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The 411 on Getting a Personal Loan

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These days, many consumers are looking for personal loans that can help them finance any number of things in their lives, but there are some things that they should keep in mind with this kind of financing.

When consumers shop for a personal loan, they shouldn’t just look at the interest rate, but also all the associated costs. For example, there may be some fees that they might face as a standard part of the deal, and others that can be triggered. The latter kind of fee can come as a result of paying a bill late, or paying the loan off in full before the previously agreed date.

It might also be helpful to think about both what the associated bills will cost per month, as well as what borrowers will end up paying over the life of the loan. While taking out a loan of any size might be able to help borrowers in the here and now, the constraints it can put on their finances going forward are not to be forgotten. For this reason, consumers must take into account the impact the decision to take out a personal loan will have on all aspects of their finances over the life of the agreement.

However, there may be a problem with the above condition: Not all loan agreements can guarantee a set cost when they’re signed. That’s because some lenders use fixed interest rates on their loans, and others use variable rates. When consumers choose a personal loan with a variable interest rate, they run the risk of having to pay more over the life of their agreement if the APR on that account increases. Of course, it could also decrease, meaning they would save money. With a fixed rate, the cost of the interest charges is guaranteed.

Whenever borrowers take out any kind of credit, they should carefully research all aspects of the agreement so that they fully understand the true cost it will have for them, and also shop around. This will help them to identify both the average cost of the kind of deal they’re looking for, and what provides the best value.

Image: Tadson Bussey, via Flickr

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