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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  How to choose the best personal loan? Here are the 6 main factors to keep in mind

How to choose the best personal loan? Here are the 6 main factors to keep in mind

Selecting the optimal personal loan is a complex undertaking, demanding thoughtful consideration of numerous factors and the navigation of a landscape replete with diverse options and potential pitfalls.

Selecting the best personal loan for use involves a lot of deliberation.Premium
Selecting the best personal loan for use involves a lot of deliberation.

Securing swift funds for various purposes can be efficiently accomplished through a personal loan. Whether it's for a wedding, a child's education, a medical emergency, travel, or any other necessity, a personal loan proves to be the optimal choice. This readily accessible line of credit allows you to address immediate needs, providing funds within seconds or hours with minimal documentation. Repayment can be conveniently spread over a specified period, allowing for manageable monthly installments spanning months or years.

Factors affecting personal loan choice

Conducting comprehensive research is essential before deciding to proceed with a personal loan. Before submitting your application for a personal loan, consider the following crucial factors.

  • Interest rates: When obtaining a personal loan, the primary consideration should be the interest rate. It's advisable to target the lowest interest rate achievable to reduce the overall cost of your loan. Respected banks typically provide markedly lower interest rates in comparison to moneylenders who might impose excessively high rates. It is essential to shop around and compare rates from various banks to secure the best deal, and online resources can streamline this process.
  • Zero collateral: Personal loans are often unsecured, indicating there is no need to provide collateral to secure the loan. The absence of collateral requirements often makes personal loans more accessible for qualification compared to secured loans such as mortgages or auto loans. As no assets are pledged as collateral, there is no risk of losing them in the event of loan default.
  • Minimal documentation: Dealing with a prolonged application process can be both time-consuming and exasperating, particularly when there is an urgent need for funds. Numerous online lenders provide streamlined application procedures with minimal documentation requirements. They frequently utilise technology to verify your information, facilitating faster decision-making. 

Investigate pre-approved loan offers from banks or lenders with whom you have established relationships. Such offers usually necessitate minimal additional information and can accelerate the loan approval process. The documentation required can be influenced by the loan amount. Smaller loan amounts might entail a more straightforward application process.

  • Loan tenure: Extending the tenure decreases your monthly EMI burden but results in higher total interest paid over time. Conversely, opting for a shorter tenure increases your EMI but leads to savings on interest. Select a tenure that matches your repayment timeframe. If you require a short-term loan, a longer tenure may be unnecessary. Seek out lenders offering flexible tenure options to discover a suitable arrangement that aligns with your budget and repayment capacity.
  • Loan amount: It is essential to borrow the appropriate amount when considering personal loans. To start with, applying for loans that cannot fulfill your financial needs is a futile endeavour. Additionally, resist the temptation to borrow more than your actual needs. Personal loans generally come with high interest rates, and borrowing unnecessarily results in additional interest payments. Borrow only what you can easily repay within the selected loan tenure. Consider the EMIs to ensure they do not disrupt your budget.
  • Processing fees: The processing fee is a singular charge imposed by the lender to cover administrative expenses related to processing your loan application. Compare the processing fees of various lenders in conjunction with their interest rates to identify the most cost-effective option. Refrain from being solely influenced by a low processing fee if the interest rate is substantially higher than that offered by other lenders.

Adopting a multi-faceted approach

Selecting the optimal personal loan demands a comprehensive approach, taking into account diverse factors beyond the publicly promoted interest rate. Opting for a personal loan is a substantial financial decision, and it is crucial to approach it comprehensively. By taking into account various factors, you can ensure that you select a loan that aligns with your needs and doesn't impose an unwarranted financial burden.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is loan tenure?

The loan tenure, alternatively known as the repayment tenure, denotes the overall period within which you are required to repay your loan, encompassing both the principal amount and interest. This duration is commonly expressed in months or years and essentially represents the timeframe specified in your loan agreement.

Opting for an extended tenure results in reduced monthly payments (EMIs) but entails a higher overall interest payment. Conversely, choosing a shorter tenure leads to increased monthly payments but incurs less total interest.

Q. What are secured loans?

Secured loans involve the borrower pledging an asset as collateral to secure the loan, providing a guarantee for the lender. In the event of the borrower defaulting on the loan by failing to make repayments, the lender possesses the legal right to repossess the collateral and sell it to recover the remaining loan balance.

Typical instances of secured loans encompass mortgages (with the house serving as collateral), auto loans (with the car acting as collateral), and title loans (where the vehicle's title is utilized as collateral).

Q. What are unsecured loans?

Unlike secured loans, unsecured loans do not necessitate the borrower to pledge any collateral to secure the loan. This implies that there is no requirement to offer assets such as a car or house as a guarantee for the loan. Typically, unsecured loans are more accessible for qualification compared to secured loans. This is because lenders depend solely on your creditworthiness and repayment capability, without the added assurance of collateral.

Because of the heightened risk for the lender in the absence of collateral, unsecured loans generally carry higher interest rates when compared to secured loans. Consequently, this results in paying a greater amount in interest over the loan term. Additionally, unsecured loans often feature lower maximum loan amounts as lenders assume more risk without the security of collateral.

Q. Why is budgeting essential for those applying for unsecured loans?

In the case of unsecured loans, it is essential to budget meticulously and guarantee that you can easily manage the monthly repayments, as defaulting poses the risk of adversely affecting your credit score. Because unsecured loans typically feature higher interest rates compared to secured loans, a greater proportion of your monthly payment is allocated to interest, leaving a smaller amount to address the principal sum. Thorough budgeting is essential to ensure you can comfortably manage both the interest and principal repayments.

Moreover, unlike secured loans where collateral acts as a safeguard for the lender, unsecured loans lack such protection. In the event of a loan default, the lender can initiate legal proceedings to recover the debt, potentially affecting your credit score and ability to secure future loans.

Q. Is there a risk of overborrowing in unsecured loans?

The accessibility of unsecured loans may contribute to overborrowing, resulting in a substantial debt burden. This can pose challenges in managing other financial obligations and potentially initiate a cycle of debt. This is because lenders depend exclusively on your creditworthiness and capacity to repay, lacking the security of collateral. The simplicity of access may entice individuals to borrow more than necessary or beyond their comfortable affordability.






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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 07:36 PM IST
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