Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make When Shopping For Loans

Debt is not necessarily a dirty word. Most of us make use of it, whether responsible or not. In fact, it can be a highly valuable tool to help you when it comes to planning for your financial future. However, debts can turn bad when you don’t think hard enough or plan meticulously enough when it comes to getting out loans. Here, we’re going to look at some of the mistakes you should ensure that you avoid when you are looking for, applying for, or paying off loans.

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Not knowing how much you need and what for

The first thing you should do is make sure that you’re getting a loan for the right reason. If you’re borrowing simply for the sake of having some extra spending cash or as a debt management strategy, then you should probably take the time to look for other options instead. You should also get an idea of how much you need to borrow, in particular. For instance, if you’re borrowing so you can buy a house, then use a mortgage calculator to see how much you’re likely to need. You don’t want to borrow more than you have to, after all, or to borrow less than you need.

Failing to budget for those loans

One of the most important steps of managing your finances is building a budget. Your budget is the structured approach to expenses that makes sure you have enough to pay off all of your essentials, enough for some discretionary expenses, and some put aside for savings goals. Get a thorough understanding of what you’re going to be paying back each month and make sure that you put it into your budget. If you see that you don’t have room for it, you need to consider other options.

Not paying attention to the fees

You should not be looking at only the interest that you have to pay on your loan, nor even how much you’re going to be paying monthly. Depending on the kind of loan that you take out, you might find that there are all kinds of one-time or irregular fees that you have to pay. This can be at the start of the loan, once a year, or even at the end of the loan. Consider the loan type, look up some common fees, such as common mortgage fees, and get an idea of how much they might add. Do your research so you can tell when lenders are adding fees simply because they can, rather than because they’re necessary. This can help you weed out those greedy lenders that you don’t want to work with.

Not getting your credit in order

Your credit score is going to determine the kind of loans you have. A low credit score is going to equal higher interest and less control over your loan terms. The higher your credit, the less likely you’re going to have to pay back and the more flexibility that lenders will offer you. No credit history is almost as detrimental as bad credit history, too. Low credit options like direct lender loans can help you start building your credit history. Otherwise, make sure that you’re taking steps to address any black marks on your credit report, such as paying any late fees, lowering your credit utilization rate, and tracking down and fixing any errors.

Not having your financials at the ready

When you apply for a loan, you should make sure that you have your financial details available to share with them. This can include bank balances, as well as reports of income, and the value of assets that you might have. The more information you can provide, the surer the lenders will be about how much you can responsibly borrow. Not having your financial details to hand can urge them to be more cautious since they don’t fully know your financial situation. Estimates can be bad, as well, as you might over-estimate or under-estimate, either taking on more debt than you can handle or shooting yourself in the foot so you can’t borrow as much as you need.

Not letting your credit “rest” for a while before

Lenders take a look at your credit report to help them judge whether or not you are a reliable partner in a credit agreement. Not only do they want to see that you’re able to manage a loan with them, but they want to make sure that you don’t like you’re making erratic or rash decisions or that you are already too deep into existing credit agreements. For that reason, even if you have accessible overdrafts or credit cards, you should avoid using them for a while, just while you’re applying for a loan. In fact, if you pay them off somewhat and lower your credit utilization rate, that can even help by bumping your credit score.

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Applying for too many loans at once

You don’t want too much activity on your credit report when applying for loans. When someone performs a credit check, you want to make sure that everything looks nice and calm. When you apply for a loan that results in a hard credit check, your credit report is going to keep a record of it. As such, if you’re applying for five loans at once, each of those lenders is going to be able to see that. Someone applying for a lot of loans at once isn’t going to look very reliable and, as such, you’re more likely to get rejected. Not only that, but when you get rejected after a hard credit check, it can drive your credit score down. As such, apply for one loan at a time and only after you’re reasonably sure that you’re in a good position for an accepted application. Don’t expect or put plans in motion based on that acceptance, but just put yourself in the best possible position for it.

Closing your credit cards before applying

You might think “I don’t want to look like I have too much debt on my plate” before applying. This is a good notion. However, this doesn’t mean that you close open credit agreements. Even if you are a little bit into your credit card and haven’t fully paid it off, keeping it open is better than closing. Keeping your credit card open or keeping an overdraft shows that you are able to reliably maintain a credit agreement. In a similar vein, you shouldn’t pay loans ahead of time to close them earlier. Rather than showing how good you are at paying the money back, it shows that you can’t stick to pre-planned terms of the agreement so it can actually hurt your chances of a successful application a little. Of course, too many open credit cards and loans can hurt your credit score, so you need to balance it.

Making late payments on other loans

This one is relatively simple. Make sure that you are current with all loans before you apply for new ones. Even being temporarily late on other loans can give lenders justified cause for concern. You can mitigate the damage done to your credit score, at least, by catching up with what you owe ASAP. There are plenty of payment reminder apps that you can use to make sure you know what you have to pay and when you have to pay it, which can make it easier to keep current with loans, bills, and other regular payments.

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