Once you narrow down the list, look at any registered reports filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against the companies you're considering.

No matter which business you choose, it’s crucial to understand your loan rate, term, penalties, fees and payback requirements before signing the contract or accepting funds. Only then can you make an informed decision on whether you have the best loan to suit your needs.

Chicago personal loan FAQ

Can I get a loan with a credit union in Chicago?
Yes, although you must be a member of the credit union to apply for a personal loan. Credit unions often have better rates than traditional banks.
How can you borrow money if you have bad credit in Chicago?
Online lenders and credit unions often do not have minimum credit requirements, so bad credit shouldn’t be a problem. In general, your creditworthiness determines interest rates, loan amounts and payback terms. If you're having issues obtaining a loan online or with a credit union, you may want to look into a payday loan as an alternative.
Where do I go to get a personal loan in Chicago?
Our list of recommended personal loan companies in Chicago includes online lenders and local banks. To find the best choice, compare their loan offers, penalty policies, interest rates and fees.

Not sure how to choose?

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    Chicago personal loan company information

    United Credit Union

    Whether you need funds for home remodeling or celebrating an anniversary with a trip to Fiji, United Credit Union can provide you with the necessary money. Interested borrowers can quickly apply online or over the phone with basic personal and income information.

    • Address: 4444 S. Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60632
    • Phone: (773) 376-6000
    • Hours: M - F: 9am - 5:30pm; Sat: 8:30am - 1pm
    • Website: unitedcreditunion.com
    BMO Harris Bank Chicago

    You can customize your loan terms to suit your needs with BMO Harris Bank, and there's no penalty for early payoffs. There are also various ways to start the process, including applying online, requesting to be contacted, visiting a branch or calling the bank's primary number.

    • Address: 77 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602
    • Phone: (888) 340-2265
    • Hours: Call for hours
    • Website: bmoharris.com
    First Northern Credit Union

    First Northern Credit Union is quick to get its customers the cash they need. The credit union offers signature loans with a 9.99% APR and repayment times of 24, 36 or 72 months. Interested borrowers can apply online or at a branch with a Social Security number and government-issued photo ID.

    • Address: 541 N. Fairbanks Court, Ste. 120, Chicago, IL 60611
    • Phone: (312) 527-2755
    • Hours: M, T, Th, F: 8am - 4:30pm; W: 9:30am - 4:30pm
    • Website: fncu.org
    Credit Union 1

    With six loan products to choose from, Credit Union 1 is sure to have the loan you need. The company’s signature loans can help cover emergencies or education bills, and its three types of secured loans are great for people who are building their credit. Borrowers can also get an overdraft line of credit and a Visa credit card.

    • Address: 1737 W. Polk St., Chicago, IL 60612
    • Phone: (800) 252-6950
    • Hours: M - F: 8:30am - 5pm
    • Website: creditunion1.org
    Great Lakes Credit Union

    Great Lakes Credit Union offers low-interest, unsecured personal loans. It also offers Cash-In-A-Flash loans of $500 with APRs as low as 33.5%. The loan has a $30 fee but comes with minimal requirements.

    • Address: 1011 W. Lawrence Ave., Ste. 5017, Chicago, IL 60640
    • Phone: (773) 769-2800
    • Hours: M - F: 10am - 6pm; Sat: 8:30am - 1pm
    • Website: glcu.org