Borrowing Money: What You Should Know

The concept of borrowing money has been around for a very long time. Usually, when someone needs money, they can turn to someone willing to lend them that money. 

However, borrowing money almost always comes at a price. That price is interest charges. There are a lot of different ways to borrow money, so here’s what you should know. 

Why Would You Need To Borrow Money?

There’s a lot of reasons people borrow money. When people want to make a large purchase like a car or a house, they often borrow money from a bank to do so. Mortgages are used to buy a property and require you to borrow money. People may also take out loans to consolidate other debt that they may have. 

Using a credit card is like borrowing money, too. You are spending money you don’t currently have and promising to pay it off later. There are also personal loans, which can be used for anything the borrower wants. Usually, if it is a significant amount of money, they will have to explain their reasoning for borrowing the money and that gets factored into whether or not they get approved for the loan. 

6 Things to Know About Borrowing Money

1. Consider Different Lenders

If you are looking into borrowing money, you should find the best lender for your needs. There are two types of loans: secured and unsecured. When a loan is secured, it has collateral to back it up. This means if you do not pay, they can take your collateral to pay for the loan. An unsecured loan is not backed by collateral. The interest in these types of loans is usually higher than secured loans. This is because it is a riskier type of agreement. 

When you shop for a loan, you should consider a few things. Think about how much interest you want to pay. When a lender offers you an APR, you should calculate how much interest you will actually end up paying by the end. 

You should also think about what you want the terms to be for your loan. How long do you want to have to pay it off? How much do you want your monthly payments to be? If you go to one lender, you should also compare them to other lenders to make sure you get the best deal.

2. Loan Term

Loan terms are how long it will take the borrower to pay off the entire loan amount. This could be a short-term or long-term agreement, depending on the amount. If you get a 40-year fixed-rate mortgage, then it is quite obvious what your loan term is. However, some loans are less clear than that. 

When you agree to a loan, the borrower and lender must agree on the loan term. Once this happens, you must pay the entire loan off by the end of this time period. Your loan term will affect how much you pay every month and how much interest you will pay by the end. 

The longer your loan term is, the more interest you will end up paying. But a longer-term also means lower monthly payments because it is spread out. At the end of the day, the term that you decide on is up to you, but you should make sure that it fits into your budget. 

3. Interest Type

Another thing you need to do when borrowing money is thinking about the kind of interest you want. You can either get a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. 

A fixed interest rate will not change during the length of your loan. This means your payments will always be the same and will not change because of the market. This is a less risky decision if you want to be sure that your rate won’t change. 

A variable interest is subject to change. It can depend on the market interest rates and is linked to a benchmark like the federal funds rate. You may end up paying less with this method but it is a risk that you have to take. If the rates skyrocket, you could end up paying a lot more. 

You should take into consideration the length of your loan before deciding on an interest type. The longer the term, the more likely the interest rates can change significantly. 

4. Credit Checks

When you borrow money, the lender can do a credit check on you. This means that they will be able to see your entire credit history, including your repayment history, length of your credit, and your total available credit. They will also be able to see if you already have a ton of loans open or have had an account go to collections. 

This is how they will assess the risk of lending you money. They can use this information to decide what they want to offer you. This could affect how much they offer you and what your interest rate is. The lender will pull your report from one of the three major credit bureaus. 

5. Only Paying Minimums

When people borrow money, sometimes they only pay the minimum payment each month. This might be because it is all they can afford at the moment. However, you should not make this your long term plan. 

If you have a long-term loan, only paying the minimum every month will make your loan take longer to pay off. This is because you will really only be paying the interest on the loan each month. It can be hard to make a dent in the total only making the minimum payments. You should focus on paying more than you have to each month. You can also try paying your loan off twice a month instead, or making a small payment every time you receive your paycheck

6. Hidden Fees

Before you agree to the terms of a loan you should make sure you know about all the fees that they don’t tell you about. Sometimes there is a loan processing fee. This is typical for auto loans and personal loans. Sometimes you can ask this fee to be waived. 

Another fee that you may come across is a late payment fee. This will affect your credit score and will show up on your credit report unless the creditor offers a grace period for late payments. Check to see what is considered “late” for your lender. 

The last type of fee is a prepayment fee. Some lenders will actually charge you a fee for paying your loan off ahead of schedule. This is because the lender wants you to pay them as much interest as possible. 

How To Pay Off Borrowed Money Quickly

You don’t want to have this borrowed money hanging over your head forever. The quicker you can pay it off, the less interest you will pay. This will also free you to pursue other financial ventures. 

To pay off a loan quickly, you need to have a budget. Write down how much money you make each month and how much you need for recurring bills. Then add in how much you need for food and gas and anything else that is necessary.

Take the remaining amount of money and decide how much you can afford to put towards your loan. Be aggressive with payments because it will save you a lot of money in the long run to pay off your debt as soon as possible. 

Consider Asking Family

If you are really in a tight spot for money, you can think about asking your family for money. Oftentimes they will not charge you interest but it can create some tension if you don’t pay them back quickly enough, and you could even end up ruining your relationship permanently. 

If you decide to go this route, make sure you have a plan of action. Consider talking to them about how you plan to pay them back in a certain amount of time. Tell them what the money is for and assure them that you are going to be responsible with it (so long as you actually will be — if you have bad habits of poor spending, it might be best to avoid borrowing from family). 

Final Thoughts on What to Know When Borrowing Money

Don’t be hasty to take out that loan – consider all your options and read the fine print.

Now that you know all about borrowing money, you are ready to make a decision. Make sure you consider all your options and shop around for the best offer — online lenders and credit unions may be able to provide better rates compared to traditional banks, so make sure you’re diverse in looking for options. Try to keep making payments on time so that you can improve your credit score, which ultimately helps you avoid high interest and get better deals when you need to borrow money or apply for financing.