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Personal Loan Vs Car Loan: Whats The Difference?

Personal Loan Vs Car Loan: Whats The Difference?

Personal Loan Vs Car Loan: Whats The Difference?

personal loan vs car loan

It’s important for an individual to distinguish between a personal loan and a car loan. We share how to tell the difference between a personal loan vs car loan.

Keyword(s): personal loan vs car loan

An average new car in America will set you back $32,000. This amount is too steep for many to pay for in cash.

For most people, taking a car or a personal loan is the most viable option but which should you go for between the two?

To answer that question, it’s important to understand what each of these options entail. In this article, we shall make an analysis of personal loan vs. car loan to help you make the right choice.

Personal Loans

A personal loan is an unsecured facility that provides the borrower with funds from the lending institution. The institution is most often a bank.

The funds are advanced in a lump sum, and the borrower can channel their loan funds towards any venture they see fit. These loans typically range from $1,000 to $ 50,000.

A personal loan can also be secured, meaning you attach an asset of value to your loan. On default or inability to repay your loan, the lending institution can seize the property to recoup their funds.

However, most borrowers opt for the unsecured loan.

Interest Rate

Because of the risk involved, unsecured loans attract higher interest rates than secured ones.

Their requirements are also more stringent, with the borrower’s ability to repay and previous credit history being scrutinized.

It does not end there, the amount you qualify for, and the interest rate at which a lender advances your loan are both dependent on your credit rating.

Even though there are things you can do to improve your credit rating, you will have to contend with high interest rates if your rating is less than stellar.

Loan Term

Personal loans have a repayment period attached. The longer the repayment period, the higher the interest you will pay by the time the loan comes to term.

The reverse is also true; you pay less interest with shorter loan terms. However, you should go for these only when you are absolutely confident that you can comfortably pay the higher amounts.

Car Loan

These loans are considered a secured loan.

The security, in this case, is the car you intend to buy. If you default on your payments, the dealer repossesses the vehicle to recoup his money.

The borrower makes fixed payments over the duration of the loan. As the borrower, you take physical ownership of the vehicle, but the financier owns the asset until you make your final payment.

Interest Rate

Because the car you buy is also collateral for your loan, a car loan is deemed to be low-risk financing.

It, therefore, attracts lower interest as compared to a personal unsecured loan.
The interest rate is also fixed from the onset, cushioning borrowers from increases experienced with personal loans.

Loan Term

Most car repayment terms are under 36, 48, or 60 months. Again, the monthly payments are higher for shorter repayment terms and lower with longer repayment terms.

Conversely, the interest paid is higher for more extended repayment periods than for shorter ones.

Unlike a personal loan where your credit history features prominently, your credit rating does not significantly affect your car loan application.

Similarly, an unfavorable credit rating does not significantly impact your borrowing amount nor interest rate.

This means you can still go for a pricey car with a poor credit rating.

Personal Loan vs. Car Loan: Pros and Cons at a Glance

As already discussed, these loans have their similarities and differences. They also have their advantages and disadvantages.

Personal Loan

The merits or personal loans are two-fold.

The first is that you can use your personal loan for a car, or channel it to other uses, partially or wholly. As such, a personal loan also offers more flexibility in repayments.

Personal loans do have a downside, however.

Due to their unsecured nature, personal loans employ stricter eligibility criteria and requirements. Upon qualification, you also pay higher interest rates.
Personal loans also lock out people with poor credit scores.

Car Loan

Car loan applicants enjoy lower interest rates, with faster approval processes. If you need a car and have a poor credit history, a car loan might be the only financing option available to you.

This notwithstanding, you need to put up a deposit to get a car loan. The amount will be dictated by the total cost of the car. This can be limiting.

In addition to this, you do not fully own the car until you have made your last payment.

Tips for Shopping for Financing for a Car

Whether you go for a personal or a car loan, there are tips to help you find a good financing option.

1. Determine How Much You Can Spend

Determine how much you can afford to spend. A rule of thumb is that you should be able to repay the loan within three years.

This cuts down the amount of interest and prevents you from paying more than the real value of the car.

2. Make Loan Comparisons

Contact your local banks and credit unions to see if you can be pre-approved for a loan, and what the interest rates are.

Compare bank rates with dealership rates, and do your research on any discounts that can be offered to you.

Find out if setting up automatic loan repayments or switching banks will lower your interest rate as well.

All this information will point you towards the most affordable option.

3. Have Your Financial Information Ready

The pre-approval process may include producing proof of income documents.

Be ready with this information, as well as any other financial information that can help your loan be approved and disbursed faster.

4. Start Shopping Around

When you reach advanced stages of loan approval, you can get to the fun part, which is shopping for and test driving different cars.

A personal loan offers more leverage in terms of bargaining power on your car of choice.

Do not shy away from negotiating with a dealer either. Shop around and find out the going rate for the car you want.

If you have an older car, it might seem easier to trade it in. While this is one way to go about it, selling your old car independently will give you a better return than trading it in.

Which Should You Go For?

The key take away on the personal loan vs. car loan question is to understand the differences and measure either type of loan against your circumstances to find the best fit.

First Financial is a leading financial solution provider to people with a poor credit score. Contact us today if you are in need of a personal or a car loan.

An In-Depth Guide on How to Take out a Loan for a Car

An In-Depth Guide on How to Take out a Loan for a Car

An In-Depth Guide on How to Take out a Loan for a Car

Money and business concept car

Taking out a loan can be beneficial in many ways. We share our in-depth guide on how to take out a loan for a car and the benefits it has.

Did you know that 107 million people have taken out an auto loan to help pay for their car or truck in America?

Purchasing a car can be a costly expenditure. Most people don’t have the cash on hand to pay off the debt of a car immediately, which is where auto loans and personal loans come in handy.

Discover our guide on how to take out a loan for a car and familiarize yourself with the process of buying a car.

What Are the Different Types of Loans Available?

If you have never dealt with loans and credit scores, it can be a very difficult thing to navigate and understand.

There are many different types of loans available. Some of which are great for buying a car, and some that aren’t as good for this type of purchase.

For example, the best types of loans are auto loans, bank loans for a car, or alternatively, you can use a personal loan to buy a car.

Personal loans for car purchases sometimes have costly interest rates, so some people prefer not to use personal loans when they are purchasing their car.

Research has found that car loans are typically cheaper because they are secured by an asset (i.e. the car, which the lender can repossess to cover the costs if you can’t pay your loan).

Federal Reserve found that in May 2018, a 24-month personal loan from a commercial bank had an interest rate of 10.31%, whilst a 48-month new car loan from a commercial bank had an interest rate of 5.05%.

How to Take out a Loan for a Car

Unlike buying a car outright with cash in hand, like you might have done for your very first car, taking out a loan for a car needs to be thought through.

These are the key things you need to do when you want to take out a loan for a car.

Calculate Your Budget

The very first thing you need to do when you want to take out a loan for buying a car is to work out your budget. Calculate how much you can comfortably pay off each month.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a record of 7 million Americans are at least three months behind on their car loan payments. It is critical that you work out how much money you have coming in each month, and how much you can pay off.

The best way to work out what you will actually be paying for your car is by calculating how much you will be paying each month and for how many months. This calculation needs to include interest rates, too.

Check Your Credit Score

Whether you want a personal loan for a car or an auto loan for a car, you need to check your credit score and history.

Poor credit history might mean that you pay higher interest rates than if you have a good credit history. If this is the case, you might want to hold off getting a loan and focus on improving your credit score.

If you have a good credit score, you might be able to negotiate a better deal with your loan lender.

Find out how you can secure an auto loan without having previous credit experience or a credit score.

Research Your Options

Once you have an idea of how much you have to spend and what your credit score is, you can research your options. There are a number of loan lenders available, however, not all of them will be right for you.

You can get car loans from banks or credit unions, dealerships, or online lenders. Compare the different types of deals and payment plans each of them offer and work out which one is best for you.

Car loans typically come with 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-year terms. The longer the payment plan, the more interest you’ll end up paying, so make sure you work out which plan is the most cost effective for you.

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

Once the lender has given you a quote for the loan, you will be pre-approved, which doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed. Once you have been pre-approved, you the lender will then check your credit.

Once you are pre-approved for a loan, the lender will give you a letter that you can take when you go car shopping. This letter can help you see if you can get a better deal from the car dealership.

Even though you have been pre-approved, it doesn’t mean that you need to sign up for the loan. It is still your choice whether you pursue this loan or you can choose another one.

You also can adjust the terms of your loan, for example, if you find a cheaper car and don’t need an as bigger loan, you can apply for a smaller loan instead.

Find Your Car

The final step is the most enjoyable one. Once you know how much you can afford each month, and you know what kind of loans you can get, you can go car shopping.

Make sure you do your research and find a car that is the right price and has the right features that you need.

Car Loans

Applying for a car loan doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. Just follow our guide on how to take out a loan for a car and you’ll soon be driving away with a new vehicle.

Apply for one of our auto loans now and see how we can help you.

Alternatively, if you need help with your loan process, get in touch with our team and discuss your loan requirements.

How to Obtain No Credit Car Loans

How to Obtain No Credit Car Loans

Though good credit is valuable, is there a such thing as no credit car loans? Yes! Find out how to easily obtain an auto loan without credit experience.

How to Obtain No Credit Car Loans

Did you know that approximately 45 million Americans have no credit score at all?

If you’re part of this group, you might think that it’s impossible for you to get approved for a car loan. That’s not exactly true, though.

There are lots of loans out there designed for people with low credit scores, as well as those with no credit score.

Read on to learn more about no credit car loans and how you can increase your chances of getting approved for one.

No Credit Car Loan Minimum Qualifications

If you have a bad credit score or no credit score, you can still qualify for a car loan. You just have to make sure you meet some other basic qualifications, including the following:

  • Have a gross monthly income of at least $1,500
  • Provide proof that you are a legal U.S. or Canadian resident
  • Provide proof that you are at least 18 years of age or older

If you have filed for bankruptcy in the past, you may also need to complete some additional paperwork to show that you authorized to purchase a car.

Many car dealerships also work with specific lenders to provide financing to people who might not otherwise qualify for an auto loan.

When you begin looking to purchase a car, consider asking the lender which dealerships they work with or recommend purchasing a car from.

Increase Your Chances of Approval

If you meet these minimum qualifications, there’s a good chance your auto loan application will be approved.

There are some other steps you can take to increase your chances even more, though, including the following:

Check Your Credit History

You may think you have no credit history, but it’s a good idea to double check before you apply for an auto loan. You might find out that you do, actually have a credit score.

Checking your credit report also allows you to notice and correct any errors that might affect your credit in the future.

Set a Budget

Figure out how much money you are able to spend on a car before you apply for a loan, too.

Think, specifically, about what you can afford to spend each month on the car and insurance. Don’t forget about maintenance and gas, too.

Doing these calculations and putting together a budget first will help you figure out how much money you should ask for when you fill out your loan application.

Consider a Higher Down Payment

You’ll have an easier time getting approved for a car loan — even if you don’t have a credit score — if you’re able to put down a larger down payment.

This makes you a more credible lending candidate. It will also help to lower your monthly car payments, so it’s a good strategy for every car buyer to use.

Consider a Co-Signer

You can also increase your chances of getting approved if you find someone who can co-sign your loan.

A co-signer is someone with a high credit score who agrees to take over your loan payments if you default.

Having someone co-sign your loan can help to bring down the monthly payments and give you better terms and interest rates.

A co-signer is a great option to consider.

Just keep in mind that it’s a big responsibility, and it can be difficult to find someone who’s willing to co-sign your loan. You may have to ask a few different people before you get a “yes”.

Gather Appropriate Documents

Make sure you have all the necessary documentation ready to go when you apply for your auto loan, too.

The following are some documents that will help you make a good case for yourself and prove that you can pay back the loan:

  • A copy of your bank statement to verify your monthly income
  • Documentation of recurring bills like your cell phone or utility bills — this helps to show that you pay your other bills on time each month
  • Pay stubs or other documents that provide proof of employment

If you can provide these documents when you’re applying for a loan, you’ll have a much better chance of getting approved.

Work with an Online Lender

You can also increase your chances of having your auto loan application approved if you work with an online lender.

Online lenders are often more flexible than traditional lenders and are willing to work with a wider range of customers.

Keep in mind that online lenders also tend to have better loan terms and rates, so it’s worth working with them even if you do have a good credit score.

Tips for Building Your Credit Score

If you want to build up your credit score before you apply for a car loan, there are a few different steps you can take, including the following:

  • Make all of your loan payments on time
  • Pay your utility bills and other bills on time, too
  • Open a credit card account and pay your balance in full each month (it’s a common mistake to assume that you should carry a balance over from month to month)
  • Don’t apply for too many credit cards or loans at once (this has a negative effect on your credit score)

Once you have your auto loan application approved, you can also use that loan to build your credit score.

If you make the monthly payments on time, you’ll start building credit and will have an easier time getting approved for loans in the future. You might also be able to refinance your loan later to get better terms.

Apply for No Credit Car Loans Today

If you don’t have a credit score but need a car, you still have options (that don’t involve taking public transportation for the rest of your life).

There are lots of no credit car loans that you can apply for.

If you meet the minimum qualifications listed above and keep these other tips in mind, you’ll have a much easier time having your application approved.

Are you ready to apply for an auto loan? If so, we can help at First Financial.

Contact us today to learn more about our auto loan requirements or to fill out an application.

7 Life-Saving Tips That’ll Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

Do you want to raise your credit score quickly? If you follow these tips, you'll see improvement in your score in no time.

7 Life-Saving Tips That’ll Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

16% of Americans have a credit score of below 579. This is the lowest level of the FICO score and is categorized as “very poor”.

A poor credit score can have a serious impact on your personal life and can affect your business negatively as well.

While no one can guarantee that you will hit an exceptional score, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score.

Here are seven tips to raise your credit score quickly.

1. Check Your Report for Errors and Omissions

The very first step to take is to get a copy of your credit card report. This is the only way to know where you stand before you figure out the specific actions to take to make things better.

This is, however, not all you will be doing with your report. Go through it carefully, checking for any error and omissions.

Look for things like a repaid debt that’s been listed as a default or a loan you repaid on time that is not listed.

If you identify any of these issues, move to have them corrected. This action in itself can add a few points to your rating.

2. Negotiate on Outstanding Balances

You will be surprised at how helpful your creditors can be. Unfortunately, if you never ask, you will never find out.

If you are having trouble making payments, make contact with your credit card issuer and communicate this with them.

Most providers have temporary hardship programs you can take advantage of. The benefit of this is that you can have your repayment amounts reduced until you get back on your feet.

Smaller, more manageable installments mean you can pay a lot more comfortably. This is better than skipping payments and having a creditor send a negative report that sheds a few points off your score.

3. Get Added as an Authorized User

This is a great way of giving your credit score an immediate boost. This works particularly well if you are just starting out and have little information on your credit rating.

You do this by getting someone with a high credit card limit and an even greater repayment history. Their card issuer sends them a card with your name on it.

Legally, you are not obligated to make payments on any debt accrued on the card. But its usage reflects positively on your credit score.

The key is finding someone with above board transactions. In a sense, you inherit the person’s positive credit history.

However, not all credit card companies report authorized users. Before you get on it, do your research and find out if it will be reported.

4. Ask Creditors to Delete Late Payments

It’s not uncommon to fall behind on payments from time to time. However, these small mistakes lower your credit score.

If you are in good standing with your creditors, it does not hurt to request them to delete some of the reported late payments. Financial institutions regularly communicate with Credit Referencing Bureaus, and all it would take is a quick phone call on your behalf.

If the request goes through, then you will have fewer negative reports, which will add some points to your credit rating. Nevertheless, try and restrict your late payments to 30 days. Creditors will not report late dues failing in this time frame.

If your issue is forgetfulness, rather than availability of funds, you can have your banker or employer make direct payments if this facility is available. If not, there are numerous software tools you can use to remind you when your payments are due.

5. Old Debts Can Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

You might be eager to forget about your car loan or student loan debts once you make the final payment.

However, as long as you completed your payments promptly, those records may help your scoring. The same is true for credit card debt.

All you need to do is keep these debts on your record. If they were entirely left out, then provide all the information to the credit Reference Bureau so they can use it to calculate your credit score.

Bad payment histories are deleted with time. However, bankruptcies stay on your report for 10 years and late payments for seven years. You don’t have much leeway with these.

6. Watch Your Credit Utilization Rate

Credit utilization is the amount of credit card balance you have compared to your credit limit.

This is the second largest factor affecting your credit score. The first is your credit repayment history.

The more credit you use on your credit card, the further down your credit rating drops. This trend indicates you are spending a significant portion of your income to repay debt, which makes you likelier to default on payments.

The best credit utilization is 0, which means your credit card limit is untouched. This defeats the purpose of applying for a credit card in the first place.

As a rule of thumb, keep your credit utilization ratio at 30%. This means using less than 30% of the credit limit availed to you. Anything above this can cause your rating to drop.

Under the FICO system, people with the highest scores have a utilization rate of 7%. The lower your utilization, the better.

7. Jump on Score Boosting programs

The average age and number of accounts you have held are an important consideration in evaluating how you handle debt.

This tends to disadvantage people with a limited credit history.

UltraFico and Experian Boost allow people with limited credit histories to puff it up using other information.

Experian requires access to your online banking data and allows Credit Referencing Bureaus to add utility payments to your history.

In the same way, UltraFico allows you to give permissions for savings and checking accounts to be used alongside your report when calculating your credit score.

Consistency Is Key

All in all, while it is possible to raise your credit score quickly, expect a few bumps along the way and allow yourself some time.

At First Financial, we understand that while you work on your credit rating you might still need help from time to time. No matter your credit score, we have a financing solution for you. Contact us today for more information.

Take the Pain out of Monitoring Your Finance

Go from bad credit to good credit without beating yourself up

Can there be any joy in monitoring your finances? Your bank balance is disappointing more often than not. Trimming expenses doesn’t bring any joy. Reminders of irresponsibility can be a gut punch.

Still, a different mindset can help you make the changes to put you on the path to good credit.   

Begin by forgiving yourself for financial mistakes

The shame and blame we heap upon ourselves for not being where we want to be financially can make our situations worse. It leads us to avoid confronting credit spending, recurring debits from bank accounts, balances on personal loans or car loans, and important conversations with family members.

Shame springs from an idea that the individual has departed from social norms. Start dismissing your shame when you understand that one in three others you’ll meet today also have credit under 601. That’s right—one-third of Americans today have bad credit.

The individual experiencing bad credit has lots of company. And is this all their fault?  With aggressive companies relentlessly bombarding us with messages that we deserve their products and that we must keep up with our peers, it’s no wonder we overextend ourselves.

If you can grab your financial issues “by the horns” so to speak, you have made the first

 step on the path to success. Some psychologists tell us that, “a willingness to endure discomfort and capitalize on challenge is a trademark among successful, fulfilled individuals.” While it will require a little effort, put a budget in place, inform those who may impact it, stick to it. You’ll quickly find positive feelings about yourself and your financial situation multiplying. As Benjamin Franklin told the framers of our constitution, “Once begun, half done.” Those quill pens got to writing, despite their enormous task. 

Gamify Your Savings

Rather than tracking every $3 coffee, focus more on a positive indicator: your savings level. As that rises, set a reward after reaching certain amounts. The reward could be you get to buy a new piece of clothing or 10 shares of SnapChat stock. Set these levels up ahead of time and stick to these commitments. These rewards can offset the sense of loss from avoiding day-to-day overspending.

Take the pressure off when you avoid social media

First and foremost, understand that social media is simply carefully selected snippets of your friends’ and family members lives. What they choose to share is designed to elicit envy. Those of us here at First Financial are constantly surprised at friends’ life-is-so-great posts and how these compare to what we know are their real struggles.

What’s more, when you focus on others, you remove your attention from your own issues. If you have bad credit, all your attention needs paid to your spending and savings plans.

Let the social world turn without you when you use a religious tradition, mindfulness, meditation or good old smart reading to understand how pointless it is to compare yourself to friends, relatives.

Deepen Your Relationships when You Lay It All Out for Loved Ones

Serious conversations with loved ones can be intimidating, particularly when they’re about money. Strategize how to take the sting out of belt-tightening before you tackle it with those you love. In other words, have alternate plans to take the place of lavish habits so that your new financial regimen doesn’t translate as 100 percent loss.  

First, explain how it’s important now to join forces for common goals and how these efforts will unite you. Emphasize that working together for financial fitness by cooking meals together, going to resale and thrift shops and competing for better money saving strategies will get you talking and sharing more. Also, make sure you include your family members’ long- and short-term goals in your planning. Study after study reveals that children and spouses prefer experiences and time spent together over material goods anyway. Shared experiences just connect us better and for longer than shared material consumption. Use that research if you have to!

Your new financial fitness system may benefit from gratitude journals. Everyone should jot down at least one thing they’re grateful for every day. Sharing is optional, but when these grateful moments that include others are shared, it strengthens bonds. These journals, particularly effective when an individual is feeling particularly short-changed, have proven to increase happiness significantly.


First Financial

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