Consumers have many options when it comes to personal loans and consumer financing programs. Whether they’re searching for traditional credit cards, secured credit cards, signature loans, secured personal loans or automobile title loans, people can find personal credit and loan providers in many locations. Most Americans can obtain personal loans from six basic types of personal loan providers:
Banks: Traditionally, the first place you might turn to when looking for a personal loan is the local or community bank you already use for checking, savings and other consumer finance needs. Although automobile loans and home mortgage financing are two of the most popular financing products offered by consumer banks, many banks also offer personal loans.
Credit Unions: Credit unions are a popular alternative to banks. Much like mutual banks, credit unions are owned by their members. They offer their loan products, including personal loans, primarily to their members. Credit unions are often able to offer lower rates and charge lower fees than many banks because they are nonprofit entities.
Credit unions do have membership requirements, though some are based primarily on geography rather than occupation or demographics. Credit unions are usually direct lenders of personal loans, using funds provided by their member depositors.
Finance Companies: In contrast to credit unions, finance companies are typically for-profit private entities. And unlike banks, finance companies are usually focused only on lending, so they don’t generally handle customer deposit accounts like checking and savings accounts. The funds that finance companies use to provide personal loans come from investors and loans from commercial lenders.
Private Lenders: Unlike banks and credit unions, private lenders are typically non-institutional. They are often individuals or groups of individuals who provide financing on a project or case-by-case basis and treat their loans more as direct investments.
Peer-to-Peer Lenders: Also called person-to-person, social or P2P lending, peer-to-peer lending is what typically happens when a person borrows from other individuals. These are often informal loans between friends, families and colleagues, though they may also include formal agreements.
Loan Brokers: Another source for personal loans is the loan broker. Unlike direct lenders who lend their own funds, loan brokers connect prospective borrowers with lenders. They often provide marketing services for and are paid by the lender.
Mint Credit Cards is an online financial services brand and part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Groups Retail - Direct Channels Division. The Mint credit card was introduced as a replacement for the RBS Advanta card.
Mint are known mainly as an online provider of credit cards, but also offer a variety of personal finance products
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