Life would be much easier if money grew on trees. Or if you had a long-lost, wealthy relative to unexpectedly bequeath you millions. Unfortunately, scientists have not yet engineered a sapling that can sprout c-notes and it is highly unlikely that you have a filthy rich benefactor hidden amongst the branches of your family hardwood.
In the real world, windfalls are rare and the only way to get your paws on some extra money is to borrow it. Yes, if you need cash, your best bet is to take out a personal loan.
But how can a money-tree free individual with a pauper-laden ancestry possibly secure a loan? It’s easier than you might think.
Put down the spade. The only “digging” you’ll be doing involves conducting some research to unearth which lender and loan product is best for you. While there are benefits to sticking with the banker that knows you best–particularly if they are willing to overlook prior credit faux pas or offer you an impressive interest rate–there is no harm in seeing what the competition has to offer.
Don’t be blinded by low interests rates, alone. Instead, make sure to closely examine the fine print and look for hidden fees.
And, as Forbes‘ “5 Tips for Getting Your Bank Loan Approved” advises, when you choose the loan package that appeals to you the most, contact the bank directly to find out what their requirements are for eligibility, what documents you will need to provide, and what timeline you will be looking at.
Miracles do happen. You could win the lottery. A spinster second cousin thrice removed could pop her clogs and leave you a sizeable sum. Or you could win a lawsuit against McDonald’s over scalding hot tea. With your newfound wealth, you will likely want to pay off your loan and save yourself some interest charges.
“Top 10 Things You Need to Know Before You get a Personal Loan” warns that some lenders, particularly payday lenders, impose steep pre-payment penalties if you pay the loan in full before its due date. Be sure to choose a loan product that allows for an early payout.
Before you approach your friendly neighborhood banker, be prepared in case they request collateral. Are you willing to put your car or some other asset on the line in order to secure your loan? If you are completely confident in your ability to make all of your payments on time for the duration of the loan, offering collateral will not be a problem. Also, if your credit score is…um…less than stellar, you may be ineligible for an unsecured loan. Either way, it is best to be forewarned in case this need arises.
Before meeting with your loans office, ensure that you are adequately prepared. Wear proper business attire and pay careful attention to your grooming. Ensure that you have all of your paperwork in order such as your proof of income, bank statements, tax returns, deeds, and bills. And be honest about all of the information you provide. According to “10 Things You Should Know Before Applying for a Personal Loan,” a startling number of loans are rejected every day simply because the applicant did not provide all the required financial documentation. Don’t let this be you.
Yes, a bush filled with Benjamin Franklins–the money, not the man–does sound like a dream come true. But the operative word is “dream.” In the real world, if you need cash, a personal loan is a more viable solution. No watering required.
Are you a first-time borrower who is still in school? You may want to check out “How Do You Get a Car Loan When You’re Still in School?“
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
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