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Questions to ask before taking an installment loan

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Heard your friends talking about installment loans, but you’re not sure what they are? Installment loans are as common as personal loans, and most people take such credits during their lives. Installment loans are also known as installment credits and are closed-ended credit accounts you pay back over an established period. Depending on the provider, they may or may not have an interest.

Do you want to apply for an installment loan?

Then you may want to find a couple of things about how it functions and what you should expect from it. Most times, installment loans are used to pay an emergency expense. Let’s say that your partner suffers an accident and doesn’t have health insurance. An idea ticks in your mind, you need money last, so how can you obtain it? You can apply for an installment loan, and if you meet the requirements, the lender can send you the funds fast to pay your expenses.

Here is a list of questions you should find answers to before getting the cash.

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Do I need a loan?

Before applying for any kind of loan, consider if you really need to borrow the money from a third party. Financial experts recommend applying for an installment loan only if you’re dealing with an emergency. Some people state that you can also take a loan if you need to pay for home repairs, buy a new car, or pay for a vacation. If you cannot save money to cover these expenses, it’s good to consider an installment loan.

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What is the interest rate?

As stated before, some installment loans have interest, while others are interest-free; it highly depends on the provider. In case you apply for a loan with interest, the rates should be the first aspect to check to determine how much you need to give back. Some loans have pretty high installment loans that translate into paying back a high amount.

It’s wise to compare the rates for different installment loans before applying for one to land the most affordable one.

How much do I need?

Another question you should answer before browsing for installment loan offers. Figure out how much you need because some loan providers offer a minimum amount. Therefore, if you need $500 and the lender offers installment loans starting with $2000, you won’t qualify for one and may need to look for another type of loan. Sometimes it’s easier to save cash or get a side gig to save the needed money. Before getting a loan ask your friends and family if they can help you. When you need a small sum, it’s always best to search for alternatives among your loved ones rather than borrowing from a bank or online lender.

How long do I have to pay the loan back?

If you apply for installment loans in Canada, you should know that you’ll begin to pay the money back in installments within a month. Depending on how much you borrow, the lender can provide you with repayment terms between a couple of months and a few years. Your monthly payment and interest rate affect the length of the loan.

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It’s crucial to check the loan repayment term before borrowing money. Now that you can get a loan online, you’ll find the application process easy. In most cases, it takes less than a few hours to receive the loan. But keep in mind that you need to pay the first installment within 30 days and then monthly for a determined period. If you feel you cannot repay the loan in the established time, take a smaller amount or look for another lender that offers longer repayment terms. This takes us to the next question.

Do I afford the monthly payment?

Most lenders allow you to choose a repayment plan that fits your financial needs, cash flow, and income level. Some may even offer an incentive if you opt for autopay and lower your ARP. If you have a low monthly income, you may choose to make your monthly payments as low as possible, so you’ll probably repay the funds over several months or even years. However, supposing you have a higher income, you may want to pay the loan off as quickly as possible, so you select a short-term repayment plan.

Before deciding what option is best for you, you should know that a longer repayment term and a low monthly payment come with higher interest rates. You may not notice it because your monthly payments are affordable, but if you sum them up, you’ll notice that in the end, you’ll pay more for the loan.

The general rule is not to get an installment loan higher than 35% of your monthly income. Lenders usually deny loans to people who have a debt-to-income ratio higher than 40%, but some online providers tend to be more forgiving. Even if you have a good credit score and the lender approves a higher sum, it’s smart not to spend more than 35%.

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Does the lender ask for extra fees?

Some installment loan lenders can charge fees to approve your loan. For example, some charge an origination or sign-up fee, but most ask only for interest. The origination fee is a one-time charge you need to pay for the lender to process and administrate your loan. Depending on how much you need to borrow, it can vary from 1% to 5%, but some lenders ask for a flat-free rate fee. Before applying for a loan, ask the lender if they charge such a fee and make sure to read their terms and conditions to find out if you need to pay something else besides the interest.

Do I have a good credit score?

Before you look for installment loan providers, it’s essential to know if your credit score is good enough to qualify for one. Lenders ask applicants to have a good credit score. If you don’t have a good credit history, there’s a chance to pay a higher interest rate.

Bottom line

Before applying for an installment loan, ensure you answer the above questions to make the best decision.

 

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