Many people make the mistake of heading to their bank when they need extra cash in a hurry. However, most banks do not specialize in emergency loans for a variety of reasons. The good news is that there are other options for finding emergency funds to pay for emergencies like car repairs, medicine or other unexpected expenses.
This article will explain why banks are not usually the best choice for emergency lending products and where you can go instead to find the money you need, when you need it.
The Application Process
Banks typically require a long application for customers in search of a loan. These applications ask for a wide range of information, from your income amount to a listing of all your current financial obligations.
In addition to the large amount of information required on these applications, banks also assess a fee for simply turning in an application for consideration. If you are searching for emergency loans, you probably don't have time for a lengthy application, and you definitely don't have extra money to put down at the front of the application process.
Once the application is submitted, the bank begins verifying your financial information. There are usually one or two bank employees that are involved with the processing part of the loan, and then a loan officer will make the final decision as to whether or not to approve your loan. Credit reports must be pulled, income verified and a valuation of your home might be needed.
In addition to the time involved with such a process, there may be additional expenses for a credit report and home appraisal. The processing is lengthy and not typically the characteristics that efficient emergency loans have.
Once the loan processing is completed, the file may sit on the desk of a loan officer for a period of time before it is approved. If the loan officer is not happy with the information included in the loan packet, it may go back to the processing department for additional work. You may be contacted to provide additional information as well. The entire process can end up taking weeks, which is not helpful for a customer looking for emergency loans to satisfy an immediate financial need.
Once your loan is approved, the disbursement process begins. If you used your home for collateral (as many banks require), there is a period of time in which the bank must hold your loan proceeds to give you time to reconsider your decision to borrow against your property. At that time, a check is often issued, which must be physically deposited into your account. The entire process takes much longer than you may have if you are looking for cash in a hurry.
On the other hand, you can often apply for emergency loans in a matter of minutes online, and approval usually comes within days or even hours. Funds are directly deposited into your checking account and may be available for withdrawal the next business day. For those needing cash quickly, emergency loans are generally a much better solution than heading to your neighborhood bank.
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