Personal loans may be used for any purpose, such as debt consolidation or an unexpected expense. They are often a good option for borrowers who would like to finance smaller purchases or expenses for a relatively short period of time.
Unsecured personal loans as well as secured loans that are backed by collateral will appear on credit reports and possibly affect your credit score. In addition, when a lender obtains your credit report during the application process, a "hard inquiry" will appear on your report and typically lower your credit score by just a few points. Keep in mind that your credit score may be a factor in the interest rate you can qualify for on an unsecured personal loan.