All you need to know about the best personal loans – is it the best option for you?
Requesting a personal loan is the best way to cater for unplanned expenses like car repairs, emergencies and consolidation of high interest loans. When taking out a personal loan, you need to ensure that it adds value to the intended purpose. The process of applying for a personal loan process is also streamlined, which means that the funds can be approved as soon as 24 hours after request. Some of the benefits of applying for the best personal loans are:
Predictable payments and interest
With personal loans, you will never worry about paying extra amount. Compared to other financial tools, personal loans have a fixed interest rate and monthly payment, making it easier for you to track your payments until you are debt-free.
Simplifying your financial life
Personal loans can be the best alternative for people who want to consolidate their debts. Having too many debts from multiple borrowers can be both costly and overwhelming. Paying off all the debts to remain with one single debt will make your life easier and stress-free. Besides, you will also incur less interest.
Help with emergencies
Personal loans can also come in handy when you are faced with emergency situations that need instant funding.
Traps to be aware of when taking out a personal loan
While there are plenty of personal lenders available both in-store and online, you also should be aware of scammers. Just like any other financial instruments, there will always be fraudsters who will use the loan to milk cash from you.
Advance loan amount
Fraudulent personal loan companies can easily be spotted with their outrageous loan terms. This includes paying for the first few months for the borrower to qualify for the loan. Reputable lenders will never ask for money upfront. Under no circumstance should you pay any money prior to your loan being approved.
You can also spot a fraudulent lender if they tell you to buy ‘insurance’ in case you default with the loan terms. Most personal loans are unsecured, and no instance will you be required to take insurance for the loan.
‘No credit check’
Borrowers should also take note of lenders who claim to offer the loan without checking your credit score. As much as the loans can also be issued to borrowers with poor credit, reputable lenders will always want to know your credit score position and negotiate on how much you can borrow and the loan terms.
This is the interest rate computed in a way that the borrower will pay a large part of it at the beginning of their loan term. This can also be a trap since you will find yourself paying extra interest. Before taking the loan, it is important to confirm how interest is accumulated and the effect it will have on your loan amount.
Some lenders will also include prepayment penalties penalty if you decide to repay the loan before it matures. This fee is completely unnecessary in personal loans and you should avoid lenders who incur such penalties.
Are there any drawbacks for personal loans?
Despite the benefits that come with requesting for a personal loan, there are quite a number of factors you need to consider to determine if the loan is the best alternative for you.
- Since the loan does not require collateral, they tend to incur high risk to the lenders, who in turn increase their rates to offset these risks
- Personal loans are risky, and most lenders will require you to have a good credit rating to qualify for the loan. However, there are also lenders who can offer the loan to borrowers with bad credit. But you need to prove that you can repay the loan by providing details of your pay stubs and bank statements.
- Personal loans also vary depending on the borrower’s credit rating. Even lenders who offer advances to borrowers with poor rating tend to reduce their principal amount and charge higher interest compared to borrowers with excellent credit score. Such borrowers are also issued with strict repayment terms.
When should you avoid using a personal loan?
Personal loans are among the most useful financial tools, but there are times when you can be better off taking out another type of loan, or not getting into debt at all. Such instances entirely depend on the borrower, and the situation they are in. This includes;
- When the borrower cannot afford to repay their monthly installments on time
- Not sticking to your monthly repayment schedule means that the borrower may not be able to repay the loan on time. Late repayments will have a negative impact on your credit score. Besides, you will end up incurring extra interest. So even before taking the loan, it is wise to come up with a monthly budget that can easily accommodate monthly repayments of the loan.
- When your borrowing is not necessary
- There are things that you can actually live without rather than requesting for a loan and get yourself in debt. Personal loans can be related to a candy store. A mere temptation of talking a loan with minimum requirements and less procedure involved can be very high to some individuals. This will make you put the loan into something unproductive that can lead to financial peril.
- When you want to purchase a home in future
- Another instance where you should avoid taking out a personal loan is when you want to purchase a property in the near future. This is because the amount you owe will greatly affect how much you can borrow for the home.
- To cater for vacation expenses
- It can also be tempting to use a personal loan for vacation purposes. But it is not a wise idea. Do not get yourself into debt with the main aim of going for a vacation. Instead, you can save the money for something that is more productive.
- Wedding expenses
- You also would not want to start your marriage in debt. If you must take out a personal loan to cater for wedding expenses, ensure that you shop around to find a lender with the lowest rates and flexible terms of repayment.
- Lastly, avoid taking the loan if your financial situation does not allow you to do so. When your financial condition is not stable, a personal loan at this time will make the situation worse. This is because you can risk late payments, attracting extra interest or worst still, you can find yourself in court if you fail to repay the loan.
Should you go for a personal loan?
The answer entirely lies on the borrower’s needs and circumstances. If you are in urgent need of cash and do not have a high valued asset to issue as collateral, personal loans can be of great help. But if you have any asset to issue as security including a home, car or even shares, it is advisable that you take another loan and issue these assets as collateral since secured loans tend to incur lower rates. You also need to consider your monthly income and other expenses before you commit to a personal loan. Additionally, make sure that you are able to honor the loan commitments since late payments will not only lead to increased rates, but will ultimately affect your credit score. Lastly, you need to consider if you can do away with the loan. While personal loans can be used for medical, business and emergency situations, it does not make sense to use personal loans for vacation expenses. It is therefore prudent that you weigh the pros and cons before deciding on whether to take up the loan.
Personal loans are easy to get, convenient and have a fast approval process. They can also be used for variety of purposes. Besides, few documentation is required for the borrower to access the loan. With a wide range of both online and in-store lenders available, you can easily find a suitable lender with affordable interest rates and convenient terms and conditions. The loan should also be used for genuine purposes. So many businesses offer personal loans and if you are not careful, chances are that you will end up being a victim to fraud. This means that you have to do background research and find out the key qualities that reputable lenders should have. If you request a personal loan for the right reasons and use it in the right way, there is no doubt that the loan will be useful and you will have no trouble with the lender due to late payments or failure to repay the loan.