The Top Things to Consider When Taking Out a Personal Loan

Banks Editorial Team · December 12, 2017

If you’re staring down an expensive home project, emergency repair, or future large purchase that will drain your savings account and then some, it’s probably time you consider taking out a personal loan to cover the cost.


However, like any loan, considerable analysis and financial reflection needs to go on before you can really identify if a personal loan is the ideal solution for your situation.


For example, if you have an excellent credit score, credit card payments may make more sense for you in the long run. If your credit could be better, perhaps a personal loan could be your saving grace.


Either way, here are a few things to definitely consider before you march into a bank and take out a personal loan:


1. Personal Loan Types:

Many people today assume that there is only one kind of personal loan. Before you spend time identifying if you need one or not, you need to be wary of the fact that there are two types of personal loans at your disposal: unsecured and secured. Unsecured loans aren’t supported by assets. The lender does not have collateral it can take from you if you default on the loan. Because of the risk, unsecured loans come with higher interest rates to offset the risk for the lender.


On the other hand, assets back a secured loan, so in the event you can’t pay off your loan, the lender has the legal right to obtain your asset as the payment. These are much more common in the world of personal loans, and generally come with lower interest rates than the unsecured counterparts.


2. Credit Score Analysis:

Like everything related to borrowing money today, your credit score is a key part of the loan making decision. If you have excellent credit, you may want to consider a card with 0 percent interest for an extended period of time. But, if your credit score has looked better, the secured personal loan option may save you interest money if the score is more competitive than the credit card option.


3. Don’t Overdo It:

If you apply for too many personal loans at once, you could accidentally lower your credit score. When lenders check your score, the hard inquiry can low the score by a few points. If you apply to 10 lenders at once, your credit score could dip well below what they consider sufficient to approve you for the personal loan.


When To Use a Personal Loan

Personal loans are helpful for paying off high interest debt, home improvement projects, small business expenses or expansion, and medical bills today. In other situations for things that aren’t exactly “essential,” you may want to pay directly so you don’t owe any interest.


If you’re considering a personal loan today, do your due diligence to first identify if the loan and accompanying interest makes sense for your situation. Next, figure out if a secured or unsecured personal loan is what you need to move forward, and lastly, don’t inundate lenders with dozens of application inquires. Your credit score will thank you for it.

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