Sunday, June 8, 2014

Unsecured Loans - Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Unsecured debt consolidation loans are, on the surface, the less risky choice. With no collateral at stake, cash-strapped individuals are able to rebuild their credit fast. But the absence of a guarantee also has its downside, as lenders tend to charge a premium to protect their interests.

Seeing unsecured loans only as a quick fix, however, some people rush into agreements only to realize later that they cannot afford to pay it all off. Debt accumulates as a result, leaving them in even more financial trouble.

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How can you make debt consolidation loan for bad credit work to your advantage? Read on for some guidelines.

Do not jump in right away

Avoid saying yes to the first loan offer you receive. Take time to shop around for the best deals. Explore all your options, from banks to debt settlement companies and even online lenders.

Try coordinating with national credit associations such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling to verify a lender's legitimacy. Get in touch with the Better Business Bureau or your state attorney's general office to find out if any complaints have been filed against the institutions you are eyeing. Go online to compare interest rates.

If you're basing your decision on a loan advertisement, remember to double-check the listed rates. Charges tend to vary depending on the circumstances, so contact the lenders directly for the current quotes. Once you've made your pick, consider negotiating for lower interest rates. Many lenders are very forgiving and open to compromise.

Do not bite off more than you can chew

Avoid finalizing unsecured debt consolidation loans without knowing your numbers. Figure out how much money you actually owe. Then estimate how much you can shell out each month, taking into account average interest rates. Even in the face of sizeable offers, do not go beyond your means. Otherwise, you might find yourself borrowing more than you really need and without funds to spare.

Also, think twice about your repayment schedule. Some lenders attract borrowers by extending their terms to several years. While this gives you more than enough opportunity to gather resources, keep in mind that the charges build up as time passes. If you're uncertain how to manage your finances, consult with debt advisers. Some of them provide services free of charge.

Do not overlook the fine print

Avoid just skimming through the loaning terms and conditions. Note that because there is no collateral, lenders tend to clamp down on borrowers with stricter requirements. Read everything carefully, don't just focus on the monthly dues. Watch out for hidden charges such as prepayment penalties. If there's anything you do not understand, ask the lender to explain it to you.

Do not risk it all at once

Avoid filing for multiple loans in a row. This might raise a red flag when your credit record is being reviewed, especially if your other applications have been rejected. Do not hesitate to first ask the loaning officer about your chances of getting approved. If the probability is low, you might want to consider dropping the application and moving on to another lender.

More importantly, remember that availing debt consolidation loan for bad credit is not a ticket to continue your spending spree. Do not repeat the same mistakes by running up fresh debts. It's time to start taking control of your finances.

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