personal loan options
SmartMatch Loans

Wondering How to Get a Personal Loan? Start here!

By Jessica Price

September 28, 2023

Utilizing credit and lending options rather than cash when making a large purchase or funding an unexpected cost is an option that, when used wisely, can help borrowers when they need it most. Credit cards are often the credit option of choice, but not everyone has access to or likes swiping their card for all expenses. Personal loans, for many people, are the best option and what they choose to use. So where do you go for a personal loan? A special personal loan bank? Not quite. Personal loans can be obtained from a bank, a credit union, or a lender1 like CheckSmart either in person at a store or online. Applying at CheckSmart only takes a few minutes and if approved you may receive funds as soon as the next business day when applying online or the same day if you apply in person at one of our conveniently located stores. Availability is dependent on your state of residence. Personal loans come in many shapes and sizes and are utilized for various purposes. A personal loan can be used as the borrower sees fit.3 Unlike an auto loan or home mortgage, a personal loan is typically funded directly into the borrower's banking account and then can be used to pay for anything the borrower needs. Before you apply for a loan from any lender, spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the types of personal loans, how they work, how to get a personal loan, and best repayment practices.

secured loans unsecured loans

Secured vs Unsecured Personal Loans

When you hear the terms secure and unsecure,3 the first thoughts we usually have are about safety. When you obtain a secured loan, that means you have to have something of value to use as collateral. Using collateral as a way to secure funding means that if you fail to pay, the lender can take possession of the item you used as collateral. Common valuables used for collateral2 include, but are of course not completely limited to, a house, a car, or personal items with value like jewelry. Providing this collateral protects the lenders investment because you may have to forfeit your collateral to the lender if you do not repay your loan. Alternately, an unsecured loan does not require that you provide any collateral. You’re able to obtain a loan after completing an application and meeting other requirements. For example, at CheckSmart you will need to provide the following information when applying for a loan:

  • An Active Bank Account
  • Government-Issued Photo ID
  • Most Recent Bank Statements
  • Checking Account and Bank Routing Numbers
  • Social Security Number or ITIN

Whether you work with a lender to obtain a secure loan or an unsecured loan, always check to see that the lender you choose is reputable and shares information with you willingly and freely. Choosing a great lender is the most important part of the borrowing process.

bad credit loan application

Can you get a personal loan with bad credit?

Personal loan eligibility varies depending on the lender you choose to work with. Some lenders require you to have a certain credit score to qualify.4 Other lenders do not check your credit score but require an application and information that otherwise proves your ability to repay the loan. At the end of the day, working with a lender is an agreement, or a promise of sorts, between you and the lender that you will pay back the money they let you borrow. In turn, you are relying on the lender to offer up front information to you about the rates and terms of the loan you’re considering as well as information about repaying the loan that is easy to understand. You’re also relying on the lender to fund the loan in a timely manner. Working with a reputable lender, therefore, is incredibly important. In short, yes, you can in many cases obtain a personal loan despite having poor credit, but you will have to apply and provide information to the lender in order for them to make a lending decision. If a lender requires no information from you in order to receive funds, you may be working with a lender that is not reputable and therefore should be avoided.

personal loan lender

Choosing a Personal Loan Lender

There are many online lenders who offer quick solutions to financial stresses and problems, and in fact CheckSmart does offer funding when our customers need it most. However, it’s important to do your research and work with a lender who values transparency, customer service, and helping customers achieve their goals. Our dedicated team of Lending Pros will work with you to find your SmartMatch Loan that works best for your situation and guide you through the options available to you in your state. Not all loans are available in every state, and our team can help you navigate your options before you apply. We’re committed to providing exceptional service you can count on and loans that can help you cover unexpected expenses that you do not have cash to cover. Our team is also dedicated to helping you learn as much as possible about healthy financial habits, including best practices for repaying your loan once you’ve received funding. Paying on time, budgeting for repayment prior to applying, and working to pay your loan off early if possible are all ways to get the most out of your loan and save on interest. It’s our goal to make sure you have an excellent lending experience at CheckSmart.


1Choudhuri-Wade Ronita (2023, Apr 6). What Is a Personal Loan? Retrieved from:

2Bond, Casey (2023, Jun 27). Everything You Need to Know About Collateral Loans Retrieved from:

3Rivera, Heidi (2023, Apr 26). What is a personal loan? Retrieved from:

4Talty, Alexandra (2021, Nov 14). How Do Personal Loans Work? Retrieved from:

Jessica is hyper-focused on making information about the Personal Loans offered by CheckSmart including Payday Loans, Installment Loans, and Title Loans accessible and easy to understand. Learning the basics about finances shouldn’t be complicated after all! The key to responsible borrowing is understanding the loans you’re considering, and it’s Jessica’s mission to help anyone considering a loan make an informed decision. Jessica is passionate about sharing easy-to-follow Budgeting Tips and helping readers increase their financial literacy in the Financial Corner of the blog. You’ll find great budgeting tips, Simplified Savings tips, and information that will help you improve your financial wellness sprinkled throughout each of her blogs.

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