Taking a loan is a commitment and a responsibility. Thus, before you opt for any loan, it is important to ensure that you really need it and have the ability to make the repayment on time. Opting for a loan for meeting your needs is not a bad thing as such, as long as you have the means to service your debt.
Now, it might be difficult for a few of us to determine whether a particular proposal of loan from a particular lender is the right choice to make. Hence, for your benefit, PersonalFN has listed down the things that must be considered before you borrow money. Comparing loan proposals given by different lenders on the below given criteria will help you to understand which one suits you the most.
- Check the interest rate and tenure
The lower the interest rate, the lower will be the installment that you will have to pay every month. Check the interest rates for various tenures and then determine which is the most apt for you. Also, remember that interest rates could be fixed or floating. Choose an option which would suit you the best.
- Understand the paper work
Apart from interest rate and tenure, you must also check the time taken by the lender to sanction the loan, application and processing charges, procedure for procuring the loan and all fees and charges, among other things. You should also be wary of hidden charges.
- Late payment penalties
Yes, it is very important that you make all your repayments on time. However, for worst case scenarios, you must find out what penalty would be applicable if you delay the payment of an installment.
- Early repayment
Sometimes, one may receive windfall income (such as large inheritances, insurance settlements, lottery winnings etc.) or arrears of salary increments. If you receive any of them, you might want to repay your loan earlier. However, some lenders might discourage early repayment by charging penalties for the same. Hence, it is important to find out how does a lender treat early repayment of loans.
- Other terms and conditions
Sometimes some terms and conditions might not be mentioned explicitly in the advertisement that you have seen before approaching the lender for a loan. It is also possible that the lender's representative didn't tell you about them. Hence, in order to avoid any misinterpretation or being fooled, it is very imperative that you read all the loan related documents well from the beginning to the very end.
- Bargain for better rates and terms
Remember that, there is no harm in trying to bargain for better interest rates as this may save you a huge amount of money. Lenders may also be willing to offer some value added services such as insurance, document storage facilities, waiver of processing fees, prepayment penalty waiver and so on. You must ask, bargain and negotiate for all these, and if one lender offers you something, ask for it on paper and show it to the other lender to make the loan a little more competitive in your favour.
- Take expert advice
Taking the help of an expert will help you get some advice on improving your credit score, what kind of loan should you opt for, which lenders are reliable and offer loans at attractive and suitable terms etc.