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Oahu Personal Loans | Do I Need A Personal Loan?

What are Personal Loans used for?

Personal loans are more common than you may think and they can be used for many things. That includes debt consolidation, emergency expenses, home renovations, medical costs, schooling, large ticket purchases, or even a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. As mentioned earlier, you also don’t need to put anything up as collateral like you do when you buy a home. Other loans like a car loan or mortgage are for specific purposes. You must abide by the terms of those loans. With a personal loan, you have more freedom to use the loan for a variety of purposes.

Here are the top reasons people apply for Personal Loans:

1 | Debt Consolidation

Many households have multiple forms of debt (credit card, auto loan, student loan, etc.). Instead of making monthly payments for each form of debt, they take out a personal loan to pay off all of their existing debt so they only have to make one payment. This works best when the personal loan has a low interest rate.

2 | Dream Vacations

Dream vacations can cost a lot and if you put that cost on your credit card, it could drown you in debt. Unless you pay off the entire balance of your credit card monthly, many rewards cards aren’t worth the debt and you end up paying for the perks through the interest you pay. Instead, you can take out a personal loan, see the world, and then make affordable monthly payments at a lower rate.

3 | Medical Expenses

Ongoing or unexpected medical bills are typically expensive. If you can’t afford it or pay for it immediately, a personal loan may be one of your best options. Paying off your bills at a low rate could help you save money in the long run.

4 | An Emergency 

Life’s hiccups when you least expect it. Ideally, you would pay for sudden expenses with savings or an emergency fund. Unfortunately, most people don’t have more than $1,000 in a savings account. So, when something unexpected happens, such as a repair on your home or you need a new transmission for your car, a personal loan could help. Many lenders will give you a decision on your loan and deposit the money into your account quickly. A personal loan is great when you need cash fast.

5 | Home Remodeling

Whether you want to paint your house, put on a new roof, remodel your kitchen, add a hot tub or sauna, or do some landscaping, a personal loan can be a big help when it comes to home improvements. A personal loan is a good fit for people who don’t have equity in their home or don’t want to get a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

While those are the top five reasons, personal loans are also popular for moving expenses, weddings, large purchases, and more. Get started…

Should I just use a Credit Card?

The most common alternative to a personal loan is a credit card. They’re quite different than a personal loan, but they’re often compared against each other.

Credit cards are great for small purchases and rewards points, but they have to be used wisely. If you can’t pay off your balance right away, it’s risky. Why? Because the average credit card rate is extremely high. When you get buried in that kind of debt, it’s hard to get out. If you have a large purchase coming soon or debt that can be consolidated, a personal loan is a better option than a credit card.


There are different Personal Loans?


An unsecured personal loan does not require collateral for the loan. Typically, a personal loan is an unsecured loan. It’s the most popular option amongst members.


To get a secured loan, you are required to provide collateral. In the case of a secured personal loan, the collateral might be money in a savings account, certificate, your vehicle.


Many personal loans are offered with fixed rates, so the interest rate and payment will remain steady over time.


With this type of personal loan, your interest rate may change over the life of the loan depending on what is happening in the market. These are typically found with a line of credit or credit card. As a result, your payments will vary as well.


Both a personal line of credit and a credit card are revolving accounts that allow you to borrow money when you need it and pay it off over time. Personal lines-of-credit can be both secured and unsecured. With a secured line-of-credit or secured credit card, individuals are usually required to have a certain amount in an account that remains locked. With unsecured personal lines-of-credit, a lender preapproves you for a certain amount. Typically, you do not withdraw the full amount immediately. You use the funds over time and as you need them. Additionally, you pay interest only on the amount you use rather than the full amount. Most personal lines-of-credit have interest rates that are variable and not fixed so they can fluctuate. Some lines-of-credit may also have an annual fee, which you pay regardless of whether you use the available funds.


An overdraft line-of-credit is connected to your checking account so if you accidentally spend more than what is in your checking account during the month, you have some added coverage to cover your payments.

How do I get Approved for a Loan?

There are certain requirements and standards you must meet to be approved for a loan. Here’s what you need to know:

Consider Improving Your Credit Score

Learn how to improve your credit score and get your report at Credit FAQ. You can get a free credit report yearly from Annual Credit Report or by calling 1-877-322-8228 where you will go through a simple verification process over the phone.

Have a Manageable Level of Debt

If your amount of revolving and unsecured debt (credit cards, student loans, etc.) is more than 45% of your annual income, you may present too high of a risk. For example, if you make $40,000/year, you should have less than $18,000 of revolving and unsecured debt.

Request a Reasonable Amount

You have to make sure your monthly loan payments would fit within your budget.

If you do those three things, you’ll be in great shape to borrow money.

Overall, Should I get a Personal Loan?

No two people are in the same financial situation. What works for one person, may not work for you. It’s important to research your options. Opening a personal loan is a commitment. We’ll help you find out if it’s the right product for you. Personal loans are great for their simplicity and flexibility. It’s a specific amount of money, for a set term, at a fixed rate.  One of the best things about Pearl Hawaii’s personal loans is our low rates. The average personal loan rate in the U.S. is more than 9.00% APR* (check out our rates).

Is a Pearl Hawaii Federal Credit Union Personal Loan right for you?

If you need to borrow money, a personal loan could likely help you. It can be used for nearly anything, it has a low rate, and it’s a more affordable alternative to a credit card. If you’re still not sure whether a loan is the right option for you, call us at 808.73.PHFCU (737.4328) or visit one of our locations on Oahu (Waipio, Waianae, Ewa Beach, Honolulu,  Airport,  and Pearl Harbor). Our team is ready to look at your financial situation and recommend the best option for you.

If you are ready, let’s get started: Apply




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Building trust, nurturing dreams, inspiring hope. From home or car loans to Hawaii’s most innovative banking services, Pearl Hawaii is committed to you. Bank at any of our Oahu locations in Waipahu, Ewa Beach, Waianae, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, or near the Airport. Additionally, you can bank using PHFCUOnline just like one of our branches. To contact us, call us at 808.737.4328, toll-free at 800.987.5583, or email us at