When you need money fast, you’ll find no shortage of loans willing to cut you a quick check for you to use as you like. But not all these offers are created equal. While some are legitimate loans that can help you in your time of need, others may be out of reach. Or worse, they could be scams.
So how can you tell which one is which? Here are some simple tips to get the installment loan you’re looking for in an unexpected emergency.
Understand Your Needs
There’s no one installment loan. Rather, it’s an umbrella term to describe a collection of close-ended loans.
All this means is that you repay what you owe over a series of payments. With a definition this loose, an installment loan may end up being any of the following products:
- Cash advances
- Student loans
- Auto loans.
Each one of them has a unique purpose in your financial tool belt, so it’s crucial you pick the right one for your needs.
Know Your Credit Score
Credit plays a big role in the types of installment loans you can qualify for, so it’s important you know this number. If you don’t know it already, checking it is easy. You can check it three times every year for free here.
Generally speaking, you want to see a glowing report with a high score. The highest you can get is 850, but anything over 660 will make it easier for you to qualify for affordable rates.
Don’t worry if your score dips below 660. While not ideal, you can work to bring this number up for the future.
In the meantime, research direct payday loan lenders and compare them to direct lender installment loans for bad credit. These lenders may not have a minimum credit requirement for their cash loans, making them an option if an unexpected emergency happens before you can build credit.
Read the Fine Print
In this case, the fine print is your installment loan contract. Make sure you read this thoroughly and understand every line of it.
You don’t want to sign your name to something you don’t understand, even if it’s just one sentence. Once you sign it, your contract is a legally binding document that holds you to your responsibilities as a borrower, whether you understand them or not.
Compare it to Your Budget
Finding the right installment loan is a two-part equation. One is finding a lender that will provide enough cash for your unexpected emergency expense. The other is finding a repayment schedule that you can afford.
Once you know how big your payments will be and the overall repayment schedule, you have what it takes to see if a prospective loan fits your budget. Compare these terms to your current spending plan to see if you have the cash on hand to each target. Missing a due date can come with late fines and extra interest, so you’ll want to make sure you always pay on time.
Borrowing money is a big decision, so take your time and research your options. You owe it to your finances to investigate loan requirements, rates and terms, and your budget before you agree to anything. These tips will help you find the right loan for your needs every time!