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What is a Personal Loan?
A personal loan sometimes referred to as a signature loan or unsecured loan, is an amount of money loan made to an individual typically without any collateral. Personal loans used to be seen as a solution for people in dire financial straits, however, today the options and terms are better than ever and more and more everyday people are taking out personal loans.
Is A Personal Loan A Good Idea?
A personal loan can be a great idea if you have outstanding credit card debt and a less then perfect credit score. If you use the personal loan to pay off the credit cards, you can improve your credit score and then pay off the personal loan, which will almost certainly have an better interest rate than the credit card.
Even if you don’t have card credit debt, taking out a personal loan and repaying it is a good way to establish positive credit, which will help you down the road when you apply for a car or house loan.
If you have multiple outstanding debts – or just one – at a high interest rate that’s taking a real bite out of your paycheck each month, then a personal loan could really help out. Find a lender that can give you a personal loan with a friendlier interest rate and then use that to pay off the other debts.
What Can I Use A Personal Loan For?
A personal loan can help you pay for home renovations, which can significantly improve the value of your home. This can really pay off if you’re looking to sell the house in the near future, or if you’d like to increase the value of your home in order to borrow against the equity.
Things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes we need a little extra help. A personal loan can help you handle unexpected medical bills, home repairs following a flood or a fire, or a sudden expense like a funeral. When hard times come, having some financial peace of mind can make things a little bit easier, and that’s no small thing.
How is my credit score calculated?
According to Fair Isaac (the creator of the FICO Score), your payment history is the most important element in determining your credit score and represents 35% of it. It is simply a record of whether you’ve paid your bills on time. The second most important is the amounts owed and represents 30% of the score. This factor is a bit more complicated as it looks at the total amount of credit that you have available and looks at how much of that you are utilizing . It is also known as your “utilization ratio.” Lenders believe that borrowers that are close to maxing out their credit are more likely to miss payments. The third variable, length of credit history, represents 15% of your credit score. It is determined by the average age of your accounts, as well as how long it’s been since those accounts were used. Your New Credit represents another 10% of your credit score. It looks at how many new accounts have been opened (opening a whole lot of new accounts at once will hurt your score). The final 10% factor is the Types of Credit that you have. FICO looks favorably on having a mix of different types of credit accounts (such as a mortgage, student loan and car loans). Lenders like to know that you can manage various kinds of accounts responsibly.
Can I Get A Personal Loan if I Have Bad Credit?
A bad credit score, one that’s below 630, does necessarily have to keep you from getting a loan. Some online lenders focus on sub-prime credit. These companies look at your credit scores and background when underwriting your loan but they also have more flexible requirements than banks do.
If you’re borrowing money to pay off debt, a personal loan works best if you have a plan to tackle your debts. Developing a budget and beginning a savings habit are small steps that could help you build a stronger financial future.
If you do not have an immediate need for money, work on building your own credit. A higher credit score will qualify you for more loan opportunities, lower interest rates and better loan terms later on.
How Do Interest Rates Work?
An interest rate is a cost of borrowing money. A borrower pays interest for the ability to spend money today, rather than wait till he’s saved the same amount. Interest rates are expressed as an annual percentage of the total amount borrowed, also known as the principle. For example, if you borrow $100 in an annual interest rate of 4.5% percent, at the end of the year you will owe $104.50.
How Does a Lender Decide What Interest Rate to Give Me?
Interest rates are not just random punishments for borrowing money. The interest a lender receives is his reward for taking a risk. With every loan, there’s a risk that the borrower won’t be able to pay it back. The higher the risk that the borrower will fail to repay the loan, the higher the rate of interest.
The primary factor is determining the lender’s risk is your credit score. Lenders also look at your overall stability. Are you a homeowner or a renter?Do you have a stable employment history? What is your average monthly income?Do you collect or pay alimony? Have you ever filed bankruptcy? These are the types of questions you can expect to see on even the simplest loan applications.
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