Wisconsin is ranked 23rd when it comes to the cost of living, making it one of the more affordable states. But with the rise of inflation comes increased prices for everything from groceries to rent to utilities. As more Wisconsin residents struggle to make ends meet, many people turn to personal loans to help them pay for everyday expenses.
For many Wisconsin residents, traditional banks are still the way to go for these loans. But for the estimated 2.4% of unbanked families—that is, they have no checking or savings account—traditional lending is not an option.
Fortunately, you could still get a personal loan in Wisconsin, even if you’re unbanked and have limited or bad credit. Jora offers convenient online loans designed to meet your needs. You can use the funds to pay for car repairs or surprise medical bills. Or you can use the loan to help pay for a sudden life event like pregnancy or a lost job.
Whatever the reason might be, if you live in Wisconsin and need cash now, apply for a personal loan through Jora. All you need is secure access to the internet and a few minutes to complete the fully digital loan application. And if you apply and are approved before 10:30 a.m. CT on a business day, you could receive funds the same day.*
From 2010 to 2021, Wisconsin has remained somewhat steady with only a 3.6% increase in population—or from 5,690,538 to 5,895,908 people. In contrast, the population of the rest of the United States saw a 7.3% increase during that same period.
But while the Badger State’s population has remained stable, the state has made great strides in job growth. According to the State of Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development, there's a projected 6.3% growth rate, which will add 360,835 new jobs each year from 2020 to 2030.
Along with this, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has remained low at 3.2% as of December 2022. This is lower than the national average, but it’s also good news for current Wisconsin residents or anyone looking to move to the state.
Although Wisconsin’s overall growth rate is slow, the cost of living continues to rise throughout the state—especially in the larger cities. Even if you’re currently employed, it’s still good to know your options if you ever need a loan in Wisconsin.
With that said, here are the most common types of loans—including traditional and alternative options—in Wisconsin:
Before getting a loan in Wisconsin, it’s important to understand what type of loan you need (and qualify for) and what different lenders’ requirements are. Bad credit loans, for example, are usually easier to get than traditional personal or installment loans. Along with this, certain lenders will require you to meet credit and income requirements before working with you.
You may also want to consider whether getting a loan is the best option for you. This might mean taking a good look at your credit score and history, income or assets, and current debts.
Whatever the case, here’s what you need to consider to ensure you choose the right loan—and lender—for you.
Your credit score depends on various factors, such as payment history, credit utilization, and the average age of all open accounts. Typically, lenders will perform a fast credit check when deciding whether to approve or deny a loan application. The better your credit score, the better your loan options and the higher your approval odds. If you have good credit or better, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest fees over the loan term.
If you do not know what your credit score is, or if you’re not sure, request a free copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. Carefully review it for any errors that might be bringing down your score. If you feel your credit score could be better, work on building it up before applying for a loan.
Make sure you can comfortably afford a new loan before applying for one. Start by calculating how much you currently pay each month for things like mortgage or rent, utilities, other loans, and everyday expenses. If you cannot afford the new loan, you could end up having trouble paying it back. Or you could end up hurting your credit score.
In Wisconsin, the average median household income is $67,080—or $5,590 a month. If you make roughly that amount but spend the majority of your income on other things, can you handle a new loan? If the answer’s no, wait until your income increase or you have fewer debts to repay.
Most lenders will also calculate your current debt obligations when deciding whether to offer you a loan. If your debt-to- income ratio is too high, they might deny your loan application.
When you apply for a personal loan, lenders will usually check your income and current employment status. They might require you to upload supporting documents verifying this information during the application process. Commonly accepted documents include bank statements, recent tax returns, and W2s.
Before you apply for a personal loan in Wisconsin, calculate your total monthly income (after taxes). Be sure to include all income sources, including child support, alimony, and full-time or part-time work.
Secured personal loans require you to put up assets—like a paid-off vehicle or a house—that serve as collateral in case you fail to make payments. But even with unsecured personal loans, you may still need to provide proof of any assets you might have. This can be helpful, especially if you have bad credit or limited income.
Some lenders will let you apply for a loan with a cosigner. The cosigner should be someone you know who has good credit and income. They can help boost your odds of qualifying for a loan if you do not meet the minimum criteria on your own.
Typically, lenders will list the loan terms, interest rates, amounts, and eligibility requirements on their website or during the application process. Consider these details carefully before applying.
Short-term loans usually have a higher annual percentage rate (APR) than loans with longer terms. These can be expensive and difficult to repay, especially if the repayment term is only a couple of weeks or months.
Online lenders like Jora offer personal loans that can be repaid in installments over several months or so. These loans come in fixed amounts and are easier to pay back over time than short-term options.
Lenders will calculate the loan term, APR, and any other fees when determining your monthly payment amount. But you can do this too by using an online calculator or jotting down some numbers on a piece of paper.
Last but not least, check the reputation of any lender you’re interested in before applying for a loan. Be sure to check their licensing status as well. Choose a lender that is licensed to do business in your state. If they are not licensed, or if they have a bad reputation online, steer clear of them.
Start with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot to see what past and present customers are saying about them. Jora, for example, has more than 1,000 reviews on Trustpilot and an excellent rating.
You can also check the lender’s website to see if they have any online testimonials about them. If they do, it could be a good sign of what your experience could be like with them as well.
As for licensing, you can typically find this information at the bottom of the lender’s homepage or in their disclosure agreement. If you do not see it, check with your state attorney general’s office.
Most lenders require a credit check and income verification as part of their decision-making process. But they may also require some or all of the following:
The process for getting a loan in Wisconsin—whether it’s installment loans, payday loans, or bad credit loans—is straightforward. If you want to go through a traditional lender like a credit union or a bank, you’ll need to apply either at a branch or online.
Alternatively, you could apply for a personal loan online through an online lender. Jora, for example, has a quick application process that takes only a few minutes and is 100% digital.
Whichever route you choose, here are some things to ask yourself before applying:
Once you’ve decided that taking out a personal loan is right for you, it’s time to look for a reputable, licensed lender in Wisconsin. You can use an online marketplace to compare different online lenders in your state. Or you can ask around if you know someone who has taken out a loan recently.
See what different lenders are offering in terms of loan amounts, rates, and fees. Lender’s fees can add up—and quickly— so try to steer clear of these options. Jora does not charge any origination or prepayment fees.
Finally, review the lender’s requirements to see if you’re eligible for a loan. Check your credit report and review your income to make sure everything is in order.
If you need an installment loan for bad credit, consider Jora as your lender. The application process is simple:
Many online lenders will perform a soft inquiry into your credit to check your credit history. This will not hurt your credit score, but it can give the lender an idea of whether you qualify for their loans. It can also give you an idea of what terms and interest rates you could get. Some lenders will perform a hard credit check instead, which could temporarily affect your credit score.
Personal Loans There are two main types of personal loans:
Any type of personal loan comes with a certain level of risk. For instance, if you do not make payments on time, you could damage your credit score or incur late charges or additional interest. If you still do not pay, the lender might send your account to collections which will hurt your credit score even more.
Evaluate the risks carefully before you apply for either type of personal loan. That way, you can avoid any potentially harmful effects on your credit or income.
Your credit score plays a significant role in determining the financing options you qualify for—and at what rates and terms. A person’s credit score ranges from 300 to 850, but anything above 670 is considered “good credit.” Someone with good credit is more likely to receive a loan with favorable terms than someone with bad credit. This is because lenders use your credit to determine your risk level and how likely you are to repay what you owe.
If you have bad credit or limited credit history, you might not qualify for financing. Or you might end up with higher APRs or shorter loan terms.
Here are the main factors that go into your credit score:
Negative marks, like bankruptcy or foreclosure, and errors on your credit report also affect your credit score. Bankruptcy, for example, can stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years, depending on the bankruptcy type.
Errors, meanwhile, could lower your credit score and keep you from qualifying for the financing you need. The most common mistakes include misspellings, incorrect addresses, incorrectly reported missed payments, and duplicate accounts. About 20% of people have at least one error on their credit report. If you find a mistake on your credit report, file a dispute with the reporting credit agency.
Whether you need an installment loan, a personal loan, or some other type of financing, you have options in Wisconsin. Some lenders, like Jora, offer funds quickly so you can use them when needed. These loans are also flexible, meaning you can use them for nearly anything, whether it’s car repairs, dealing with medical bills, or paying for a family vacation. Before applying for a loan in Wisconsin, make sure you’re working with a licensed lender with good reviews online. Also, check the lender’s loan requirements, loan terms, and interest rates before agreeing to anything.
And make sure you have some basic personal, employment, and banking information available. That way, you’ll be prepared for a smooth application process.