You buy a car with an auto loan, you purchase a home with a home loan, and you pay for your higher studies with an education loan. Then, what earmarks a personal loan? The answer is nothing earmarks a personal loan! You take a personal loan for just about anything, even buying a car or a home, though the interest rate will be higher. A personal loan doesn’t have a collateral like an auto or a home loan, where your collaterals will be your car and home respectively, which explains why it has a higher interest rate. Simply put, a personal loan in most cases is an ‘unsecured’ loan. However, there are secured personal loans too, which have high-value collaterals. Banks will ask you to furnish a legal and valid reason for applying for a personal loan, for documentation purposes, but there’s really no limitation on how it must be used. So, when is a personal loan an intelligent choice?
Pay for credit cards
Do you have more than one credit card that has been used to its maximum limit and you’ve been going on repaying them since donkey’s years?! It’s time to get a personal loan and consolidate all the payments into one loan. Yes, personal loans have high interest rate but the interest on one personal loan will be way lower than the consolidated annual percentage rates on all the credit cards put together.
Continue a student loan
A student loan typically requires you to pay back one year after you graduate. What if you don’t land a suitable job then or you’re still procrastinating about your start-up? Now would be a good time to apply for a personal loan and refinance your education loan with it. A student loan has an average interest rate of 7%, much lesser than a personal loan. But it’s also possible to get a personal loan of lower interest rate if you disclose the purpose, i.e., to refinance your education loan. However, an education loan saves taxes while a personal loan doesn’t. So, plan wisely.
Buy that favourite thing
Have you been postponing buying that shiny, silver laptop or the wooden tower speakers because you don’t want to fall in the trap of financing them through the seller? You’ve done the right thing because not always are the finance schemes offered by the sellers on the spot are the best ones. Ask them for a quote so that you too can do your own, little research to find out if an EMI on a finance loan or a personal loan would be cheaper.
You want to tie the knot but you don’t want your parents to finance your wedding? Apply for a personal loan to get the event done just the way you’d like, without cutting corners. Any large event such as a wedding burns deep holes in pockets and credit cards too! Most often, it’s difficult to continue paying EMIs on multiple credit cards. Check for available personal loans and compare them with your credit card interest rates and make a wise decision.
Improve your credit score
Having different types of loans and then successfully paying them all improves your credit score by leaps and bounds. So, you can opt for a personal loan and start clearing your credit cards from the loan while continuing to pay EMIs on the loan, and help your “credit mix” substantially. While you are repaying your credits, you’re increasing your credit eligibility too, which is actually your credit utilization ratio. Having a personal loan Increases the total amount you have available to use by paying off your credit card dues, from the personal loan.
Given the right circumstances, personal loans make a great escape route and a wise choice. However, weigh your options before applying for any loan and proceed accordingly.