BMO Harris Personal Loan Review

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BMO Harris Personal Loan Review: Read this content clarify to determine whether you should apply for a personal loan from BMO Harris Bank based on the interest rates, costs, and repayment terms.

In a Nutshell, BMO Harris offers relatively small loan amounts with a wide range of loan terms, including as short as 12 months. But there’s no online application — so you’ll have to visit a bank branch or call in to apply.

What you need to know about a BMO Harris personal loan

The Bank of Montreal owns BMO Harris, a major, full-service commercial bank with headquarters in Chicago. With more than 500 locations spread across Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, the bank’s clientele is primarily in the Midwest.

The bank offers a full range of personal banking products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, mortgages and retirement accounts. It also offers personal loans at fixed interest rates.

No online application

Many personal loan lenders allow you to complete an application online, potentially allowing you to receive loan offers within a few minutes without the need to speak to a human. But with BMO Harris, there are only two ways to apply for a personal loan: In person at a BMO Harris bank branch or over the phone.

Relatively small loan amounts, but wide range of loan terms

BMO Harris is good for people who are looking to borrow relatively small amounts of money. You can borrow as little as $1,500 or as much as $35,000 from the bank.

Many lenders will let you borrow as much as $50,000 and a few will let you borrow even more than that (up to $100,00).

And, BMO Harris gives borrowers some flexibility when it comes to choosing their loan’s term.

You can borrow money for a term ranging from 12 to 72 months.

That makes it easy to customize your loan to give you a monthly payment that you can manage, while still minimizing the overall cost.

Credit-builder loan available

If you can’t qualify for a personal loan, BMO Harris offers a different type of loan designed to help you improve your credit score while building up your savings at the same time. With the bank’s Credit Builder Loan Program, you borrow money to buy a certificate of deposit. As you make your payments on time, your credit may improve. At the end of the loan term, you get the money you saved in the CD, plus the interest.

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A closer look at a BMO Harris personal loan  

■  Difficult to find rates online — On the BMO Harris website, you can only see your potential minimum interest rate if you live in the states where BMO has branches. If you live in any other state, you’ll have to call to find out what rate you may receive.

■  Quoted rates include discounts for autopay — Any rate you’re quoted will include a 0.5% discount, assuming you’ll use autopay. To qualify for the discount, automatic payments must come from a BMO Harris checking account.

■  Option to receive loan money by check — When you’re approved for a BMO Harris personal loan, you can opt to have the proceeds deposited into your bank account, or you can get a check.

■  Funding in a few days — BMO Harris doesn’t promise same-day or next-business-day loan funding. Instead, the bank says you’ll have your money in a few days.

Application Requirements

BMO Harris does not list any specific application requirements..

Of course:

Your odds of approval will be dependent on your credit score and financial situation, but there is nothing stopping you from applying, even if you have poor credit.

The better your credit score is, the better your chances of approval will be, so work to improve your credit before applying.

However:

You cannot apply for a BMO Harris personal loan online.

You can apply for a personal loan from BMO Harris by:

  • Requesting a contact
  • Making an appointment
  • Visit a branch
  • Calling 1-888-340-2265

How to apply with BMO Harris

To apply for a BMO Harris personal loan, you’ll need to visit a branch in person or call the bank. BMO Harris recommends you bring valid personal identification with your current address.

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When you apply for the loan, the lender will ask you to provide some information so it can make a decision on your application.

The information that you’re asked for will often include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license
  • Social Security number
  • Annual income
    • Proof of income, such as bank statements or pay stubs
    • Verification of employment

Getting all of this information and paperwork together can sound like a difficult task. That’s because it can be difficult. However, taking this process seriously and spending the time required to make sure you submit everything with your initial application is an essential part of the process. Providing insufficient or unclear information will impact your chances of approval.

In the best case, it will slow down the process as the lender asks for additional information and documentation. In the worst case, BMO Harris will reject your application.

To qualify, BMO Harris says you must demonstrate a “positive credit history,” which the bank determines by pulling your credit report. If you don’t have meet the requirements for a personal loan, you may be eligible for the bank’s Credit Builder Loan Program.

Increase Chances of Approval

Before you submit an application for a personal loan, take these steps to improve your chances of getting approved.

Boost your credit score

One of the major factors that determine whether you are approved for a loan is your credit score.

Your FICO credit score (used by the majority of U.S. lenders) is a number between 300 and 850 that indicates your financial trustworthiness as a borrower.

The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to pay back your loans. The lower your credit score, the more likely you are to default or make late payments.

Credit scores above 700 are considered good, while scores above 750 are considered excellent.

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The most important of these factors is your payment history.

Lenders want to see that you make your payments consistently and that you rarely or never miss payments.

Even one missed payment can wipe out months of good payments, so do your best to always pay your bills on time.

The amount that you owe is the next biggest factor.

The less that you owe, the better that your score will be. Similarly, the lower the percentage of your credit card limits that you are using, the better it is for your score.

Avoid taking on debts you don’t need, and your score will improve.

Reduce debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio also impacts your application’s chances of approval.

This ratio measures the percentage of your monthly payments that goes toward paying your monthly bills.

For example, if you make $5,000 each month and spend $2,000 on monthly bill payments, your debt-to-income ratio if 40%.

The best way to reduce this ratio is to pay off existing debts. This reduces the ratio and improves your credit score at the same time, giving your application’s chances an extra boost.

If you decide to improve the ratio by increasing your income, make sure that the income is documented. If you are paid under the table, lenders won’t consider that income in your application.

How Does It Compare?

BMO Harris is just one personal lender. Many banks and companies dedicating to lending offer personal loans. When you shop for your personal loan, you should take the time to look for the best deal.

When comparing personal loans, start by finding multiple lenders that offer loans that fit your needs.

Next, you should compare the interest rates of each loan. All else being equal, always opt for the lowest loan possible.

The only reason to choose a higher rate is if loan fees increase the cost of the loan. Be on the lookout for application, origination, and early repayment fees.