We like to think that lending money is strictly business. The “numbers” are crunched and we are told whether or not we qualify. That’s mostly how it works, but there is some discretion by the loan officers and you may be able to use that to your advantage with personal loans. If your bank’s computer has issued a “no,” you need to pick yourself up and try again.
Breaking down in tears may gain sympathy, but it won’t get you a loan. Instead, show commitment and belief in yourself. Don’t be vague about your plans: the bank wants solid information about how much money you need and what you need it for:
“I need to buy a good used car because I am a licensed massage therapist who works on-site and I need to be able to reliably get to the companies that hire me” will sound much better than, “I’ve been thinking about buying a car. Better than the bus, that’s for sure.”
You shouldn’t hide from unpleasant financial facts. If a burst pipe cost you £1,000 in excess for your homeowner’s insurance and it caused you to be late on a utility payment while you recouped, explain the situation and why and how it will get better. “I took on extra shifts for two weeks to get back on my feet and I’ve sent this month’s utility payment early, so it shouldn’t happen again.”
Like in other parts of life, the general art of blagging can help you when you are approaching potential lenders. Whether it’s asking for better than the representative APR or trying to get a fee waived, your attitude can make a difference. Act confident and friendly, even if you’re feeling anything but. Mentally remind yourself of the achievements you’re most proud of before your meeting.
Dress the part, too. You don’t want to show up in a custom-tailored designer suit, because they’ll wonder why you need the money at all. But look sharp, wear reasonably dressed-up clothing that you know you feel confident in. Walk tall, smile, and offer a handshake when you meet your loan officer. Be friendly to the “gateway” people too, like the receptionist.
Learn the language of loans. Make sure to use your best manners, and ask questions that show you know what loans are about. Compare loans before you meet your loan officer so that you know what’s generally on offer. And if you can inject just a bit of humour into your conversation, you may get a better result. Making a good impression and getting people on your side is an art and, if you’re on the borderline between qualifying for a loan and not, your blagging skills could make the difference.