Do you need some extra cash for a personal emergency or for financing that new backyard project? With the holiday season coming up, it might be easier for you to finance a special vacation or larger family purchase by taking out a loan. Whatever the reason, there are several things you should know before going into the loan process. Check out these five items you need to check off your list before you leap into a loan this year.
It’s essential to assess what size and type of loan you need. For holiday expenses, quick small loans are likely to be your best bet. These are often shorter in duration and offer you a better interest rate if you pay them off sooner. These small loans are often very customizable as well.
You can choose the amount you want to borrow as well as your payback term. Many of them can even be applied for and approved entirely online. Just be sure to avoid the temptation of taking more than you need and carefully read the terms to ensure you are truly getting a good deal.
Evaluate your needs
Deciding on the type and size of the loan that you need is dependent on what you intend to use the money for. Is this expense a one-time thing, or is it something that will require upkeep? For example, do you want to take a holiday, or do you want to create that backyard deck your spouse has been begging you to start? The holiday trip will be a one-time expenditure while the project will require upkeep at some point. However, the backyard project will also add value to your property. So, be sure to consider all factors before making a decision.
Another important question to ask yourself before signing your loan – can you purchase something less expensive? If you want to splurge during the holidays or take advantage of discounts and deals, you don‘t have to buy top of the line products. What do you really need? If it’s a purchase where you can find multiple options to fulfill your needs, such as a television or other expensive appliance, look for the best balance of price, quality, and features you’ll actually use.
Check your score
When you start looking at personal loans, you must know your credit score. This small piece of information makes a large difference in the amount of money you can get. It also determines your interest rate for the loan.
A higher interest rate may not necessarily be a bad thing if you can repay the loan quickly. If you are looking at a longer financing term, though, having a lower rate will make repayment much easier. You can check your credit score online or through your financial advisor.
Think before you leap
You also need to take stock of what taking out a personal loan will mean. A smaller loan is almost always a short-term option. They are not meant to be long-term fixes for your financial situation. Consider saving up for that luxury item instead of accruing debt. If you need to find more stability in your finances, a consultation with a financial advisor may be the best investment you could make.
Whatever your reason for pursuing a loan, you need to have clear goals and guidelines in place before signing anything. These help you decide between what you need and what you want. Being mindful of your present finances and your potential future situation can guide you in determining what kind of loan is right for you.