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Most of us have emergency or other expenses that require quick funds. While many resort to credit cards for these expenses, a better option may exist: the personal loan.
The personal loan is a contract created between a bank, credit union or other lending entity and an individual. It states an amount to be lent to the individual and terms like interest rate and duration of the loan. Because establishing a personal loan requires discussion with a bank or credit union representative, however, many feel intimidated to embark on this kind of funding. This said, the personal loan may be the more financially savvy option in several situations.
First we want to cover the biggest advantages of using personal loans over credit cards. These include:
1. the personal loan can be “unsecured,” requiring neither collateral (like a credit card) nor a credit card inquiry that can lower credit scores; this said, some personal loans DO require collateral and perform a credit inquiry. Get these items straightened out with a loan agent BEFORE signing the contract;
2. personal loan interest rates are typically lower than credit card rates and negotiation with the loan officer for even lower rates is possible;
3. unlike rates for credit cards, the interest rate stays fixed for the entire repayment period;
4. monthly payments stay even. Credit card payments change as charges accrue.
With the advantages clear, you can determine whether the money you need should be gained through a credit card or personal loan. The following includes the situations that we think make the most sense for a personal loan.
1. Unexpected Income Shortfall
People make errors. Sometimes these fallible people have jobs in payroll and forget to cut checks. The good news is that banks and credit unions issue small personal loans relatively easily, requiring a few pay stubs and the last few months of bank statements. While going to the bank to discuss the situation can be uncomfortable, people in this situation get money within 24 hours when they use convenient online personal loan solutions. Online banking solutions often have lower interest rates and better terms because these alternative lending institutions do not need to satisfy shareholders or spend exorbitant amounts on marketing. As Bill Gates said in the nineties, bricks and mortar banks “dinosaurs.”
People looking to finance an adoption, in vitro fertilization, a cross-country move or other big activity without traditional financing (like a car or RV loan) turn to the personal loan to move life forward at reasonable cost.
2. Consolidating Credit Card Debt to Increase Credit Score
Who wants to pay 19% when they can pay 11%? An 8% difference per year can save the borrower with a $10,000 credit card balance $800 each year or $67 monthly. Fill out our convenient personal loan application. First Financial lenders’ lower loan rates and better terms may surprise you! We have all the security of the big, bricks and mortar banks, namely 128-bit “banking level” security. We have to. The Security and Exchange Commission and other federal institutions demand it.
3. Borrower Prefers or Needs a Fixed Rate and Term
Borrowers (or their parents or spouses) often advocate for the personal loan because it involves making the same payments at the same schedule until the loan is paid off. Credit card rates are variable and could rise several percentage points yearly. Those who make a clear decision about one large purchase appreciate the clarity of paying for it consistently over a limited period of time.
First Financial Personal Loans Provide the Savings only Online Functionality Delivers
First Financial’s lending partners can provide low cost personal loans because of their cost-saving, online structure. Apply for an affordable personal loan here, even if your credit rating is “fair,” “poor” or even “bad.” Our comprehensive application was designed by financial professionals who understand that an applicant’s financial history can be complex, particularly in the post-recession era. Fill out the application in minutes and learn how much you qualify for within 48 hours. Follow First Financial on Facebook to get smart budgeting and saving tips, too!
Tracey Espinoza remembers the day in 2013 when she had to leave the home she loved due to foreclosure. As she was packing up her bedding, she thought, “Well, at least they can’t take my pillows. At least I don’t think they can.”
Like many Americans, Tracy and her family got caught up in the aftermath of the economic downturn of 2008 to 2011. By 2012 neither her nor her husband’s salary had increased and getting another job at higher pay wasn’t panning out.
Complicating matters, they’d had two children in the previous four years, and Tracy cut back work to part-time to care for them. When Tracy could not find full time work in her field, they were unable to keep up with mortgage payments and fell into foreclosure, ruining their credit. When her husband’s 8-year-old Toyota Acura needed a new transmission, they turned to a “bad credit” credit card to pay for it. He needed to get to work reliably—without missing a day—after all.
Even now in 2020, wages have not caught up with the stock market rebound. A Wall Street Journal article quoted the senior human resources manager of Ohio’s First Solar manufacturing saying, “Wage pressure? I don’t think we’ve necessarily seen that.” After all, at their last job call, 700 people showed up for 120 positions. They had their pick.
Surmounting the “Bad Credit” Stigma
“Bad credit” loans and credit cards suffer from a somewhat undeserved reputation. Where “good credit” typically starts at the 700 score and above, “fair,” “poor” and “bad credit” make up the tiers beneath. With over 50% of Americans now in these “subprime” categories, many turn to higher rate loans to keep their computers, cars and even bodies working so they can earn a living.
Where “Bad Credit” Loans Do the Most Good
These three situations prompt borrowers to gather their courage and get a “bad credit” loan to keep going.
Building Credit: If you’re in the subprime credit category, most likely you’ve learned that every credit card you apply for checks or “dings” your credit record. Every “ding” drops your credit score by 10 points or more. Ironically, those with the best credit use credit cards the least. They have the most “available” credit. Of the $30,000 that their banks, mortgage holders and auto lenders feel they can afford to borrow, they may currently be using $3,000 of it. We all should be there someday! Borrowers working to build their credit rating, on the other hand, can avoid incurring a credit check and subsequent credit “ding” by getting a bad or low credit loan. Typically, the lender requires no collateral and will not contact Experian, TransUnion or EquiFax, the three largest credit reporting agencies. It simply needs bank statements, pay stubs, proof of residency and limited other documents.
Keeping Income Earning Tools Functioning: Many Americans today are abandoning corporate careers for freelance work. In fact, software giant Intuit performed a study of thousands of American workers and found an interesting draw to an independent lifestyle. Their findings prompted them to declare that by the year 2020, 40% of the American workforce will be freelance. While the freedom and the endless pajama-wearing is great, freelancers have to pay for lots of things that don’t even cross the corporate employee’s mind. These items include: computer repair, subscriptions to SaaS services, and transportation. When any one of these breaks down, the time and the repair budget fall on the freelancer. With work mounting, rectifying issues as quickly as possible becomes paramount. If clients have not paid but bills are due, freelancers and other entrepreneurs often have to resort to credit cards. The start-up business may not even have a credit line established. Therefore, they fall into the “subprime” category. Should they give up on their business? Is THAT the American Way? The most successful freelancers work back channels and creative pathways to reach their goals. Many businesses have resorted to “bad credit” loans and even credit cards to stay in business until their breakthrough.
When Fees and Penalties Are Burdensome: A 5% late payment on a $2,500 rent runs to $125 of money-for-nothing. A bad credit loan, on the other hand, comes in handy when big payments come due. When an unavoidable fee or penalty comes within just a few days of a paycheck or accounts receivable avalanche of past due payments from clients, it makes sense to pay the expense and then quickly pay off the short-term loan.
First Financial Welcomes Bad Credit Borrowers
First Financial can find the right loan instrument, even for those with poor, fair or bad credit. Because more than 50% of Americans fall into the subprime category, enterprising alternative banks (with all the security the big, bricks and mortar banks offer) deliver affordable loans. Apply for a bad credit or low credit score in minutes here. Follow us on Facebook to get smart about building your fin
Between mortgages, car loans and department store cards, nearly every American has borrowed money at one time. The federal U.S. government is indebted to private lenders and other countries to the tune of 15 million dollars. States owe each other and their citizens in the form of bonds. If you need a personal loan to help you with education, an emergency, medical expenses and more, you have lots of company.
Since the loan will be amortized or spread out over years, every point of interest saved helps. When considering a personal loan, make sure you don’t make the following common mistakes:
An online bank, First Financial provides a quick application that you fill out in the comfort of your home. Once you’ve been approved, the cash usually appears in your account that evening. To get daily financial tips remember to like our Facebook page.
Where achieving a healthy weight depends on limiting food (energy) intake and increasing energy expenditure, healthy financial profiles spring from a similar balance of limiting expenses and maximizing income over time. Personal loans support both sides of this balance, optimizing wealth if not in the next year, at least in the next five or 10.
Personal loans often serve to:
Even if your credit score is under 640 (currently considered the lower end of “good credit”), you can get a personal loan. Here are some tips for becoming proactive and getting the personal loan that balance your cash flow in your direction, bad credit or not.
Consumers often find that once they begin their new financial habits (reducing expenses and increasing income), the process becomes addictive. Just taking charge of your finances will help you feel more confident and happy. Even if you’ve spent yourself into the “bad credit” category, having a plan and acting on it provides the reassurance that you won’t be there forever!
When an unanticipated expense hits, financial institutions exist to make sure that families limit their losses. Cash advance and payday loans, which are short term, unsecured (no car or home collateral needed) and fast, keep people solvent until unsettling times pass.
Unexpected financial glitches happen to all of us. Stress and shame send some into freeze mode, but denial only causes late fees and creditor phone calls to mount. The cash advance option or easier cash advance app makes sense in several situations.
This is gathered in a short, online application you can easily fill out on your phone anywhere. Once the lender gets that information, it’s typically a matter of hours before you’re approved. The lender knows you’re probably in a dicey situation and works hard to provide an answer as soon as possible.
2. Late payment penalties are more than the cost of the payday loan. If your mortgage is $2,000 and you have a 5% late payment penalty, you’ll be out $100 if you don’t pay the loan on time. Many fees for non-payment are higher than the charges that come with a payday loan or cash advance.
3. The loan is required for you to earn an income. A broken down car or crucial computer malfunction can interrupt your earning hours dramatically. To keep income steady, getting both into working order is crucial. The payday loan or cash advance helps get you back to work fast.
Payday Loan Cash Advance Information
While home and car loans are amortized over years, typically the cash advance loan is repaid within a month, when a consumer’s next paycheck is deposited. After you fill out the application and sign forms, the money arrives in your checking account within one to two days. Similarly, the money plus the loan fees are then withdrawn at the end of the month when you are paid. It is also possible to extend the loan for another month if you need to. It’s smart, however, to have a plan to pay off the loan when it is due.
First Financial: Your Source for Fast, Trustworthy Emergency Credit
First Financial is a nationwide retailer of financial services. We provide home, auto and personal loans to applicants from every state. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, you can be confident that your transactions are safe every step of the way. Our system relies on trusted names like to get you money quickly with no glitches. Interested in checking us out for a while? Feel free to follow our Facebook page where we relate daily modern money tips.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As already discussed, these loans have their similarities and differences. They also have their advantages and disadvantages.
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 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.
Whether you go for a personal or a car loan, there are tips to help you find a good financing option.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether faced with an emergency or you need to borrow, discover the benefits of a credit product that suits your needs and great reasons for a personal loan.
We live in one of the strongest economies in the world. Yet, despite that strength, wages haven’t kept up and about 40% of Americans struggle to make ends meet.
Fortunately, there are financial tools that people can use to help them meet their monthly obligations or dig out of debt. Personal loans have easily passed credit cards as a preferred form of debt.
What are 5 outstanding reasons to take out a personal loan?
Keep reading to find out.
Personal loans have moved past credit cards to become the fastest growing type of debt. To understand why let’s look at what personal loans are.
Personal loans are loans that you can take out for any reason. When you take out an auto loan or a home loan, it’s for those specific purposes. You borrow a certain amount of money at an interest rate determined by your lender and you make monthly installment payments for the term of the loan.
The terms of the loan can be anywhere from 6-60 months, depending on the amount you borrow. The great thing about personal loans is that they are available to people with good credit and bad credit.
Personal loans offer a lot more flexibility and stability than other forms of debt because you can take them out for a number of reasons, and you know what the monthly payments will be every month.
Would you like to improve your financial situation? In that case, a personal loan may be a smart move for you. Let’s look at some of the more common reasons for a personal loan.
The most common reason why so many people turn to personal loans is to consolidate credit card debt. The average person has about three credit cards, which means three separate debt payments.
Depending on your interest rate, you can be paying much more in interest over the long haul than what you actually paid for.
What a personal loan can do for you is you can pay off those credit cards completely and just have one monthly payment. The monthly payment is likely to be lower than what you’re paying out every month.
The interest rate is likely to be lower than credit card debt, too. That means that you’re saving on your monthly payments and paying less in interest.
Starting a new business is an exciting opportunity that does require some start-up capital. Most small businesses cost between $3,000 and $5,000 to start up.
That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you are in debt or you are having trouble making ends meet, a personal loan can be a lifeline.
You can avoid the trouble of having to present a formal business plan when trying to get a business loan by getting a personal loan.
A personal loan won’t have the same strict requirements as a business loan, and you have the flexibility to invest the borrowed money as you see fit.
One of the reasons why people take out personal loans is because they want to take on a major home renovation project. A remodel could cost anywhere from $18,000 to $36,000 depending on the size and scope of the project.
Not many people have that kind of cash lying around, so they’ll turn to personal loans to finance the project.
It’s a smart move because these projects can add a lot of value to the home, which will increase the sale price. You’ll often see people renovate when they’re getting ready to sell, knowing that they’re going to see a return on those funds.
Car repairs, a medical emergency, home repairs, pet emergencies can all take a bite out of your finances. If you’re having a hard time making ends meet as it is, how will you be able to come up with the funds to these possibilities?
That’s where a personal loan can help you. One of the reasons why people turn to personal loans for emergency expenses is because they will be able to pay it back in monthly installments.
Your credit score determines so much in life. Your ability to get a home, an apartment, a job, or any other forms of credit all hinge on those three numbers that make up your credit score.
Do you have to start building up a credit history or rebuild your credit?
Taking out a small personal loan will help you do that. With a small personal loan that’s paid back on time and in full, you’re showing creditors that you’re responsible with debt.
That will also help you increase your credit score.
There are many reasons for a personal loan. When you do take out a personal loan, you want to make sure that you can either save money or make money.
Starting a business, consolidate debt, or start a home project that will pay off down the road are great reasons for a personal loan. The great thing about a personal loan is that you can take them out for any reason, even finance a vacation or a wedding.
Would you like to find out more about getting a personal loan for your financial situation? Find out more about First Financial’s personal loan programs here.
Did you know that Americans now have more debt than ever?
In fact, this debt amounts to a hefty $13 trillion–and this number is likely on the rise.
Debt can sneak up on all of us, especially given life’s range of expenses. Student loans, vehicle financing, and mortgages may grant education, mobility, and home ownership, but they still all equate to debt.
Luckily, if you are struggling with debt management, there are options. One of these is debt consolidation.
How does debt consolidation work, and is it right for you? In this post, we answer these questions and more.
Keep reading for insight!
Most people accrue debt from a variety of sources. You may, for example, have credit card debt in addition to an auto loan or home mortgage.
This is very common, and it’s not necessarily a problem. It is possible to have “healthy debt” if you are a responsible borrower and if you can comfortably make your monthly payments.
Yet healthy debt can be hard to come by. Plenty of loans have high-interest rates, which can quickly get burdensome and keep you from saving what you need to be saving!
A lot of people also juggle multiple monthly payments. It can be tough to meet these, especially if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. (In fact, most Americans do!)
Unexpected situations such as family emergencies or medical expenses can be an additional challenge. These can add more to your debt and stress levels.
If you find yourself missing payments on any of your loans, you may face late payment fees. Credit card balances are also subject to potentially high-interest rates.
Debt consolidation strives to alleviate the stress of these potential situations. When you consolidate your debt, you lump your debt into one, single loan. This results in just one monthly payment and–in most cases–less interest due.
Debt consolidation sometimes sounds too good to be true. How does it work?
First, it’s important to note that there are, in general, two ways to consolidate debt: with a credit card balance transfer or a debt consolidation loan.
Both of these have the same goal, which is to get all of your debt into one monthly payment. Plus, they also strive to reduce interest and fees.
For people with a lot of credit card debt, this is a great means of consolidating. Users simply transfer all of their debt to one credit card. They must then pay off this balance within a given time frame.
Most people will seek out new cards that offer a 0% balance transfer APR and/or a $0 balance transfer fee. Plenty of credit cards offer these terms!
These terms mean that balance transfers won’t be subject to any fees. Once you transfer a balance, you won’t have to pay interest on that balance for a given period of time (sometimes up to a year).
If you aren’t eligible for such offers for any reason, have no fear. You can always transfer your credit card balances. These, however, will be subject to APR and/or transfer fees according to your card’s terms.
For this reason, identify your card’s balance transfer terms before you make a decision.
Another way to consolidate your debt is to take out a debt consolidation loan.
With this, borrowers take out a loan valued at their total debt. Generally, this loan is fixed-rate, meaning that its balance will have the same interest rate for the entire repayment period.
With this debt consolidation loan, borrowers pay off all of their existing debt. They will then work on repaying that loan in a given amount of time, generally at a lower interest rate.
Debt consolidation loans are ideal only if they do offer lower interest rates and fees than a borrower is paying on other loans.
You can get debt consolidation loans from a variety of sources. What’s more, they don’t have to be called a “debt consolidation loan” to count. Low-interest personal loans can also suffice.
Debt consolidation can be a relief for most borrowers, especially when it comes to reducing payments, interest, and fees. But is it right for you?
In general, debt consolidation is ideal for people who could benefit from a single monthly payment (rather than several).
It’s also the right choice for individuals who aren’t 100% drowning in debt. In general, your debt shouldn’t be more than half of your current income. If it is, it will be really tough to pay off that debt, even after it is consolidated!
Credit score can also play a role. In general, people with good to excellent credit are more eligible for 0% balance transfer terms on credit cards and low-interest consolidation loans.
If you have a lower credit score, you may struggle to find a consolidation method that actually saves you money.
It’s also important to have a plan in place once you do consolidate your debt. This plan should incorporate income sources and repayment terms.
Remember: debt consolidation doesn’t get rid of your debt. It only reorganizes it, in an attempt to reduce interest paid.
If you’ve decided that debt consolidation is right for you, begin by choosing how you wish to consolidate your debt. Is credit card consolidation right for you, or is a debt consolidation loan the way to go?
Next, start researching. Take your time to identify the best balance transfer terms and/or low-interest consolidation loan.
If you do intend to take out a loan for debt consolidation, browse lenders wisely. There are a lot of scams out there when it comes to debt consolidation, so look only for reputable lenders.
We also recommend inspecting your credit score before you hunt for offers. Remember: the higher your score, the better for securing terms likely to make debt consolidation worth it.
How does debt consolidation work? Debt consolidation involves lumping all of your debt into one loan to reduce payments and interest.
In general, debt consolidation can be a useful tool for individuals with debt that doesn’t surpass half of their income.
Are you ready to consolidate your debt? Apply for a loan now!
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.
Given that they’re secured loans, auto loan interest rates can be low, making them the obvious choice for buying a car. Still, there are certain situations where a personal loan for a car purchase makes sense, too.
First, ever seen a line of cars outside of your favorite grocery store? They’re all for sale, and often several buyers are milling around looking to get a cool ride at a great deal. Sellers always want money immediately, and they certainly don’t want to mess around with being paid over months. That means you need the cash on hand in the form of a cashier’s check. The online personal loan puts the funds in your checking account within days. If you have it ready to go when you make an offer, you have a better chance of getting the car.
Then, if tail fins and hood ornaments are your thing, you have classic cars on the brain. Vintage collectors know that lenders hesitate to finance a car if it’s under a certain age or is over 200,000 miles. Personal loans come in handy to snatch that old Corvette or Mustang from the market.
Finally, low-credit-score borrowers can sometimes get lower interest rates when they go the personal loan route. Some lenders, like First Financial, specialize in providing personal loans to those with credit challenges.
Online lenders have the fastest, easiest processes for winning personal loans. You find out in minutes how much you qualify for and get the money the next day in most cases. Have more questions? Review our personal loan FAQs. Ready to apply?
In general, personal loan amounts range from $2,000 to $50,000. Borrowers with credit scores over 680, low debt utilization and robust income win amounts toward $50,000. Those not hitting those marks tend to get less. What are the criteria for determining personal loan amount?
It’s certainly not what you need, no matter how much you need it. Your wedding expenses bill of $30,000 or your remodel estimate of $50,000 doesn’t win you that amount automatically. The amount you can borrow with a personal loan depends on your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio and the purpose for the debt. Lenders evaluate how much you’re most likely to pay off, not what you need. Of course, those with higher credit scores will get better rates, but even those with fair, poor and bad credit can qualify for personal loans should their DTI and borrowing purpose warrant it.
Since 2012, lenders have been assertive about asking the purpose of the loan. Unlike with a quick cash advance, lenders are more generous when the purpose may strengthen the borrower’s financial health. A remodel or debt consolidation put a twinkle in lenders’ eyes. Lenders actually consider some purposes frivolous these days. They’ve been known to turn down vacations, hot tubs, and other non-essentials, particularly if DTI is high. In the end, however, most consider the purpose of the personal loan an “influencing” factor rather than a primary one.
The debt-to-income ratio measures the amount going to debt service every month compared to the income coming in. A good debt-to-income ratio is 35 percent or below. At just eight points higher—43 percent—most lenders will not approve a borrower for a loan. Debt includes personal loans, student loans, car loans, mortgages and credit card bills. Your cable bill, rent, and car insurance do not figure into this debt calculation. Calculate your debt to income ratio and know your credit score so you can understand whether your loan amount offers are the best you can get.
A+ Rated First Financial Specializes in Low-Credit-Score Personal Loans
You may be surprised to learn that different lenders like to specialize in niche loans and borrowers. Some go for very short-term loans with high amounts. Others want to write only loans for borrowers with excellent credit. They create loan “products” that work well for the needs of that audience and don’t want to spend the time and money finding clients in other niches.
Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, First Financial has developed a specialty in serving those with fair, poor and bad credit scores—also known as “subprime” borrowers. We get you the money you need, all in the comfort of your home. You will know whether you qualify in five minutes or less with NO IMPACT to your credit. Apply today!
There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
Home has a magical place in Americans’ hearts, and lenders know it.
Because much of the U.S. economy is built on home ownership, the federal government encourages banks to lend to homeowners looking to remodel. If you want to get a personal loan for a home remodel, rest assured, many lenders will be happy to help. Interest rates on personal loans range from as low as 3.49% to as high as 36%. On average, they run from 10% to 32%. Those going for a 32% loan typically plan to remodel the house, sell it fast and repay the loan as quickly as possible.
Today’s remodeler can get more money than ever (even with bad credit), but finding the right deal has gotten challenging. Use these guidelines to get clear on your needs and limitations before evaluating different lenders. Your first step is understanding how much you will need.
HomeAdvisor.com provides estimates of how much your remodel will (or should) cost. It gives you the high, low and average prices. You can even fill in your zip code to get the most accurate figures. Lenders will ask for an estimate and accounting of your costs. They will also want a bid from a contractor that specifies labor, materials and other costs.
Create a spreadsheet or list of all the new features you’re looking for. In our kitchen example, a new stove can run anywhere from $400 to $5,000 for a premium gas range. In the bathroom, color-bathing with LED lights is the new rage. Get on board with your spouse or anyone else determining what will go into your remodel. Create a spreadsheet or list of all elements and their prices using a checklist from the internet that focuses on your specific room. Baseboards may be boring, but they cost money and that should be figured in (plus they make a room look really finished!)
Some costs homeowners tend to forget include:
Going to a contractor with a spreadsheet of remodel elements sends the message that you know prices. When he or she then estimates labor, you can check those figures against. Labor typically runs 30 to 35% of the entire remodel. Once you get all potential charges, add 20% to 30% because, as contractors often say, “there’s always a wrinkle in the rug.” Unexpected issues will arise.
Lenders consider two elements when evaluating how much of a personal loan you can get for a remodel: your credit history and your income
To prepare for lenders’ offers (several is better than one), use CreditKarma or another service to uncover your credit score. The highest loan amounts and best interest rates go to those with good or excellent credit (no late payments in the last year and credit utilization (LINK to other blog post) 50% or lower). Still, as mentioned above, lenders like home remodeling loans because the federal government likes them. Therefore, even those with fair credit can get a personal loan for a remodel. You’ll just pay more in interest and possibly get a smaller amount.
To lower their risk, lenders evaluate your ability to make your monthly payments by examining how many other debts you currently have. They add up your monthly credit card, auto and student loan payments and then divide that figure by your monthly gross income. Many banks see a debt-to-income ratio or DTI of 35% as manageable. They recognize that you have some spending money left after paying your bills. They want this extra spending money to come to them, and will be eager to provide a personal loan.
A DTI of between 36% and 49% doesn’t mean you won’t get a loan. Lenders may want you to have a cosigner. Make these calculations before you apply for a personal loan so you can be prepared to select the right loan with the best terms.
The last piece of information you need when choosing a personal loan is the interest rate and fees the bank will charge. Lenders do NOT do a “hard pull” or serious credit inquiry when evaluating personal loan applicants. Instead they run a “pre-approval” or “pre-qualification” check. This means you can review several offers before making a decision without any impact to your credit score. Once you select your lender, they make the hard pull ONCE.
Don’t let important home remodels go. A leaking roof can cause damage that multiplies your costs. First Financial has helped arrange tens of thousands of low-cost personal loans for home remodels. We have MORE loans for MORE applicants because working 100% online helps us reduce costs. Apply today!
Couples getting married today may wonder if the investment in a big wedding is worth it. And of course all kinds of family members have their opinions. And they have a point: the average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2017 was nearly $26,000. That money could go to the down-payment on a house, a superstar honeymoon or zucchini spiralizers for everybody! (Millennials love their vegetable pastas.)
Don’t jump to thrifty Aunt Gargamel’s notion that a wedding is a waste of money, however.
Psychologist Charles Kiesler studied the correlation of weddings and long-term marital success. He found all kinds of advantages to spending for that once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
After decades of research Kiesler concluded, “commitment is strengthened when it is publicly declared because individuals strive to maintain consistency between what they say and what they do.” In other words, a big wedding with many witnesses typically leads to a drive–even a need–to follow through on the commitment. The couple says their vows in front of their community, making a pact, not only with each other, but with all the onlookers as well.
Kinda makes sense, right?
The other advantage of a having a meaningful wedding is the effect it has on the two families involved. During the run up to the event, family members and even friends of the two partners get to know each other. They work together on different projects and share their experiences with the couple. Any time more connections are made throughout our society, the better. New friends are made at weddings. New couples even form when members of the wedding party peek around the bride and groom to bat eyes at each other. We are a social species after all, and extensive research has proven that the stronger and more numerous our connections, the happier and healthier we are as individuals. Having the wedding creates a strong network for the couple to rely on as they tackle big challenges like children, work stressors and deaths in the family. This safety net is priceless.
We know: the wedding is still $26,000! And with the economic downturn of 2008 – 2012, many parents of the those getting married are working madly to save for their own retirement rather than a child’s wedding.
One way to make the price a little more bearable is to take out a personal loan that you pay off monthly for several years. A $26,000 loan at a 7% rate for a 5-year term will run a couple $515 per month. Cost-cutting couples who marry in a park and follow it up with dinner at a reasonable venue can get away with a $10,000 wedding. Amortized at 7% for 5 years, the monthly payment comes down to $198 per month. Both of these figures assume borrowers have “good” credit in the 700 to 720 range.
The personal loan at 7% is a far better option than running up credit card debt where rates run from 15% to 29%. With the money coming up front, however, couples must learn how to budget carefully and with discipline. Having a big lump sum tends to tempt even the cautious to be more loose with cash, getting those extra centerpieces or consenting to let extra people come to the wedding.
With this in mind, take these steps to stretch every penny of the personal loan you qualify for.
This way, when the loan arrives in your bank account, you can quickly send it to the appropriate vendors before you’re tempted to spend it. Luckily, you have an accountability partner: your betrothed!
But this could be where it gets tough. You don’t want this exciting time to be marred by bickering and disagreement. Be ready to compromise and give up some of your own wishes. Set expectations from the beginning and try to keep it fun rather than stressful. Of course, no two people approach finances similarly. Consider even working with a pre-marital counselor to figure out how you will negotiate different decisions and the budget. That $150 (per session) will come back to you many times over.
That you’re even reading this post indicates your sincerity about doing everything you can to plan your wedding the right way. Because you won’t need to put up any “security” (car and home loans are “secured” loans), it’s considered an “unsecured loan.” Prepare to apply online for a personal loan for your wedding when you get these documents together.
Proof of income:
First Financial has connected thousands of brides and grooms with low-cost personal loans for weddings. Financing your wedding with an online personal loan is smart money-management. Online lenders can offer lower cost-loans because they don’t have the bricks-and-mortar branches, labor and marketing costs traditional banks do. More, online lenders offer MORE loans to MORE applicants because, with lower costs, they can take risks on more applicants. In fact, online lenders are renowned for acceptance rates far higher than those of traditional banks.
The small personal loan has gotten many out of difficult situations.
Unfortunately, death is a fact of life and often strikes at the most unexpected times. Not only is it hard to go through the emotional trauma of losing someone close to you, but making the funeral arrangements in just a few short days, while also figuring out how you’re going to pay for them is extremely rough. Funerals aren’t cheap, even with relatively affordable caskets the cost can still easily run up to the thousands. If the deceased person’s assets cannot cover the expense of the funeral service, taking out a small loan with a low interest rate is one of the best routes you can take to cover the cost and work your way towards paying it off.
Most people who receive a small personal loan get one to consolidate their debt. Consolidating your debt allows you to combine multiple types of debt, such as car loans or debt accumulated from credit cards, into one total loan with a fixed interest rate, consistent monthly payment, and a closed-end term. Doing this can have multiple advantages. It can lower the interest rate on the debt, and you may also qualify to have a lower monthly payment that is paid off over a longer period. Either way, consumers with multiple outstanding debts should definitely explore consolidation.
Another effective use of a small personal loan is to use it to pay off credit card debt. Of course, this may sound counterproductive, taking out a loan and possibly going into debt again just to pay off existing debt. However, many loans are available at a low rate, which limits the amount of interest you will have to pay, along with along with an end date to help you plan out your financial future. According to Ryan Bailey, who is in charge of consumer deposits, payments, and non-real estate lending at a TD Bank branch, who says that “With an unsecured loan, you pay it off in 5 years, generally at a much lower interest rate, so it saves payment, and you actually get it paid off.”
Life is unpredictable and sometimes you or a loved one may end up in the Hospital. Even with health insurance, costs can often be extremely high, especially for long stays. That is why so many people take out personal loans to cover unexpected health care costs. Don’t wait to do this – credit reporting agencies may be notified of missed payments and this will damage your credit score. A personal loan can allow you to pay off your medical expenses while keeping your credit score intact.
Did your old car suddenly break down and you need to buy a new one but don’t have enough money saved? Or can you afford one, but don’t qualify for a secured loan because of your credit history? A personal loan could very well be the answer. People who qualify for personal loans are more than free to put them towards a big purchase, such as buying a car, motorcycle, a small house or a boat.
Your wedding day will be one of the most unforgettable moments of your life, and it is totally reasonable that you may want to spare no expense. You already know the cost is going to add up quickly. Between the reception, the dress and tuxedo, to hosting possibly over a hundred guests, weddings are very expensive. This does not even include the cost of the rings as well as a possible honeymoon afterwards. Many couples look to personal loans to help them finance their big day. They can be used towards the expenses previously mentioned, and can ensure your wedding day will be one of the highlights of your life.
As you’ve gathered from reading this article, personal loans have many practical uses and cover a wide variety of expenses. First Financial knows how unpredictable life can be and how hard it is to keep a large sum of money sitting idle just waiting for something to happen. That’s why our loans cover more than just mentioned above. A small personal loan can also help you finance veterinary care for your pet. Or say a loved one in a different country has suddenly fallen very ill and you have to find a way to be there with them. Whatever it is, rest assured that our loans are consumer friendly with low interest rates and set end dates. In a perfect world, money shouldn’t decide if your pet can get a surgery to extend its life or if you can visit a sick relative, and with a loan from First Financial, it doesn’t have to.
Many consumers have received phone calls explaining that they can settle their credit card debt for a fraction of its total. While this is possible, taking the debt settlement route can have negative consequences on your long-term financial health.
Debt settlement works this way: a company acts as an intermediary, making calls to your credit card company or another creditor for you.
The personal loan, on the other hand, is simply a lump sum of money you win from a bank or alternative lender after filling out an application form and submitting some financial documentation.
But to further guide you in deciding which path to take, here are the risks and rewards of debt settlement versus the personal loan.
Debt settlement comes with the following potential risks.
A debt settlement company negotiates with your creditor to demand less money that what you actually owe. Your creditor, in turn reports this event to the credit bureau, explaining in detail that your debt was settled for less than how much was owed. Credit bureaus degrade your credit score. Further, seeing this history future car, home and bank lenders will be reluctant to do business with you.
The money you escaped paying isn’t the free pass debt settlement companies imply. The IRS will demand a slice of this “discount” in your taxes. You will pay taxes on it as if it is income. Your debt settlement company sends information to the IRS and to you. In fact, if you do choose to use a debt settlement company, make sure to ask up from what the tax implications are.
Debt settlement does help consumers reduce their debt. Also, when you try of applying for a loan when you still have not fixed your debt yet, you are certainly going to have a hard time. As a matter of fact, lenders are highly unlikely to be willing to work with you if this is the case. But when you do eliminate your debt, you will be attracting more lenders to work with you and even open up a lot of other opportunities for your own success.
Giving your lender a lesser amount of the amount owed leaves more money for you to use to buy a car, home or other asset. Make sure you maximize the amount forgiven you will only be successful in this when you have already mastered the labyrinth of debt settlement.
Aggressive creditors can make your life a nightmare. Even more frightening, when you do not respond, they file a lawsuit which could be served in public and end up garnishing your wages. Debt settlement puts this interference to a stop.
Many are surprised that personal loan rates are typically sometimes twice as high or higher than home and auto loan rates. The better your credit score, the lower rate you will get. Still, those with personal loans pay a lot of end their creditors calls.
Some lenders charge high penalties if you pay the loan off early. Make sure to read the terms and regulations of the contract or ask your loan officer. First Financial personal loans never have penalties for early pay off.
A personal loan should be simple: you apply for a personal loan, the company pays for your debt, and in turn, you will be going to pay the company. View additional fees or meeting with bankers with suspicion.
The thing about having a personal loan is that it can pay off your credit card debt in no time. The credit bureaus also see this move as a commitment to pay the debt rather than escape it by going into debt settlement. This move reveals your habits of paying your debts and impresses lenders.
A personal loan does not require property for collateral. Therefore, if you do default on it, you aren’t at risk for foreclosure or repossession.
When considering personal loans, don’t forget that online lenders have the automation and reduced overhead to offer the best loans and terms. First Financial is the national leader in providing personal loans for borrowers of all types, even bad credit borrowers. Just fill out our simple application form, and get the money in your account in a matter of days. The Better Business Bureau rates First Financial A+ because we make customer service our highest priority.
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