Money—it's something everyone could use more of. Everyone at some point in their life seems to experience times when their checking account could use a little boost to cover unexpected costs. If you have bills looming or unforeseen expenses weighing you down, you may be tempted to take out a personal loan of some kind. Before taking out any loans, you should ask yourself these 3 questions. It may help you avoid future financial hardship, one way or another.
Is your expenditure necessary?
This may sound like a common sense question, but it is something that must be asked. Unnecessary expenditures include:
- Upgrades to cars
- Phone bills
- Gym memberships
- Cosmetic surgeries
- Last minute trips with friends
Necessary things can include:
- Keeping a roof over your head
- Emergency medical expenses
- Keeping utilities on
Basic needs for survival are all reasons for which borrowing money through a personal loan is acceptable. Before you take out a loan, ask yourself, "Do I really need this? Can I live without it?" If it is something that you can live without, save money and pay for that thing once you can afford it. If it is something you can't live without, crunch the numbers. You need to be sure you can afford the monthly payments.
How much will it cost you?
While you may be getting a lump sum of money up front, it will cost you in the long run. Once you have found a reputable place to take out your personal loan, meticulously go through the rates and fees associated with the loan. At the least, question the following:
- Are you getting a fair interest rate?
- Is your lender getting an additional fee based on your rate they have sold you?
- What are your origination fees & APR?
- Can you afford the monthly payment?
- Is there a prepayment penalty?
Loan terms will vary with each lender. Before signing everything, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your loan. Your loan representative should be able to explain, line by line, the terms of your loan.
Are you willing to risk the consequences?
If you are currently suffering financial hardship, personal loans can help you immensely. In most circumstances, they are just what you need to make it through to your next paycheck. In those instances, they are the right choice. However, you must consider the consequences should you not be able to meet your obligation. When reviewing the terms of your loan, make sure you are aware of the consequences should your loan default. In some cases it may mean losing your collateral or taking a hit to your credit report. If these are consequences you are comfortable with, don't hesitate to take out the financing necessary to get you through your time of need.
Personal loans can offer support to many experiencing financial hardship. In most cases, they are affordable and can be repaid without issue. If this is your first time considering taking out a personal loan, make sure you are aware of the exact terms of your loan. This will help you know if it is truly the right choice for you.