Working out how to find the money for a new car or home improvements can be tricky. Thankfully, once you’ve made the decision to use an installment loan, getting the money into your bank account is surprisingly pain-free.
Applying for an installment loan is similar to getting hold of other popular types of credit. But it’s important to think carefully about the following things before making a final decision about whether or not to apply:
- Why do I need an installment loan?
- How much money do I need to borrow?
- How much can I realistically afford to pay back each month?
- Will I be able to manage the repayments without difficulty?
- Do I really need to take out an installment loan?
Once you’ve worked out the answers to those important questions, the next step before applying is to ensure you’re eligible for an installment loan. For instance, you need to satisfy the following criteria:
- You need a checking account to make payments from
- You must be an American citizen
- You must be 18 years or over
- You must be employed or have a regular income
- A respectable credit score is needed
Once you’ve determined your eligibility, it’s time to compare installment loans and find one from a reputable source that meets your needs.
How to find a good installment loan
Thankfully, it’s easy to find an affordable installment loan these days, as many companies offer loans online. People often approach their existing bank in the first instance, but this is rarely the cheapest way to proceed. Instead, it’s worth going online and comparing the wide range of installment loans that are on offer.
Always look at how much the loan will cost. You don’t want to pay an unnecessarily large amount of interest if cheaper loans are available.
Another tip is to look at unbiased reviews of a company or financial institution. In particular, try to find out whether they have provided a good service to borrowers in the past and are known for treating their customers well.
You’ll also need to take your own credit score into consideration. Some lenders will consider applicants with a poor credit record, while others will not. There is little point in applying for an installment loan with a lender that is unlikely to consider you on those grounds. The good news is that once you’ve found a lender who is willing to accept you, your credit score should quickly start to improve if you make all of your repayments on time.
Filling in the request form
Completing the online loan request form shouldn’t take long and you should get a decision very quickly. It’s important to be completely honest when filling in your details. While most companies don’t ask to see any paperwork to back up what you’ve told them, some do. And be prepared to provide proof of income, age and citizenship.
Once you’ve been approved, you’ll need to complete some final paperwork. This can usually be completed online with an electronic signature, although some companies will ask you to mail the paperwork. At this stage, it’s vital that you double-check how much you’re borrowing, how much you’ll need to pay each month – and when – and how long you get as a ‘cooling off’ period in case you change your mind. Only once you’re certain you’re happy with the terms and conditions should you sign and submit the paperwork.
If at first you don’t succeed…
Don’t be afraid to try again with a different lender! Just because one lender has turned you down doesn’t mean others will do the same. Think about why your application was declined and try to find installment loan companies that are more likely to consider lending to you. You should still be able to get hold of the money you need with a little perseverance!