Understanding How Various Personal Loan Options Work

by : Jon Arnold

Personal loans come in many different types and terms. How you plan to use the money, how long you want the term to be, and many other factors determine how much that loan will cost you. Here is some information to keep in mind when looking for a personal loan.

If you are a home owner, the smartest way to borrow money is using your home as collateral. These loans are known as home equity loans. They use the equity that you have accumulated in your home to determine the amount of money they will lend you. Home equity loans have the lowest rate and are the easiest to qualify for. These types of personal loans can also be extended for a longer period of time than other type of loans, some as many as 20 years. This helps to keep your payments down.

Home equity loans also have tax advantages. This means that depending on your situation, you may be able to deduct the interest that you pay on your taxes. So, as you can see, this is a very economical way to borrow money.

Another choice is the unsecured loan, also known as a signature loan. These loans are not secured by any collateral. Because of this, they will have a higher interest rate which may cost you more in the long run. Unsecured loans are harder to qualify for since there is no surety for the lender. The interest rate is determined by what the lender feels his risk is in providing the signature loan, which is a combination of many factors including the loan amount and your credit rating.

Some people choose to use credit cards for their borrowing needs. This is a good choice if it is a short term purchase. Look for a card that offers you a low introductory rate. Many cards will offer 0% for six months to a year for a new account. You should also look for a card that offers you rewards like cash back, airline miles, or points that can be redeemed.

Car loans are another type of personal loan, also known as car title loans. These loans are secured by the vehicle and are relatively easy to qualify for. You can get a car loan either through your financial institution or through a dealership. Check out both options before you commit. A dealer may offer incentives for you to finance through them, but watch out for hidden charges. A car title loan, however, is generally not possible if you do not own the car; i.e., you are still making payments on it.

For those who have poor credit, bad credit, or limited options, a payday loan can be helpful in the short term. These types of loans are usually on a two week basis or longer depending on the company's policy and your pay schedule. Keep in mind that these loans are quite costly. You will end up spending much more with this type of personal loan than any other. These should only be used as a last resort and for a very short time period.

When considering a personal loan, look at all of your options. Know how much you need to borrow and what kind of payment you can afford. Avoid applying at too many places because too many inquiries in a short period of time can bring down your credit score and cost you money. Do the math before you commit to any personal loan to analyze just how much each option will cost you in the long run.