At one time or another, we all have to borrow money. Whether it is to buy our first home, or acquire the vehicle we need, to cover the cost of an emergency, to pay off a student debt, and the list goes on.
Not only is borrowing money (responsibly) an integral part of maintaining a healthy financial life, but it also allows us to buy or experience things you can not afford otherwise. That being said, there are countless ways to borrow money, some good and some bad. So, how do you choose the best way to borrow the money you need?
The best ways to borrow money
No matter why you need a loan or how you use it, you will face good and bad options. Since the financial situation is unique to everyone, a certain loan can therefore be a great option for someone and not be such a good option for someone else. In general, the following options are the best ways to borrow money responsibly.
Unsecured personal loans
If you need to cover an unexpected expense, looking to make a large purchase or want to have an economic repayment plan, an unsecured loan could be what you need.
What is a personal loan?
An unsecured personal loan is a cash loan that can be used to buy everything the borrower needs, unlike a mortgage or car loan used to pay for a specific item. There are many different types of lenders that offer personal loans, including banks, private lenders and online lenders. If you decide to apply for a personal loan from a bank, you will probably have to go through a credit check and have a medium to high credit rating. On the other hand, if you decide to do business with a private lender or lender online, you will have more options.
What does unsecured mean?
An unsecured loan is a loan that is not backed by collateral (a mortgage is an example of a secured loan since the home is collateral). In general, an unsecured loan is provided based on your ability to repay. A lender takes more risks when approving someone for an unsecured loan because there is no collateral to cover the cost of the loan if the borrower ends up in default. This explains why the unsecured personal loan is usually lower than if you are looking for a larger unsecured loan, where you may need to consent to a credit check.
What will my payments be?
All unsecured personal loans are different, but in general, they are tailored to the unique needs of the borrower and his financial situation. This means that it is difficult to give an exact estimate of your payments. However, we can give you an idea of how often you can make your payments. Here are examples of repayment options. Your lender may have other repayment frequency options.
- Weekly payments. You will make one payment per week for the duration of your loan.
- Bi-weekly payments. With this option, you will make a payment every two weeks.
- Payments twice a month. You will make two payments per month with this option.
- Monthly. A monthly payment easy to manage.
Difference between bi-weekly payments and payments twice a month.
It is important to understand biweekly and twice a month do not mean the same thing. With payments twice a month, you will make 24 payments a year (12 months per year X 2 payments per year = 24). With bi-weekly payments, you will make 26 payments in one year because there are 26 periods of two weeks per year (52 weeks per year / 2 = 26).
The reason you might prefer to make bi-weekly payments instead of twice a month is because you will pay off your loan faster and save money on interest charges.
Credit cards are one of the most common and easy ways to borrow money quickly. Most adults have at least one credit card and can be approved quickly for more. This is both a good thing and a bad thing for the majority of consumers. Easy access to credit cards means it’s convenient to borrow money whenever you need it. Credit cards are also a great way to build and develop a credit, if it is something that interests you. On the other hand, the convenience of a credit card also makes it extremely easy to spend money you do not have. You create a debt that you can not repay.
The trap of minimum payments
When you use a credit card to make a purchase, you borrow money that must be repaid within a certain time. This is exactly the way a credit card should be used to minimize the creation of debt. However, since credit card companies are interested in making money (just like all of us), we offer you an alternative option, the minimum payment option. This means that you only have to repay a certain percentage of your total balance before the end of your payment period and not the total balance. Is not that a good thing? This may seem like a good option in some situations (emergencies or if you have to pay something important immediately and not have the money to cover the expense). On the other hand, keep in mind that you will have to pay interest on the remaining balance that will increase on your next bill.
A line of credit
Like a credit card, a line of credit can be used and repaid several times. A line of credit generally has a lower interest rate than a credit card (one of the biggest benefits of a line of credit) and is often used to pay off other, higher interest debts. This is an option as convenient as a credit card and can be used to pay for anything. One can also only make a minimum payment as for a credit card. However, in general, it is better to make larger payments than the minimum payment required to avoid creating too much debt.
Best way to use a line of credit
A line of credit can be used in the same way as a credit card to cover anything. However, it is always better to use a line of credit to pay for something that will benefit you in the long run, instead of using it for whatever you want. Here are some of the best ways to use a line of credit to your advantage:
- To cover an unexpected expense
- To pay for repairs to your car so you can continue to work every day
- To pay for a medical procedure or an emergency
- To pay other debts at higher interest
Since a line of credit generally has a lower interest rate than a credit card, it may be a good idea to have one available, even if you will not use it immediately. An emergency fund is still the best way to protect your finances, but a line of credit is also a great B plan.
A mortgage is a very specific way to borrow money, in the sense that it is used to buy real estate. It could be a house, a farm, a lot, or any other building.
If you live in Canada and want to own your own home, it is likely that you will have to apply for a mortgage to get there. Generally, a mortgage is one of the hardest loans to obtain because there are many regulations associated with this type of loan.
Save for a down payment
One of the most important steps in the process of buying a home and on which you can start saving right away, is probably having enough money for a down payment. In Canada, you must deposit at least 5% of the purchase price of the house you wish to buy, but 20% is recommended. Saving as much as possible for a down payment is the best way to maximize the affordability of owning a home.
Loan on the net value of the property
If you are a homeowner, a home equity loan is another great way to borrow money. When a homeowner takes a home equity loan, the equity of the property is used as well as the portion that has been paid and possessed to obtain a loan. The amount you will be eligible for depends on the value of your home and the amount you have repaid. Equity loans have lower interest rates and can be very useful on some occasions. Among others:
- To cover the cost of home renovations that will increase the value of your home
- To repair damage to your home
- To pay high interest debt and save more money quickly
Keep in mind that when you put your home as collateral, you also put it at risk if you fail to repay your loan. You must be aware of this if you are considering applying for a mortgage for the sole purpose of paying off a credit card debt.
A car loan
A car loan is a type of loan used to buy any type of vehicle, recreational or practical.
Auto loans are relatively easy to obtain and can be provided by a number of different types of lenders, including:
- Internal financing of a dealer
- Online lenders
Auto loans are a form of secured loan (like a mortgage), the vehicle you are considering buying is a guarantee for the loan. This means that if you are no longer able to make your loan payments, you may need to return your vehicle to cover the outstanding balance of your loan.
Personal car loan
You are probably wondering what the difference is between a personal auto loan and a regular car loan. A personal car loan is not used to buy a car. This is a loan that is guaranteed against a vehicle you already own. This is a great way to get a larger personal loan than you could get without collateral and is a good option for Canadians facing solvency problems and having trouble getting approved for a loan. because of their low credit.
Friends and family
One of the easiest and potentially fastest ways to borrow money is to ask a friend or family member. Depending on who you ask, this option is a good idea or a failure. It depends a lot on you and who you ask for money.
Worst ways to borrow money
Although you should always make financial decisions based on your experiences and needs, all loans are different and, therefore, there are some ways to borrow money that should be avoided.
Payday loans are fast, short-term loans that must be repaid on your next payday. This is an extremely convenient way to borrow money immediately. In general, payday loans are easy to obtain, which makes them very attractive to consumers who find themselves in desperate situations or who are facing financial problems. To obtain a payday loan, you must provide the lender with the following information:
- Proof of address
- Proof that you have a stable income in the last 3 months
- Access to your chequing account so that money can be deposited and payments can be automatically withdrawn.
Payday loans are the most expensive way for a consumer to borrow money. They often have an APR (annual percentage rate) of over 500% and have terms so short that it is often almost impossible for a borrower to find the money needed to repay the loan. Payday loans are a type of predatory lending; the financial stability of the borrower is not considered, which can often cause them to stay stuck in the vicious cycle of payday loans.
The vicious cycle of payday loans
When a consumer takes a payday loan, he signs a contract stating that he will repay the loan in full plus interest on his next payday. What will happen often is that the consumer will not be able to repay his first loan and will have to borrow a second loan to cover the first. This can sometimes lead to a vicious circle that can last for months or even years.
Advances of money with the credit card
Making a cash advance on your credit card is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when you do, you will automatically be charged interest charges. In addition, interest charges are higher in cash advance than when purchased. This means that if your interest rate is 21%, it amounts to a loan with an interest rate of 21%.
Ultimately, if you can not repay your cash advance right away, this is an extremely expensive way to borrow money.
Borrow from a questionable lender
Doing business with any type of lender you do not trust is not a good idea, whether it’s a more traditional lending institution or a small online lender. If you think the lender does not have your best interests in mind or if an agreement seems too good to be true, it is entirely within your rights to refuse to sign a contract and choose a different lender.
How to spot a loan scam
Most lenders work with people to provide the money they need, but that’s not always the case, and other lenders are criminals who only want to defraud hard-working consumers. It is very important that you know how to spot a scam before becoming the victim of one of them.
Here are the best ways to find out if a lender is a fraudster:
If it seems to be too good to be true. As mentioned above, if a lender offers you a good deal, he may try to rip you off.
- Guaranteed approval. No lender of any type can guarantee you approval.
- Initial fees. It is illegal for a lender to charge you for any type of upfront fees, whether it’s an “insurance” or to cover the cost of the loan. Never agree to give money to the lender before receiving your loan.
Borrow money with bad credit
Limited credit, bad credit or risk. No matter what name you want to give it, we can agree on one thing: being denied a loan that is needed because of bad credit is boring. Borrowing money when you have bad credit can seem like an impossible task and it can be very difficult to find someone willing to give you a second chance.
The good news is that the number of alternative lenders willing to help strained Canadians is constantly rising.
How to speed up the borrowing process
Borrowing money is a serious process that is time consuming and should not be rushed. Steps must be taken to ensure that the lender and the borrower are protected, and it may take another day to do all the necessary checks. You, the borrower, must understand perfectly the contract you are going to sign. It is equally important for the lender to take the necessary steps to ensure that all potential borrowers can afford to repay the loan they have requested.
It is important that you understand your financial situation if you are unsure of what is happening with your own finances. It can be difficult for a lender to take you seriously. Before deciding to apply for a loan, prepare for the loan application process by asking yourself the following questions.
- How much debt do you have?
- Do you have unpaid amounts on your credit cards?
- Do you have all the necessary documentation in order?
- Are you ready to compromise on the loan amount, duration and other conditions?
Prepare to borrow money
All lenders are have different ways to check the financial health and creditworthiness of a person, especially alternative lenders. That means it’s hard to say what you need to borrow. There are, however, a few things that potential borrowers need to know:
- Have a checking account
- Have a stable form of income (it does not need to be a 9-5 office job)
- Have access to a computer and the internet if you want to apply to an online lender
- A financial plan established to repay your loan
It is also very important that you are open and honest with your lender; lying or voluntarily withholding information could cause you long-term financial problems. Such a situation may take years to correct. It is also important that you cooperate with your lender. This means completing the application correctly, responding to your e-mails as soon as possible, returning all missed calls and providing all necessary documents. If your lender needs something from you, but you do not respond to your emails or phone calls, you will not be able to be approved.
Choosing the right way to borrow money
As mentioned, you should always make financial decisions based on your needs, your income and your level of debt, especially when it comes to borrowing money. If you consider all of this, you should not have problems borrowing responsibly. We can help you if you are interested in getting more help or need to explore your options.