As much as we stay on top of our finances, there are times that your bills simply may not line up with your paycheck. When you’re in this situation, a personal loan can help you bridge the gap. It’s important to note, however, that not all personal loans are made the same. Some lenders use shady tactics and less-than-savory techniques to keep you in a cycle of constantly needing to borrow more and more.
At Your Own Funding, we believe in total transparency. Our goal is to help you get back on track before your paycheck without spending too much money to do so. We also work with lenders who provide debt consolidation, home improvement and other personal loans to help you improve your life.
This guide is intended to help you choose the best personal loan for your situation. Choosing the right loan can be a major decision, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your financial history, credit score, and other factors will all determine what kind of loan you can (and should) get. Don’t be afraid to shop around and explore all of your options, including not taking out a loan at all.
Make the most of your personal loan by following these simple steps:
1. Be Aware of Your Financial Situation
Many people choose to take out loans because they see it as the easiest, simplest option to make sure they can pay their bills. However, this simply isn’t true. Many businesses and organizations to whom you owe money may be willing to let you push back your payment date until you get paid again. They may even be willing to let you permanently change your payment date to line up with your paycheck schedule.
If you do need to take out a personal loan, you should evaluate your financial situation. Know how much your household brings in each month, how much money you have on hand, and any other financial information that may seem pertinent. You should also have your credit score on hand (FICO, Equifax, Experian, and/or TransUnion). That way, you can apply for the right loan and get a better interest rate with the right credit score.
2. Have a Plan for Your Loan
Personal loans, especially payday loans, are intended to be short-term funding solutions. Your best option is to always pay off the loan as quickly as you can. Personal usually often come with high-interest rates, and the quicker you can pay back the loan, the less interest you’ll pay on the loan.
Once you get the loan, spend the money wisely. You should only take get a loan for as much money as you actually need; having a little pocket money is not the point of a personal loan. If the amount you need is less than the minimum from the creditor, keep the extra to help you quickly pay back the loan. Otherwise, you could find yourself stuck in a loop of needing to take out another and another loan to cover previous ones.
3. Know How Much Your Loan Will Cost
One of the main reasons people get caught in personal/payday loan traps is that they don’t know how much the loan will actually cost after interest and origination fees. Lenders do provide this information, but it’s often buried deep in the fine print, and those who are really in a bind with their finances may not care at the moment just how much the loan will cost, so long as they get their money quickly.
You can go through all the fine print to find the true costs. You can also try to talk to a customer service representative about the costs, though you probably won’t get a straight answer. A better option is to work with an organization like Your Own Funding, which provides an easy-to-use calculator so you can figure out exactly what your loan will cost before you commit to it.
4. Choose the Right Lender for You
Choosing the right lender all depends on your unique situation. Some lenders may not be available to you if have a lower credit score. Banks and credit unions may offer lower interest rates than companies who only offer loans. Shop around to find the right lender for your financial situation, your ability to repay, their interest rates, when you can get your money, and more.
Another important factor when choosing a lender is how the loan will be repaid. Some lenders may offer incentives or might even set up the loan from the start for monthly payments to be automatically withdrawn from your bank account. While this may be convenient (and may save you a few dollars every month thanks to incentives), having the payments automatically taken out of your account could leave you with no money when you least expect it.
5. Avoid Borrowing from Multiple Lenders
Whether one lender won’t give you enough money or you are trying to get a loan to cover paying a different loan, avoid borrowing from multiple lenders at all costs. First of all, having more than one loan against a single paycheck is illegal. Second, even if you are able to secure the loans, you will likely become unable to pay them off if the amount owed is more than your total income.
This not only applies to borrowing from multiple lenders to start with, but it also includes securing a loan from one company to cover the cost of another. While this isn’t technically illegal, it is improper and can leave you so deep in the hole you can’t see the light. All the sudden, your short-term issue may become a long-term problem, leading to bankruptcy or other consequences.
Need help deciding what kind of personal loan is right for you? Call Your Own Funding today to get in touch with one of our installment loan specialists.