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4 Things That Impact Your Personal Loan Rate & 4 Tips to Getting the Best Rates

By Chika

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Last Updated: February 10, 2022

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Personal loans are useful in a variety of scenarios. You may use one to consolidate debt, buy a car, or finish house renovations.

Most of these loans are unsecured, which means you won't have to put up any assets as collateral, such as your home.

If you're looking for a personal loan, you can get one from a variety of places, including online lenders and your local credit union. Terms and interest rates can differ, just as there are a variety of lenders.

Being approved for a loan is obviously vital, but the interest rate you're offered is just as important.

Your interest rate determines the total cost of your loan. It makes absolutely no sense to take a loan that you would find difficult to repay. 

Given that the accrued interest rate determines your loan costs, it's helpful to know what lenders consider when they decide what interest rate to offer you.

There are four major elements that influence your personal loan rate, and many of them are within your control if you want to borrow at the lowest possible rate. Here's a list of them.

 

 

4 Things That Can Impact the Personal Loan Rate You Receive

Lenders rarely offer the same interest rate to all of their customers. Instead, they tailor rates based on the following criteria:

1. Credit score

Individuals with excellent credit scores are eligible for the lowest personal loan rates.

If you have a low credit score, a lender may assume you are more likely to default on a loan and raise your interest rate as a result.

2. Repayment period

One aspect that influences the interest rate you pay to borrow money is the length of your loan.

Because a longer loan period is riskier for the lender, it results in higher interest charges over time.

3. Loan amount

There is more risk involved in lending a larger sum of money so the amount you borrow can affect the rate you receive.

Typically lenders will charge higher interest rates on higher loan amounts to compensate for the risk of lending you money. 

4. Debt-to-income ratio

Lenders will analyze your risk by looking at how much debt you already have and how much money you make.

If your debt-to-income ratio is high, a bank may charge a higher interest rate because the loan is considered riskier. Paying down existing expenses before applying for a new loan is always a good idea, because your debt and credit score can have a large impact on your interest rate.

Make sure you have all the info: The Most Important Things You Need to Know About the 5 Areas of Personal Finance

 

4 Tips to Getting the Best Personal Loan Rates

If you’re thinking about getting a personal loan, here are a few ways to compare rates and select the best loan.

1. Start with a personal loan calculator

Like all debt, personal loans are not to be taken lightly. Personal loan calculators help you figure out how much you need to borrow and how much you can afford to pay back each month. They help you know what to expect. 

You can simulate different sums, interest rates, and payback periods to get the best offer for you. You can also view your amortization schedule to see a timetable of how your monthly payments of principal and interest will reduce your balance until your loan is repaid.

2. Compare lenders

Once you've determined how much loan you can afford, it's time to find a lender who can help you.

Make sure you're comparing the same loan parameters when looking for the best personal loan rates. For example, comparing rates between a 36-month loan from one lender, with a 60-month loan from another lender is a faulty basis of comparison. 

3. Look online and offline

There are many lenders you can choose from both online and offline. The key thing is finding one that would hurt your finances the least. Online lenders are convenient, and their loan rates are frequently lower.

Don't rule out your local credit union or a regular bank, though. They might have reasonable rates, but you'll never know unless you ask. You have to consider all options available to you. 

4. Use prequalification

Check with potential lenders to see if they will pre-qualify you for a loan after you've identified them.

Prequalification not only ensures you'll be approved for a loan, but also gives you a decent idea of what your interest rate might be. This process checks your credit with a soft inquiry, which does not have the same impact on your credit score as a hard inquiry, which is utilized during the application process.

 

Final word

Personal loans can come in handy when we are trying to achieve certain milestones in life.

However, if mismanaged, they could haunt our future goals by limiting the opportunities we can exploit because of the huge debt burden. Interest rates accruing on loans place an urgency on the borrower to pay on time or risk getting into more debt.

The first step to preventing loan mismanagement is understanding what factors affect the interest rates. 

The steps outlined above can help you get essential tips on how to get lower rates thereby reducing borrowing costs on your personal income. 

Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

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