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Business News/ Money / Personal loans for big purchases: Here are the pros and cons
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Personal loans for big purchases: Here are the pros and cons

Large purchases can be effectively financed with personal loans, but before choosing a course of action, carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

You can take a personal loan for major purchases too.Premium
You can take a personal loan for major purchases too.

A personal loan presents a viable option for financing significant purchases. When compared to other lending options, personal loans can be a very advantageous way to finance a range of needs. Here are a few noteworthy benefits:

  • Fixed interest rates: Credit card interest rates can vary, but personal loans typically have fixed rates. The fact that your monthly payment will remain the same for the duration of the loan simplifies budgeting. If your loan has a fixed interest rate, the rate is locked in for the duration of the loan, so you will always know how much interest you will pay overall.

Throughout the term of the loan, your monthly payment won't change because the interest rate is fixed. This consistency enables you to budget your loan repayment each month without being caught off guard. In contrast to credit cards, which may have variable interest rates based on your creditworthiness or the state of the market, personal loans provide peace of mind. If interest rates rise, you won't need to worry about unanticipated increases in your monthly payments.

  • A lump sum loan: Getting a sizable lump sum upfront is one of the main advantages of using personal loans for large purchases. With credit cards, you might be limited by your credit limit; however, with personal loans, you get all the money you need all at once. This allows you to finance the entire purchase right away, guaranteeing that you have sufficient funds to pay for it all.

Compared to using a credit card, which may have multiple expenses spread across various billing cycles, managing debt is simpler when using a personal loan, which is a single loan with a set repayment schedule. For large upfront payments, some retailers might provide discounts. You can take advantage of these deals and possibly save money on your significant purchase if you have the full amount available through a personal loan.

  • Possibility of reduced interest rates: Interest rates on personal loans are usually lower than those on credit cards, especially for borrowers with excellent credit score. The interest rates on credit cards and personal loans are determined by your creditworthiness. Lenders typically view personal loans as less risky than credit cards.

You can get secured or unsecured personal loans. Collateral, like a house or automobile, is used as security for loans, enabling lenders to charge lower interest rates. Because lenders consider unsecured personal loans to be less risky than credit cards, even these loans may have interest rates lower than credit cards.

Creditworthy borrowers may be eligible for lower interest rates on credit cards and personal loans. However, for people with excellent credit score, there may be a sizable interest rate difference between a credit card and a personal loan.

There are some disadvantages to consider before taking out a personal loan.

  • High interest rates: The interest rate on personal loans is average. They could be unprotected or protected. Secured loans usually have the lowest interest rates because they use collateral, like a house or car, to guarantee payments. Because lenders are taking on more risk when making unsecured loans, or those without collateral, interest rates are higher.
  • Burden of debt: When obtaining a personal loan, debt load is a crucial factor to take into account. Your budget may be strained by the addition of a new loan payment, particularly if you are already in debt. To ascertain whether you can comfortably afford the additional loan payment without sacrificing necessary expenses, look over your monthly income and expenses.

Repayment of a personal loan may cut into your discretionary spending, making it more difficult to handle emergencies or unplanned costs. Having an emergency fund on hand can lessen the risk. If you find it difficult to make loan payments, you might fall into a debt spiral where you take out high-interest credit cards or other loans to pay the minimum amount owed on your existing debt, which would lead to an unending cycle of debt accumulation.

  • Shorter repayment tenure: Shorter repayment terms on personal loans are a double-edged sword. Personal loans typically have repayment terms ranging from one to seven years, much shorter than mortgages (15-30 years) or auto loans (3-7 years). This shorter term results in higher monthly payments compared to loans with longer durations. These higher monthly payments can strain your budget if you're not prepared. Ensure you have a realistic understanding of your income and expenses before committing to a personal loan.

The advantages and disadvantages of using a personal loan can vary depending on your perspective and financial situation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. State the various options to consider before getting a personal loan.

- The most economical option is to use your savings to pay off interest and other costs. If you have saved up enough money to pay for the whole thing, then great.

- If you have a car or other valuable asset as collateral, you may be eligible for a secured loan at a lower interest rate than an unsecured personal loan. A 0% APR credit card offer (used strategically) is a fantastic alternative for short-term financing if you can pay off the balance during the introductory period (typically 12-18 months) to avoid paying excessive interest rates later. Be wary of balance transfer fees and exorbitant APRs after the introductory period.

- It could be simpler and possibly cost less to make repayments of existing high-interest debt by combining them into a single loan with a lower interest rate. You can create such plans with the assistance of nonprofit credit counseling services. If you are in financial hardship, you might be able to work out a payment plan or lower interest rates with your current creditors.

- To help with the expenses, think about selling items you no longer need or looking for additional sources of income. You can completely avoid going into debt by using this strategy.

Q. What is the minimum age requirement to apply for a personal loan?

In India, the majority of personal loan applicants must be at least eighteen years old. But some lenders might have a 21-year-old minimum age requirement. Always verify the lender's eligibility requirements before applying. This is a succinct overview:

  • Generally, lenders only require applicants to be 18 years old, but some may demand 21.
  • Always check the requirements set forth by the lender: The requirements for eligibility may change.

Q. What aspects should you examine while evaluating personal loan offers?

To find the best personal loan offer for you, compare offers based on the following crucial factors:

  • APR and interest rates: This is the most crucial element. Depending on the lender, loan amount, and credit score, personal loan interest rates can differ significantly. Pay close attention to the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which gives a more accurate estimate of the total cost of the loan by combining the interest rate with any associated fees.
  • Loan amount and tenure: Take out only the amount of credit that you require. Examine if the amount provided covers the entire purchase or requirement. Greater monthly payments but lower total interest paid are the outcome of shorter terms. Longer terms, on the other hand, have larger total interest rates but smaller monthly payments. Choose a term that satisfies your payback goals and budget.
  • Charges: Be mindful of the various costs associated with personal loans, including origination, processing, late fees, and penalties for early repayment. Add these expenses to the comparison of total costs.
  • Qualifications for eligibility: Different lenders have different qualifying standards for debt-to-income ratios, minimum incomes, credit scores, and employment status. To avoid having your application denied, which could lower your credit score, make sure you meet the requirements.
  • Flexibility in repayment: Some lenders offer features like the option to skip a payment (with fees or restrictions) or biweekly installments to help you pay off your loan more quickly. Select a lender who provides options for repayment that work for you.
  • Reputation for customer service: Examine the reputation of the lender's customer service. Having a lender that offers friendly and efficient customer service could be helpful if you have worries or issues repaying your loan.

Q. Share some tips while comparing personal loan offers.

While comparing loan offers can be challenging, doing so is essential to obtaining the best offer for your situation. The following is a summary of the key factors to take into account when evaluating loan offers:

- Get quotes from several lenders: Don't take the first one that you are presented with. Shop around and compare rates, terms, and fees from different lenders to get the best deal.

- Make use of online comparison resources: You can compare personal loan options from several lenders in one place with the help of numerous online platforms.

- Analyse the specifics: Examine the loan agreement carefully to make sure you understand all of the terms, conditions, and associated costs before committing to a loan.

Q. What are the types of personal loans available in the market?

There are two categories of personal loans: Secured and unsecured. Collateral for secured personal loans is an asset that the lender may seize from you in case you are unable to repay the loan. Collateral is not needed for unsecured personal loans, but the interest rates are frequently higher. The various types of personal loans are listed below:

Secured Personal Loans

Unsecured Personal Loans

Here are some other types of personal loans that are not as common:

  • Debt consolidation loans
  • Medical loans
  • Home improvement loans
  • Major purchase loans
  • Student loan consolidation
  • Co-signed loans

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Published: 24 May 2024, 11:32 AM IST
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