In theory, personal loans are a great way to fund your personal needs, such as a vacation or your college education, and of course a way to pay off outstanding debts. However, before agreeing to the terms of a personal loan, it is important that you go over all the details of the loan and make sure it is the personal loan that you want.
First of all, it is important that you know the difference between a secured personal loan, and an unsecured personal loan. A secured loan is available to people with a poor credit rating, but as a result of this poor credit rating, collateral must be put up, in case you were to default on the loan terms. On the other hand, there are unsecured personal loans. These are available to people in a solid financial state, ie. with a good income and credit rating. Unlike secured personal loans, there is no need for collateral to be put up, however, if you do default on the terms of the loan, there is likely to be legal action taken by the lender.
Know your limits. Know how much you can afford to borrow without risking defaulting on a payment. Make sure you only borrow what you need and no more, banks and other financial institutions will ofter offer anywhere up to twice the amount of money you actually need to try and convince you to borrow a greater amount. This isn’t to benefit you, to make sure you haven’t underestimated your needs. It is in their own interests, to gather more interest payments from you over the lifetime of the loan. Go in to your lender knowing what you need, and make sure you don’t borrow any more than that.
The APR of a loan, or Average Percentage Rate, is also important to consider. It is a figure showing the lending fees, interest rate and set up costs, as well as any other fees involved in the loan. While shopping for loans, it is a useful tool as it makes a great criteria to compare loans on in order to find the personal loan for you.
If you have bitten off more than you can chew, or unforeseen circumstances have cause you to be unable to make a payment on your personal loan, contact your lender immediately. They are not the bad guys, they do want to help you steer clear of bad credit, and of course they want their money. Don’t try and hide from your problems if they do arise, contact the lender and he will be sure to help. Running away from it will just make the problems escalate, facing them head on is the only real way to solve them.