Most lending companies and banks offer loans without needing collateral in return, which is why it’s called a personal loan.
Because there is no collateral to help in case of default, other criteria are usually set in place. Personal loans are often dependent on things like high credit scores, current debt to income ratio of the borrower, and/or previous loan history. Based on these things, funds will be approved or denied for a personal loan.
These loans are typically shorter terms and smaller amounts, but they can be used for debt consolidation if you qualify and the terms will benefit you.
HOME EQUITY LOANS & LINES OF CREDIT
For homeowners, home equity loans or lines of credit can be a great solution for borrowing money.
Since these types of funding use your home’s equity as collateral, much of the approval process is dependent on your current home loan and payment history.
A benefit of these loans is that you can use them for whatever you need. Some homeowners use this as an opportunity to consolidate debt or pay off a high interest credit card. Although this is an option for some, most of the time creditors expect high credit scores, making it harder for people who are already in debt to use this as an option.
These type of loans are pushed as short-term lending solutions for unexpected financial needs.
Companies that offer these types of lending, also called payday advances, push the fact they will lend regardless of credit scores or other debt, but don’t be fooled by this easy-sounding solution.
Payday loans are notorious for having the highest rates and fees of any loan type. Most of the time they are so high that people who use them get stuck in a cycle of never-ending debt. These loans can be so bad for people’s finances that in many states payday loans and payday advances are illegal.
Although not what most people think of as a traditional loan option, credit cards can be used as a lending option in multiple situations.
When used to make manageable purchases or pay bills, credit cards can be useful and work to build credit. For emergency financial needs credit cards can help as quick access to funds, and many large and reputable lenders give low rates or special offers for transferring debt.
As with other loan options, balance transfer rates don’t always stay at the low or special rate. Consumers who cannot pay off their transferred debt before the promotional period risk finding themselves in more debt and higher interest rates down the road.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
This option is more a DIY approach to finances and budgeting that typically uses apps, software or online tools.
Depending on the financial tools you choose, they can have a mix of completely do-it-yourself or customer service if assistance is needed. Some platforms require monthly payments or one-time purchase fees to use.
Most of these options don’t really help individual needs or specific debt problems, since they are there more for information and tools, rather than individual help. They are set up to give you overall information about finances and program, but let you be the one in charge of figuring out a plan and sticking to it.
DEBT RELIEF PLANS
A debt relief plan helps to eliminate debt, and the stress that can come with it, without worrying about high interest rates or additional fees.
Unlike consolidation loans, true debt relief can lower your monthly payments, rates and terms to help you pay your debt off faster. These plans are personalized for your needs, which means a finance expert helps to provide a customized plan based on your financial situation and debt.
Typically these plans work as debt settlements, and are negotiated by companies on your behalf. Terms and amounts are settled with creditors, many times lowering interest rates and payment amounts. Many times fees for these services are covered in the settlement, so there are no upfront or additional monthly costs to you.
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