Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is money you borrow from a lender for your own private use. The lending institution can be a bank, investment broker, or private lending company. You can apply for such a loan in your home town or on the internet. Personal loans can be used for a variety of needs including a vacation, vehicle repairs, education, medical expenses, home repairs or remodeling, legal bills, and debt consolidation.

The average personal loan maximum is $15,000. The amount you are eligible for will depend on the lending institutions guidelines for such loans, your income, and your overall credit rating. A personal loan is often confused with a line of credit. The major difference between the two is that a personal loan is a lump sum amount of money issued to you by the lender. A line of credit is similar, but you have access to funds up to your credit line that you can access all at once or just what you need, when you need it.

Personal loans can be either secured or unsecured. Secured loans mean you will offer the lender some type of collateral that they can claim in the event you don’t repay the loan. This can be a vehicle, land, or other asset you own. Unsecured personal loans mean there is no collateral. The interest rates for unsecured loans are higher because there is a greater risk of non-payment.

The terms of a personal loan are generally one to five years. The terms of your loan will depend on the lender and the amount of money you borrow. It is important that you understand the loan terms prior to accepting the funds. While a longer loan term will result in lower payments, you will end up paying more for the loan over the life of it due to the amount of interest. Keeping that in mind, only borrow the amount you need for your specific purpose and pay it back as quickly as you can. Make sure the set monthly payment is something within your reach on a regular basis so you are not likely to default on the loan.

The most common use of a personal loan is to consolidate other debts. This is a great way to have one monthly payment and reduce your monthly expenses. However, this scenario only works if you are willing to set a budget and life within the boundaries of it. Too often, a person who gets a personal loan to consolidate their debt racks up huge debt again quickly. Then they not only have that debt to pay again, but now they have a personal loan payment to meet each month as well. It is wise to enroll in a debt management course if you feel you may be at risk to continue the cycle of accumulating more debt. These can be taken for free at many non-profit credit counseling centers around the Nation.

Personal loans are a great way to access the money you need quickly. The application process is simple. You will generally need to verify employment, income, and residence. The lender will pull a credit check. You will likely still qualify for a personal loan if you have bad credit or no established credit. However, be prepared to pay a higher interest rate and have some type of collateral to offer.

What to do if you are Turned Down for a Personal Loan

Obtaining a personal loan can be very important if you have a financial need and you have looked into other resources. It can be very upsetting if you are turned down for the loan. There are several things you can do to prevent that from happening. Since you never know when you may have to apply for a personal loan, always keep your eye on your credit report. It can take a very long time to get any errors corrected, time most of us don’t have when we need a personal loan. Know what your credit rating is. Be realistic about your chances of getting a personal loan based on your credit.

It is important that you fill out the loan application correctly and accurately. Provide all required information including residence verification, income, and employment verification. If you have experienced circumstances beyond your control that may have blemished your credit report, consider attaching a letter. Keep the letter short and to the point. Explain the situation, take responsibility for your credit report, and also document how you have worked hard to make the situation better. This information can help the loan officer and underwriter with the loan decision.

Be prepared to offer collateral if the only way you can get a personal loan is to have it secured. While it is best not to secure personal loans because of the high risk, it may be your only option if you are in a situation where you really need the loan. Collateral can be a vehicle, property, or other asset that is legally yours. If you default on the loan, remember that you will lose that collateral as well.

You may be able to get a personal loan if you have a co-signer. This is someone who signs the loan agreement with you. If you default on the loan, that person is legally responsible for repaying it. Asking someone to co-sign a loan for you is giving them your word that you will not place them in a financially difficult situation. If you have a co-signer to get a personal loan, you should pay that loan before anything else every month. You can seriously damage the relationship you have with a co-signer if you fail to make your personal loan payments.

While it is never a good idea to apply for credit in multiple places, you just might want to approach another lender if one has denied your personal loan application. Each lender has different formulas they use to determine loan approval. If your credit is not good, consider approaching a lender that specializes in personal loans for those with bad credit. It is very important that you verify they are a legitimate lender and not a scam set up to prey on those desperate to obtain a personal loan. While you will likely pay a higher interest rate with this lender, you will at least have the access to the funds you need. Use this opportunity as a way to start improving your credit score by making all your payments on time.

It can be a huge let down if your personal loan application is denied. Do all you can to ensure that your application is approved the first time. Do not lie on your personal loan application. This can create many other issues for you that aren’t good. Be honest as well as describe any issues that you think the lender might see as a red flag. Work hard to maintain good credit so that you won’t be denied future loans because of a poor credit history.

Repayment of a personal loan is very important. You will want to make it a top priority in your budget. Down the road, you will likely need to borrow funds again. Most lenders will help you if they see a history of responsible finances. If your personal loan has collateral or a co-signer attached to it, you have an even greater responsibility to repay the loan on time.

Ways to Generate Funds without taking a Personal Loan

Obtaining a personal loan can be great, but don’t forget that monthly payment that goes with it. If you are uncertain if you can meet the monthly obligation of a personal loan, don’t take the risk. This is especially important if the only type of personal loan you are eligible for is one that is secured. A secured personal loan means that you have collateral attached to it. There are other ways to generate funds without taking out a personal loan. It will depend on the amount of money you need. If nothing else, you may be able to come up with a portion of the money, reducing the amount you need to borrow.

One of the easiest is to borrow from a friend or family member. However, only do so if they are understanding of your situation. If you will have a hard time repaying such a loan then you don’t want the relationship to suffer. Parents are sometimes willing to extend a loan with terms that are loose depending on the child’s needs and the parent’s disposable income.

Consider selling things you already own to generate funds. This can be vehicles, property, and art work, anything you have of value. You can also consider having a yard sale to earn some extra money. Every little bit you can generate will help you to avoid taking out a personal loan. Old books, especially college books and CD’s sell well on the online auction sites such as Ebay and Yahoo Auctions.

Depending on your schedule, it may be possible for you to obtain some type of work as another income source. You can do this temporarily until you have saved up the funds you are needed. This can be working on the weekends or evenings at a retail or convenience store. You may even try your hand at telemarketing. If you are going to college consider tutoring or typing papers.

The internet offers many employment opportunities that you can do from your home. There are sites that allow you to make money by typing papers, conducting research, proofreading, and even transcribing. You can do as little or as much work as you are interested in. The pay is very good as well. However, there are some work from home scams out there. Don’t sign up for any such program that requires you to send them money or purchase a start up kit.

For those of you who interact with many people socially, selling Avon or Mary Kay products can be a very easy way to generate income. You simply leave books with interested people and place their order for them. Both can be very profitable.

For most of us, simply cutting our expenses can generate a considerable amount on money on a regular basis. Consider switching to store brand soaps and shampoos rather than name brands. Clip coupons and watch for store sales. Make a menu and stick to it. Only purchase the items on your grocery list. Carpool to work to cut down on the expense of gas and vehicle maintenance. Make your coffee and lunch at home rather than purchasing it. Eat your dinner at home rather than eating out. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quit. You will be amazed at the amount of money you are able to save when you no longer purchase such products.

Applying of credit should be done so wisely. Rather than rushing out to apply for a personal loan, consider ways you can generate more income to cover the expense on your own. It won’t always be easy, but you will feel better knowing you accomplished the feat on your own. You will also avoid another monthly payment that can lead you to financial stress.

Uses of Personal Loans

Personal loans can be used for most any purpose you would spend money on, the choice is yours. The most common use for personal loans is to consolidate debt that has accumulated, such as credit card debt. Individuals may find themselves scraping by each month with minimum payments, realizing the debt is going to take forever to pay off this way, as well as cost a fortune in interest.

To help loosen up some cash flow each month as well as pay off the debt in less time, personal loans can offer a great solution. Start by determining the amount of money needed to pay off each credit card and other debt you want to include. Make sure the interest rate on the personal loan will be less than the average of your credit cards and other debt. It is also important to look at the monthly payment and how long it will take you to pay off your debt this way. It is generally year’s less than paying minimum balances on a credit card.

Unexpected medical bills can take a toll on any household. Those who don’t have any type of health insurance because they couldn’t afford it may feel the crunch the most. I call this class of people the working poor, as they work for all they have, yet barely get by. In addition, they are told they earn too much money to be eligible for public assistance or medical assistance.

A personal loan can offer you financial relieve regarding medical bills, especially if they are threatening to take your to court or garnish your wages. Since personal loans generally have a maximum loan amount of $15,000 this will only benefit you if the medical bills are under that amount.

Most of us at one time or another have experienced getting behind on a bill or two. This is the result of many things including changing jobs, layoffs, and unexpected expenses. Personal loans can provide you with the opportunity to get caught up on your bills and start living within a budget again.

As a society that is always on the go, having your vehicle break down can really put a wrench in things. Most families in our society are living paycheck to paycheck, so there are no funds put aside to cover the cost of such repairs. A personal loan can help take care of getting your vehicle repaired and back on the road for you very quickly.

Some individuals choose to use a personal loan to take a trip they have always wanted or a family vacation. Out of town weddings and family reunions are important to people, so this type of loan can assist with getting the funds you need to allow you the opportunity for such travels. There is debate over if this type of use for a personal loan is justified or indulging. However, I take the view that life has to have a balance. You have to include some relaxation and fun in your life for such travel experiences. Children are only young once, so if a personal loan makes that trip to Disney World possible for all of you to enjoy, then I say go for it.

Education can be expensive, yet is often necessary. Personal loans are becoming more common for educational expenses because student loans aren’t available for all types of classes, and courses. Since taking such educational classes can promote your career, this could be a good investment on your part.

Relocating for personal reasons or professional ones can be expensive. Especially if you will have to cover all the cost out of pocket. A personal loan can help you cover deposits, travel arrangements, and rental trucks to make such relocation possible.

Personal loans are available to offer funds for a variety of sources to individuals. It is important to completely understand the terms of personal loans and to use them wisely. However, they serve a much needed purpose for many of us in society.

Ways to Eliminate Debt with a Personal Loan

There are many ways to allocate the funds you receive under the terms of a personal loan. One of the most popular uses for such loans is to eliminate debt. A personal loan offers a great alternative for individuals who are struggling to make monthly payments on too many accounts. The idea is to pay off such debt with a personal loan, then only have one monthly payment to make.

The monthly payment is often much less than you were paying before on all your outstanding debts. Having only one loan payment can also improve your credit score. This is especially true if the other debt was mainly credit card debt with the balance being very close to the credit limit.

The first step is to make a list of all of your outstanding debt. Make columns for information including the creditor, the balance due, and the interest rate. In the last column calculate the total amount you will pay on that debt making your current payments. There are great calculators to get this information online. These calculators are free and easy to use. To do this, simply type in the balance, interest rate, and monthly payment. In many cases you will be shocked to see how much that debt is going to end up costing you.

Once you have completed that task, add up the totals in each column. You will need to know the balance due to pay off the debt as this is the amount you will need your personal loan to be for. You also want to remember that overall cost total. It is very important that before you agree to the terms of a personal loan that you have made sure the overall cost of that loan will be considerably less than if you continue to make minimum payments on the debt you already have.

 If the cost is fairly close or more, than don’t take out the personal loan. It will do more damage to your current situation than good. Find out what the monthly payment will be as well. Imagine your shock if it ends up being more than what you are currently paying out.

This is a good time to take a realistic look at the reason why you have debt that you are having a hard time meeting the monthly payments for. It may be due to a change in circumstances that you had no control over. However, if the reason is that you have poor spending habits then you need to address this issue before taking out a personal loan. Nothing is more upsetting than getting a personal loan to cover your debt, then realize six months down the road that you have ran up a large amount of debt again. The situation with be much more grim now because in addition to paying off that debt you also have a personal loan payment to cover each month.

Enrolling in a debt management course or budgeting class can help you identify areas where you are not using your income wisely. There are also many excellent online resources to assist you. A good exercise is to have every family member write down all the money they spend over a week’s time. You will be amazed to see the pattern of things that are draining your wallet during this exercise, including that daily cup of coffee and eating on the run. This is a great way to get all family members involved in the budgeting process as well as involved in finding better ways to manage money.

Personal loans can be a great way to eliminate other types of debt if used correctly. It is your responsibility to do your homework first. Make sure taking out a personal loan to cover your other debt is going to offer you a solution, not result in more financial stress.

Uses for Personal Loans

Personal loans are obtained for a variety of reasons. A personal loan has a very easy application process and generally has an approval or denial within a few days. Many individuals find it easier to obtain a personal loan than a home improvement loan or small business loan.

There is less information required to determine eligibility. Our society has come to apply for personal loans for a variety of needs. Some are necessary such as medical bills while others are for leisure, a vacation for example.

The choice to take out a personal loan should be done only after researching your other options. The most popular reason a person applies for a personal loan is to consolidate other debt. Often this is done because the amount of the other debt is consuming a larger portion of their disposable income than they would like.

The interest you will pay on a personal loan is much less than what you will pay on high interest credit cards by the time you pay them off. If you take out a personal loan for this reason, it is important to put your credit cards away. If you start charging on them again you will soon find yourself with many monthly payments again as well as the personal loan payment.

A personal loan is a great way to purchase an older vehicle that the bank won’t finance. This can be a vehicle over 10 years old that you want for a few thousand dollars. This can also be for a classic car you want to restore. Most lending institutions aren’t going to give you $7,000 to by that 1969 Chevy Camaro that isn’t even drivable. By accessing a personal loan you can choose to get such vehicles without any problem.

Education is very important. Sometimes individuals don’t qualify for financial aid, yet can’t afford to take the course without it. Using a personal loan to pay for education classes is a great idea. Especially if the class is going to help you further your career. We all know tuition and text books are very over priced.

Medical bills and emergency surgery can leave you will a very heavy cost that is consuming your monthly income. Even if you have health insurance your portion can be out of your budget ability. A personal loan can often help you pay such bills while having a smaller monthly payment than you would have otherwise.

Some individuals use personal loans to put a down payment on a home because they don’t have the amount needed to cover it. Home improvements are often needed out of necessity or desire. A personal loan can help home owner’s make these improvements happen. Others use personal loans for moving expenses or even to pay the rental deposit on an apartment. The cost of deposits for rentals and utilities can add up to a large amount of money that most of us don’t have.

A personal loan may be the only way for you to pay for the wedding you have always wanted. Some people find this extravagant, but people do it all the time. You will need to plan your wedding and come up with some figures so you will know how much money to borrow. Make sure you will be able to afford the monthly payments as you don’t want to start your marriage off with financial stressors.

Most of us work so hard and we rarely are able to take a long vacation. Personal loans can help you take that cruise to Alaska or trip to Italy that you have always wanted. Too often, individuals put off such dreams because they can’t afford them. However, it is important to try to achieve your dreams. Taking such a vacation can do wonders for your mental health as well. You can return to work rejuvenated and with wonderful memories of your vacation.

Personal loans are available for many uses. I am sure there are many more that I haven’t mentioned. They are used for bills, necessities, hobbies, vacations, and even weddings. The key is to be financially responsible and make sure you can realistically pay back any personal loans you take.

Unsecured Personal Loans

Unsecured Personal Loans are those that do not have any collateral attached to them. This type of loan is often easy to get, but know in advance you will be paying a higher interest rate on the loan. This is because there is a great risk of non-payment due to the no collateral issue. Most unsecured personal loans are for amounts up to $15,000. You may find some loan companies that offer a higher amount, but that is a standard loan amount in the industry. If you know you will need an unsecured personal loan for more than $15,000 you can try to secure two or more such loans from different companies.

Unsecured personal loans can be used for many things. Sometimes a person takes out such a loan to improve their credit rating. If this is the case, then it is very important that you make all payments on time. You will want to pay the loan off early if possible. Not only will this look great on your credit report, but you will save yourself money in interest. Other uses for unsecured personal loans include a vacation, home repairs, remodeling, vehicle repairs, education, or medical expenses. The possibilities are endless.

One of the biggest uses for an unsecured personal loan is to consolidate other unsecured debt. This is often credit card debt. The amount of interest you will pay for the unsecured personal loan is generally going to be less than you will pay overall if you pay off each of the credit cards you are considering consolidating. You will only have one payment to make each month. It is very important that you don’t run up more charges on your credit cards after consolidating them with an unsecured personal loan. If you do, financial disaster is likely to be just around the corner for you. Make sure you have a solid budget and financial plan in place.

There are many places to secure a personal loan from. You may do so at the bank you have established accounts with or even one of your credit card companies. There are many unsecured personal loan companies on the internet. You can fill out a form on a website and have a response in just a few minutes regarding the status of your loan application. This process is fast, secure, and is a great choice for those who are embarrassed to go to a loan officer and ask for money.

Be careful if you decide to apply for an unsecured personal loan online. There are many reputable companies out there, but there are just as many scams. They often prey on individuals looking to borrow money. You can check up on an online loan company by checking with the Better Business Bureau. You can also search the internet for reviews by other users of this company.

If you can’t find any information about the business anywhere, stay away from it. There is a good possibility that the business is running a scam and continually changing its name to avoid being caught. An internet loan company should never ask you to send them an application fee or processing fee. If you are asked for one, end all contact with that business.

Unsecured personal loans are a great way to generate money for other needs. They are generally easy to get regardless of your credit history. Shop around for a good rate. Remember that the rate is going to be slightly higher than that of a secured personal loan. As with any type of loan, make sure you use the funds wisely. Financial security is very important. Just because there is no collateral attached to the loan doesn’t mean you have an easy out for not repaying it. Doing so will severely cripple your credit rating and credit score. It will also affect your ability to secure an unsecured personal loan in the future.