Ways to Eliminate Debt with a Personal Loan

There are many ways to allocate the funds you receive under the terms of a personal loan. One of the most popular uses for such loans is to eliminate debt. A personal loan offers a great alternative for individuals who are struggling to make monthly payments on too many accounts. The idea is to pay off such debt with a personal loan, then only have one monthly payment to make.

The monthly payment is often much less than you were paying before on all your outstanding debts. Having only one loan payment can also improve your credit score. This is especially true if the other debt was mainly credit card debt with the balance being very close to the credit limit.

The first step is to make a list of all of your outstanding debt. Make columns for information including the creditor, the balance due, and the interest rate. In the last column calculate the total amount you will pay on that debt making your current payments. There are great calculators to get this information online. These calculators are free and easy to use. To do this, simply type in the balance, interest rate, and monthly payment. In many cases you will be shocked to see how much that debt is going to end up costing you.

Once you have completed that task, add up the totals in each column. You will need to know the balance due to pay off the debt as this is the amount you will need your personal loan to be for. You also want to remember that overall cost total. It is very important that before you agree to the terms of a personal loan that you have made sure the overall cost of that loan will be considerably less than if you continue to make minimum payments on the debt you already have.

If the cost is fairly close or more, than don’t take out the personal loan. It will do more damage to your current situation than good. Find out what the monthly payment will be as well. Imagine your shock if it ends up being more than what you are currently paying out.

This is a good time to take a realistic look at the reason why you have debt that you are having a hard time meeting the monthly payments for. It may be due to a change in circumstances that you had no control over. However, if the reason is that you have poor spending habits then you need to address this issue before taking out a personal loan. Nothing is more upsetting than getting a personal loan to cover your debt, then realize six months down the road that you have ran up a large amount of debt again. The situation with be much more grim now because in addition to paying off that debt you also have a personal loan payment to cover each month.

Enrolling in a debt management course or budgeting class can help you identify areas where you are not using your income wisely. There are also many excellent online resources to assist you. A good exercise is to have every family member write down all the money they spend over a week’s time. You will be amazed to see the pattern of things that are draining your wallet during this exercise, including that daily cup of coffee and eating on the run. This is a great way to get all family members involved in the budgeting process as well as involved in finding better ways to manage money.

Personal loans can be a great way to eliminate other types of debt if used correctly. It is your responsibility to do your homework first. Make sure taking out a personal loan to cover your other debt is going to offer you a solution, not result in more financial stress.

What is a Personal Loan?

What is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is money you borrow from a lender for your own private use. The lending institution can be a bank, investment broker, or private lending company. You can apply for such a loan in your home town or on the internet. Personal loans can be used for a variety of needs including a vacation, vehicle repairs, education, medical expenses, home repairs or remodeling, legal bills, and debt consolidation.

Personal Loan or Line of Credit?

The average personal loan maximum is $15,000. The amount you are eligible for will depend on the lending institutions guidelines for such loans, your income, and your overall credit rating. A personal loan is often confused with a line of credit. The major difference between the two is that a personal loan is a lump sum amount of money issued to you by the lender. A line of credit is similar, but you have access to funds up to your credit line that you can access all at once or just what you need, when you need it.

To Be or Not to Be: Secured or Unsecured

Personal loans can be either secured or unsecured. Secured loans mean you will offer the lender some type of collateral that they can claim in the event you don’t repay the loan. This can be a vehicle, land, or other asset you own. Unsecured personal loans mean there is no collateral. The interest rates for unsecured loans are higher because there is a greater risk of non-payment.

What Should You Expect?

The terms of a personal loan are generally one to five years. The terms of your loan will depend on the lender and the amount of money you borrow. It is important that you understand the loan terms prior to accepting the funds. While a longer loan term will result in lower payments, you will end up paying more for the loan over the life of it due to the amount of interest. Keeping that in mind, only borrow the amount you need for your specific purpose and pay it back as quickly as you can. Make sure the set monthly payment is something within your reach on a regular basis so you are not likely to default on the loan.

The most common use of a personal loan is to consolidate other debts. This is a great way to have one monthly payment and reduce your monthly expenses. However, this scenario only works if you are willing to set a budget and life within the boundaries of it. Too often, a person who gets a personal loan to consolidate their debt racks up huge debt again quickly. Then they not only have that debt to pay again, but now they have a personal loan payment to meet each month as well. It is wise to enroll in a debt management course if you feel you may be at risk to continue the cycle of accumulating more debt. These can be taken for free at many non-profit credit counseling centers around the Nation.

Personal loans are a great way to access the money you need quickly. The application process is simple. You will generally need to verify employment, income, and residence. The lender will pull a credit check. You will likely still qualify for a personal loan if you have bad credit or no established credit. However, be prepared to pay a higher interest rate and have some type of collateral to offer.