By Peter Taylor
A personal loan is a sum that any adult individual borrows to fulfill his financial requirements. There are many purposes for which any individual can take a personal loan. Personal loans can be used to provide funds to buy a car, pay for your dream cruise or that remote island escapade, buy a boat, pay mortgage arrears, finance your home improvement plans, payment of alimony or paying for credit card bills etc. In fact personal loans can be taken for most of the financial emergencies you can think of.
There are many banks and financial institutions, which provide personal loans. All of them have their own terms and conditions. To get the best deal on your personal loan you must ensure that you contact and consult as many lending institutions as possible. Tell them about your financial requirements and situation. Get quotes from them and check whether you can repay the personal loan with ease.
The banks will provide you with a lump sum amount when you complete the formalities of getting the loan. The money can be used to fund your requirements. The amount banks will recover from you will include the debt, coupled with the interest charged on it over the repayment period. The longer the repayment term the less will be the interest to be paid on the personal loan.
Personal loans are preferred due to their flexibility. The two most common types of personal loans are secured and unsecured personal loans. The option of secured and unsecured personal loans are linked to the fact whether you can offer any property or fixed asset as collateral for the loan. These loans are discussed below in detail.
Secured personal loan
A loan secured against some immovable or movable asset is called a secured loan. These loans are easy to get since the lending institutions feel comfortable while giving them. The reason for their comfort is the collateral you provide. Secured personal loans have lower interests and easy repayment options. Lending institutions don’t hesitate in giving a large loan against high value collateral. Generally, secured personal loans are given against house owned by a person, but if you have put your house on mortgage you can still avail a secured personal loan against the proportion of the home you own.
Banks and financial institutions often overlook negative credit ratings, CCJ, defaults or pending debts since they get collateral for their loan. Secured personal loans are available to individuals within 30 days of giving an application.
Unsecured Personal Loan
In an unsecured personal loan the amount given by the bank or financial institution is not secured by collateral. The lending institution gives the loan solely on the creditworthiness of the person concerned. This type of loan has a greater element of risk for the lenders, so it carries a greater rate of interest and is often followed by a through background check on the financial soundness of the individual. The loan amount can start from as little as £500 and go up to £25,000. Since the loan is unsecured, lenders are wary of giving large amounts as loans. Unsecured personal loan is good for tenants, people who don’t own their homes and those who cannot offer anything as collateral.
In case the borrower defaults on payments then the lender will use the credit agreement and take legal help in recovering the outstanding amount.
Before jumping to a decision, the interest rate charged should be given a serious look while taking a personal loan. The amount of interest you will be charged, will decide what you finally pay to the bank. Lenders have a legal obligation to tell you the interest they will charge on your loan. The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) shows the real interest rate the banks will charge from you. The lower the APR, the better it will be for the borrower. The borrower is also advised to investigate whether the interest charged by banks is fixed, or a floating one. Ask the bank about prepayment penalties and other cost incurred in getting a loan.
Every financial institution has its own way of enquiring about the borrowers. Some might want to ask personal questions, get a feel of what you will do with the loan amount and how you wish to build your future before lending you anything. Be prepared to answer such queries.
Every loan that is taken has to be repaid. The banks and financial institutions derive part of their profits by the interest you pay. It is fine if everything goes as planned, and you repay the entire loan in due course with no hiccups. However life is known for its glorious uncertainties. Plans fail, calamities come and something disastrous often thwarts our plans. This might lead to repayment problems. This happens and one should not get panicky in such situations. If you get into one such situation, the first thing that you should do is to talk to your lender. They are interested in recovering their money, a mutually agreeable solution can be reached, which is less tense for you to manage and appears promising to lenders also.