Smart Borrowing Decisions: 5 Things to Know Before You Take Out a Loan

  • August 2, 2019

There are lots of great reasons why you may need to take out a loan, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you sign the paperwork.

Taking out a loan has its advantages and disadvantages, and your personal situation is going to depend on how much you take out and what you use as collateral.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know before you take out a loan so that you can make smarter decisions around your financing in general.

1.     Prepare Yourself for a High-Interest Rate

When you think about the interest rate on your home, it’s fixed-term and pretty low, right? While this works for your mortgage, this isn’t usually how loans work, especially if it’s a short term loan.

You can expect to pay almost twice as much interest on a short term loan than what you pay on your mortgage, so it’s important to be prepared for this. It’s also important to read the fine print and know exactly what your interest rate is and what you’re paying it on so that you don’t end up getting stuck with a return that you can’t pay back.

2.     A Loan is the Sum of the Parts

If you’re taking out a loan that requires collateral, the amount you borrow will depend on the value of your asset. If you’re taking out a title loan against your car, for example, the amount you’ll be able to receive is going to reflect how much your vehicle is worth.

Obviously, the more valuable your car is, the bigger your loan will be. Title loans are a good option for mid-sized borrowing, that is a short term solution.

3.     Be Wary of Hidden Fees

A lot of lenders will try to throw in additional costs or fees right at the end before you sign the paperwork. These can be things like insurance or even a lending fee. While some of these fees will be mandatory, it’s important to work out which ones are and which ones aren’t.

If you want to get insurance on your loan, it’s essential to do your research first, so you know what this covers. You don’t want to go into the meeting blind and get caught out by an insurance policy that you don’t know anything about.

4.     Think Hard About Why You’re Borrowing

There are a lot of reasons why you may need to take a loan out, so it’s important to know your reason inside and out before you commit to anything.

There are lenders out there that will try to convince you to refinance your student loan, for example, but this could end up leaving you worse off than before. It’s important to compare your new loan to your old loan and make sure that you’re getting a similar, if not the same, deal.

5.     A Loan is Quick Cash

When something unpredictable happens in life, and you’re in dire need of some cash, a loan can be a great way to bridge the gap. With this in mind, it’s essential to choose the right loan to fit your needs.

If you’ve got an unexpected medical bills to pay, for example, we recommend steering clear of putting it on a credit card. This is mainly because credit cards typically have high-interest rates.

The better you’re able to match your loan to the reason for it, the better you’ll be able to make the best decision for you and your family.

Getting a loan out isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. What’s most important is that you know as much about taking a loan out beforehand as you can. These helpful tips are going to keep you informed to give you the best chance of making the right decision for you and your family.

Dexter Ramirez

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