Access to credit plays an important role in advancing financial inclusion. This is why it’s important for anyone applying for a personal loan to have a basic understanding of how to best set themselves up to qualify.
We all want the best things in life. And as a result, we often rely on a personal loan to finance some of our dreams, such as home renovations, vehicle related purchases, education and life-changing events such as a wedding or the birth of a baby. This is the reason it’s important to think carefully before making such big financial decisions. Below are 4 things to consider before taking personal loan:
Be clear on what you need the loan for and how much you need
Before approaching a bank to apply for a personal loan you should have a clear idea of what you need it for. This will help you apply for an amount that matches the expense, and in that way you don’t over extend yourself. It also means that you do not fall into the trap of taking up credit constantly for day to day expenses and cash flow management.
Never skip payments
When you skip a payment not only does this have an impact on your credit profile, it puts you under the strain of having to pay more than your monthly instalment to catch up. This could impact your ability to obtain additional credit products in the future. You also run the risk of having to pay more in interest and fees to service the debt.
Cut unimportant expenses
Know what you are spending your money on, and if you see that you may possibly be spending too much on entertainment, for example, try to cut back and dedicate that money towards paying the loan.
Make sure that you can afford and pay your instalments
The repayment term of the loan significantly influences the monthly repayment amount. For example, if you take out a R5, 000 loan and choose a repayment term of 48 months (4 years) your instalment will be lower when compared to a repayment term of 24 months (2 years) for the same amount. Always ensure that you have some degree of certainty that you will be able to honour the loan amount owed until the end of the term and that your income will be stable.
When determining the interest that will be charged, one of the things the lender will look at is your credit history. You also have to note that a personal loan is unsecured and the bank does not require any guarantee; hence the reason interest rates are structured differently compared to secured loans such as a Home Loan.
Words: Emma Mer, CEO of FNB Personal Loans