Loans are handy for buying things you may need, like a new car, or for financing other needs you may have like money for your business. But getting the right loan can be tricky so here's some advice that should help you.
At the outset it is important that you consider how much your can comfortably afford to pay back. Loans typically need to be paid back in monthly instalments so work out how much you can pay back each month. A lot of people run into trouble when they agree to pay back a certain amount every month only to find out later that they are struggling to meet their commitment due to some unforeseen added expenses. As a rule of thumb work out how much you can pay back after comfortably paying for all your other expenses. Your loan pay back amount should be an amount that you do not really miss. If it would be taking a big chunk from your disposable income than the chances are that the amount is too much.
Who can get a loan? Most reputable lenders will need you to meet certain conditions. You will have to be at least 18-years-old, resident or ordinarily resident in the UK, have a good credit record and receive a regular income. Some lenders may ask for a deposit and also charge a set-up or administrative fee.
Applying for an overdraft with you bank is one good way of getting a loan, especially if you need cash short term or a facility where you can get access to extra cash when you need it with little or no notice.
Credit cards can also be very handy as they allow you to buy goods or services or get access to cash. They can also be very useful in the case of emergencies. Caution must be taken though to not run into a vicious cycle of paying back high interest charges where it can take a long time to be able to pay back what owe. If you are gong to use a credit card for a substantial outlay, work out a plan beforehand to pay back the amount as it not incur too much interest over a long period.
Personal loans are especially suitable if you need to pay for a large item such as a car or a holiday. Most lenders will offer you up to 15,000 pounds. The interest rate may vary depending on how much you borrow and over what period of time you agree to pay back the loan. Generally you can pay it back over 12 - 96 months. It is important to remember that if you pay back your loan over a longer period, the monthly repayments are usually smaller but you pay more interest because you have the loan for longer.
Some banks offer you the chance to combine all your financial commitments into one loan with a fixed interest rate so that you can pay your debts off gradually by making one payment each month.
A secured loan gives the lender the security of knowing that if you fall behind on repayments they can claim the money back by repossessing an asset that you have secured the loan against. The most common way of securing a loan is to take out a mortgage on your property. If you fall behind on repayments the lender can apply to the court for a repossession order and then claim the house or whatever you have used as security to repay your debt.
Secured loans tend to be cheaper because they are less of a risk for the lender but you should always consider the implications if you fall behind on your repayments.
A lot of banks and building societies will offer you payment protection with your loan. For a small monthly fee this ensures that your repayments will be paid if you find that you are made unemployed, are sick or have an accident. In most cases if you die your loan will be paid in full for you.
Finally, a word of warning about 'loan sharks. Be very careful when you choose a lender. Make sure you use a reputable company, as some of the more unscrupulous lenders can often charge very high rates of interest that make it difficult to pay the money back. Check what you are committing yourself to before you sign any contracts.
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