Unsecured Personal Loans: Advice for First-Time Borrowers

One of the most difficult decisions you will have to make when applying for an unsecured personal loan is figuring out how much you should borrow and for how long. It is important to understand that the more you borrow, the more you will  save. How? Lenders will usually enforce higher interest rates for smaller loan amounts. Therefore, applying for more than you need is a great idea only if you can resist the urge of spending those additional funds. A good idea would be to take those extra funds and invest them into an appealing high interest money market or CD.

Determining how much you can afford

If you are not looking to borrow more than you need, we suggest utilizing the following input: Create a budget including all of your daily living expenses and monthly bills. Subtract the total of all your expenses from your monthly net income. The amount left over is not going to be what you can afford towards payment of an unsecured personal loan. Why? You don’t want to leave yourself without any emergency money. You never know when you may need some extra cash for an unforeseen situation like a car or home repair. 75% of the amount left over should be designated for monthly personal loan payments.

Determining how much to borrow

Evaluating the total intent of your loan is critical when calculating how much to borrow. For example, if you are planning a vacation, you will need to not only factor in the cost of the flight and the hotel, but also the costs of eating, drinking, sight-seeing, etc..

Determining how long to borrow

A loan term is the total length of time you have to repay your loan. Typical terms for unsecured personal loans range from 12 – 72 months. It is essential that you comprehend that the greater the duration of your term, the more costly your loan is going to be. With a longer term, your monthly loan payments are going to be lower, but the amount you pay in overall interest fees is going to be greater. But, it may make sense for you to make use of a longer term. For example, suppose the plumbing system in your new home stops working and needs to be immediately repaired. However, you moved in less than one year ago and have zero equity in the house. And, you are having a difficult time satisfying your existing monthly monetary obligations. For this type of situation, it makes sense to satisfy your immediate financial needs so that you can get your plumbing repaired without having to put too much additional strain on your wallet. Saving money is good, but keeping your sanity is better!

Determining where to apply

Your local bank is probably the first option that comes to mind. Don’t limit yourself. Take advantage of the internet. Online lenders, like Choice Personal Loans, compete with local banks by offering extremely competitive rates and terms for their unsecured personal loans.  They even offer no credit loans for those looking to establish their credit history.

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  • 1 comment


    1. You did an excellent job of simplifying the process. I especially like that you warn against cutting it too close. I think often times people borrow money assuming that, because they always have enough income left over, they will be able to afford payments. However, that’s exactly the time when your plumbing system would break. If you make sure your payments are well under your budget, you’ll almost always be okay. Always prepare for a rainy day and hope for sunshine – that’s my motto.

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