In a Nutshell
Bank of the West offers unsecured personal loans up to $50,000 for people in select states. But there’s no online application process, so you’ll need to visit a local branch to apply.
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- Rate discount for automatic payments
- Loans between $2,000 and $50,000
- No prepayment penalty
- “Preferred” credit scores for loan approval of 700 or better
- No online application process
- Not transparent about loan rates and fees
- Not available in all states
What you need to know about a Bank of the West personal loan
Bank of the West offers unsecured personal loans for people who live within its 19-state footprint of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
It offers loan amounts from $2,000 to $50,000, which can cover small amounts for an emergency or larger amounts for things like a major purchase or debt consolidation.
Here are some considerations when thinking about getting a personal loan from Bank of the West.
Fairly high credit standards
Bank of the West says it prefers credit scores of at least 700 for its personal loans.
But if you don’t meet that mark, the lender does allow co-signers for its personal loans. Having a co-signer with strong credit may help you get approved for a loan or receive a better loan rate.
Lack of transparency
Bank of the West’s website doesn’t list the potential APR range for its personal loans. It also doesn’t say if it charges an origination fee.
Plus, you’ll have to apply in a branch instead of online. That can make it difficult to compare potential offers and shop around before committing.
Potential rate discount
Bank of the West offers a rate discount of 0.25% if you set up automatic payments from a Bank of the West account. But you’ll have to arrange this at closing to qualify.
Customers can qualify for a fixed-rate loan term of up to 60 months. That’s a fairly standard repayment period for personal loans, which often range from 12 to 84 months. Keep in mind that longer payment periods mean your monthly payments are smaller, but you’ll end up paying more in interest in the long run.
Who is a Bank of the West loan good for?
A Bank of the West personal loan may make sense if you meet the lender’s credit score requirements: The lender says preferred scores for loan approval start at 700.
Bank of the West also may be an option to consider if you live in a state the bank serves and would prefer a person to help guide you through the process, rather than going online.
If you don’t have at least two years of verifiable income history or you’re looking for a loan term longer than 60 months, you may want to look elsewhere.
How to apply with Bank of the West
To apply for a personal loan with Bank of the West, you’ll need to visit a branch. When you apply, you’ll need to have information about your assets and debts, two years of verifiable income history and your Social Security or individual taxpayer identification number.
Applicants must be 18 years or older and reside in one of the states where Bank of the West does business. Loans are subject to approval.
When you’re shopping for a personal loan, be sure you understand the loan’s terms, including the interest payments, how long you’ll be required to make payments and any additional fees you may have to pay. You should also consider how your loan application will affect your credit scores.
Not sure if Bank of the West is right for you? Consider these alternatives.
- Avant: An Avant personal loan may be a good option to consider if you have less-than-perfect credit.
- LightStream: If you want to borrow more money and have strong credit, LightStream is worth a look.
About the author: Sarah Sidlow is a freelance writer and editor based near Detroit. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University. Sarah’s work has appeared in Luxembourg’s national newspaper, Washington City Paper… Read more.