The holiday season can be stressful for many people. We are expected to get presents for our families, but we don’t always have the money to make it happen. Most of us begin taking out loans to spoil our friends and family, which can hurt our financial and mental health later on.
While installment credit can provide you with a feasible and urgent option, you might end up paying more. Because of this, it is important to consider the various factors before you take out such a loan. Here is what you need to know.
Will Paying Off An Installment Loan Early Hurt Your Credit?
Yes, paying off an installment loan early can have a temporary negative effect on your credit. Of course, you might be thinking why this is so, as it is good to pay off your debt. Keep in mind that it is generally a good thing, but credit reporting agencies look at various factors before determining your score.
These include factors such as credit utilization, payment history, credit mix, and much more. All of these can be affected if you pay off an installment loan early. This is why it is important to avoid certain mistakes, which include:
- Not reading the terms: Some lenders will charge a fee if you pay the loan before your installment term ends
- Doing nothing to maintain a good credit score: Generally, you should engage in credit-building practices to maintain your score
- Not lowering your DTI ratio: A low DTI ratio means that lenders will more likely approve the loan application. So, be sure to pay on time to lower this ratio
These are the top three mistakes you must avoid when paying off installment loans. It is important that you read all the documents and pay the loan on time. Once you do, it will help you maintain a good credit score for a long time.
When Is Paying In Installment Payments A Good Idea?
There are a few things you should consider before you decide to opt for installment payments and loans. After all, it should help you in the long term. Keep in mind that installment loans can be part of a plan to get your personal finances back on track.
However, here are all the times when paying in installment payments is a good idea:
1. When You Quickly Require Funds
Many times there is an emergency, and we quickly require funds to help us deal with such situations. In such times, you can borrow installment loans from a lender to use now and pay later. That is because such loans can be available to you in twenty-four hours.
So, paying installments is a good idea when you are dealing with an emergency. This includes medical expenses, traveling, tuition, and much more.
2. Getting Out Of Debt
Yes, you might think this sounds counter-intuitive, but it is not. If you want to consolidate high-interest credit card balances in one, then an installment loan will provide you with the opportunity to get your finances back on track. Doing this is known as debt consolidation, and it can help you get out of a revolving cycle of credit card debt.
Here are some ways installment loans can help you get out of such debt:
- The fixed interest rate will most likely be lower than the credit cards, which means you will save money
- You will only have to pay on one due date
- The monthly payments will have equal amounts, which means the budget will be easy
- There will be an established date for paying off the entire installment loan
So you will not have to worry about paying different debts. In the long run, an installment loan can guarantee that you get your personal finances in order.
3. Building Credit
Finally, installment loans can help you build credit. That is because it is much more difficult to get approved for credit if you don’t have a decent credit score already. A lender will always look at your score before providing you with money.
If you want to have borrowing opportunities in the future, then you can take an installment to build credit. It will allow you to improve your cash flow and guarantee that you have a positive credit score in the long run.
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How Do Lenders Approve Installment Loan Applications?
There are a few factors that the lender will look at when approving the application for your installment loan. This includes:
- Basic income and financial data
- Personal information
- Credit score
- Credit utilization ratio
- Debt to income ratio
- And much more
Keep in mind that the lender might even ask for additional information. Besides that, they will stay in touch with you throughout the approval process. After that, they will approve your application for the installment loan.
You can also improve your odds of getting approved for the loan using the following methods:
- Responding to the lender’s queries as soon as possible
- Providing proper documentation
- Maintain a good credit score
- Lowering your DTI ratio
These four practices can help improve your odds of getting approved for an installment loan. After all, lenders will only provide you with the loan if they know that you have the ability to pay them back. So, make sure that you have everything in check during the loan approval process to improve your odds.
That is everything you need to consider before you take out an installment loan for any emergency or expense that you need to incur. Installment loans have their pros and cons, which is why it is crucial to have the right knowledge before you decide what to do.
So, keep all of these guidelines and opt for an installment loan that will help you with what you need to do. Just make sure that you can repay the loan on time without any issues. It will improve your chances of getting a loan again.
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Josh is the owner and lead writer at Daily Wisely. His career has taken him from finance to blogging, and now shares his insights with readers of Daily Wisely.
Josh's work and authoritative advice have appeared in major publications like Nasdaq, Forbes, The Sun, Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, Fortune, The Street, MSN Money, and Go Banking Rates. Josh has over 15 years of experience on Wall Street, and currently shares his financial expertise in investing, wealth management, markets, taxes, real estate, and personal finance on his other website, Top Dollar Investor.
Josh graduated from Cornell University with a degree from the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at the SC Johnson College of Business.