What To Do If You To Plan Borrow Money

Posted on March 29, 2021 in Money

Whether you are looking for a way to finance college, purchasing a car or home, or looking to pay for a medical procedure, sooner or later, you are going to need to borrow money. This idea may bring about some anxiety but borrowing money is a really common activity. In fact, the average American has $90,460 in debt when factoring in credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, and student debt. 

That’s not to say you should go out and start borrowing money from anyone who will offer it, but it should put your mind at ease with how common a transaction borrowing money can be in today’s world. However, before you borrow any money, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. 

What Are The Terms Of The Loan?

There are many different types of loans available, and while the details can vary, there are a lot of things that are commonplace. These are the questions that should ask, and answer before ever agreeing to a loan:

  • What is the interest rate?
  • What will the total cost of the loan be?
  • How long will you have to repay the loan?
  • What will the monthly payment be?
  • Can the interest rate and monthly payment increase?
  • What fees will be charged for the loan?
  • Will there be a charge for paying off the loan early?

Unless you have a clear-cut answer for each of these questions, it will be impossible to know if the deal is a good one or a bad one and whether you can afford to take on the loan. A common mistake amongst people borrowing money is they fail to realize their payments can rise and become unaffordable. 

While most loans are installment-based on fixed rates and monthly payments, there are some variable rates. It’s extremely important to know as much about a loan as you can before signing. 

How Much Exactly Do You Need To Borrow?

It is ridiculous as it sounds: it costs a lot of money to borrow money because you need it. While it may seem like you’re getting free money, and technically you are before the repayment period begins, it’s important to remember that you will be committing future funds that you haven’t earned yet to repay the loan. 

Here are two things to keep in mind when borrowing money:

  • Do you really need to take out this loan? If you borrow money for something non-essential, such as a dream vacation or extravagant wedding, it may be a good idea to just save up and pay cash instead. You should only intend to borrow money if you have a highly important and pressing financial need or borrow to improve your finances, such as borrowing for a house or education.

  • What is the bare minimum required to borrow? Are there any other ways that you can cut costs or save up first before taking out the loan? By picking up extra shifts and overtime, you could eliminate some money needed from the loan.

    Reducing spending in your budget can save some money in order to reduce the total amount needed from the loan. Whatever you can do to lower the total amount of the loan will be greatly appreciated when the time comes to repay it. 

How Will You Repay The Loan?

Whenever you borrow money, you are committing to making payments for a certain amount of time until the loan is repaid. The specific repayment amount and the timeline will depend on the terms of the loan and can vary according to multiple factors. In the process of borrowing money, it’s a critical step to ensure that whatever the payments will ultimately be are affordable for the duration of the loan. If you are unable to repay a loan then you risk severely hurting your credit score and may be subjected to legal action. You should have a good idea of what the monthly payments are before you sign any papers, and it may be a good idea to try living with a simulated debt payment in your budget for a while. If you are unable to fund the repayment of the loan then you cannot afford it and should not borrow the money until you are at a time when you can.

What Is Your Credit Score?

The lifeblood of financial well being is measured by your credit score and credit history. Unless you have good or better ratings in either of these categories, you will have a hard time getting approved for a loan, and the rates and payments will certainly be higher. It’s important to know what your credit score and credit history are before you go any further in the process of finding a loan. Taking the time to improve your credit score can save you a lot of money down the road and is more than worth the hassle it may create. These are the ratings for credit scores, and if you are able to raise yours before taking out a loan, you absolutely should. 

  • 300-579: Poor
  • 580-669: Fair
  • 670-739: Good
  • 740-799: Very Good
  • 800-850: Excellent

Are You Getting The Best Offer?

There are so many places and businesses that will be eager to offer out a loan to you, especially if you have a good credit score. However, the first offer is rarely the best you’ll get, and it’s important to take the time to seek out the best offer available. The one thing to avoid is anyone that requires a hard credit check before offering their loan terms. A hard credit check means that an inquiry will be placed on your credit report and will remain there for a period of two years before falling off. Too many such inquiries can harm your credit score. 

However, if you are unable to find lenders that can discuss terms without a hard inquiry check, go to several of them to compare rates and terms. If there are multiple inquiries placed on a credit report during a short period of time, typically about two weeks, then the credit hit is virtually the same as it was with just one inquiry. It’s important to take the time to shop around and get the best offer you can. You will most likely be paying back this loan for a while to come, and the time spent today will mean money saved tomorrow. 

What Happens If You Can’t Pay It Off?

It’s important to at least consider that the worst-case scenario can happen and that you cannot afford to pay back the loan. The last step should be to consider how you would be able to pay back the loan in the event that you lose your job. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan, even if it’s for a backup plan. Having late payments or defaulting on a loan can have serious impacts on your credit and worsen your debt. It’s important to plan as much as possible to prevent this possibility. 

The Takeaway on How to Borrow Money

Borrowing money is a fairly common practice, but it’s not one that should be taken lightly. There are plenty of questions that you should ask before you take out the loan, and if you can’t answer them, it may be best to wait before signing anything. 

If there are no ways to avoid borrowing money, then it’s best that you take your time and plan it out with as much detail as possible. There are so many people that rush into loans and end up getting themselves in lots of trouble financially. To avoid causing serious harm to your financial health, you should answer all the questions listed above before taking out any kind of loan. The process may be time-consuming and headache-inducing, but you will be glad you did when you realize how much you saved in the long run by taking the extra time. 

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