Short-term online loans are like dust – they may be small but they can be blinding and dangerous.
With just a few clicks, you can run your fingertips through hot and steamy paper bills. And since they are very accessible, it can be tempting to borrow on a regular basis – even when you don’t need it badly. Their tempting nature gained a bad reputation of putting consumers in an unending cycle of debt while lenders gain profit.
But the truth is, you can always make online loans work for you and not against you. You just have to WISE, I mean Wary, Intelligent, Self-disciplined, and Economical.
1. Be Wary
You should be very attentive when it comes to finding a loan, choosing a lender online, and finding potential threats
Trust only reputable lenders
If you decide to take out a loan quickly, you’ll encounter a large number of companies offering payday loans and other short-term loans online. Some offers are too good to be true. Keep in mind that most of these companies lend small amounts of money to people at very high-interest rates and strict terms and conditions – a known recipe for bad debt. With this, it’s wise to seek recommendations from your family and friends or read reviews before choosing a lender.
Evaluate the costs
After browsing a couple of loan providers, write down all the terms and conditions before you make some comparisons. Look for the rate of interest, the initial charge to get the money, and the processing fees or late charges, if any.
2. Be Intelligent
You should research and read the fine print before you take out a personal loan. Also, be mindful of the costs and consequences of not paying your loan on time.
Get the right loan
There are different types of online personal cash loans so it’s best to research and match your loan to your need. For example, payday loans are generally the most expensive way to borrow and you should only consider them if you’re certain that you’ll be able to repay the balance on the stated date.
Pay it back ASAP
No matter how small they may be, online loan repayments should never be delayed. They are notorious for their high-interest rates, which can dramatically increase the cost of the loan if you default. The penalties for defaults are also high so these should be prioritized. Even if the lender agrees to give you an extension, don’t be at ease – this just means you’ll be paying more out of this loan. Instead of asking for an extension, do all things in your power to have your loan paid as soon as possible.
3. Be Self-disciplined
Once the money is already in the palm of your hands, you take full responsibility for it. The money should only be spent on emergencies.
Make sure it makes sense
Short-term online loans are fast and easy for a good reason – they are meant for emergencies. Unanticipated events like hospitalization and medical-related misfortunes, rent payment, mortgage, and utility bills, call for immediate cash on hand. You have to be critical if your situation is an emergency or if it can be delayed until the next payday.
Buying a new washing machine just because you’re too lazy to wash your clothes by hand isn’t considered an emergency. Online loans are designed to help you through the rough times, not trap you in it.
Only borrow what you need
Even if you think you can repay it on time, it’s always wise to borrow only the amount you need – not a single dollar more. Keep in mind that a higher loan comes with a higher interest rate, and lenders just love that.
Some crooked lenders trap their consumers by allowing them to borrow more than the allowable amount. By deliberately setting you up to default, they can issue penalties which can eat up your money in the long run.
4. Be Economical
While you’re not financially stable at the moment, it’s always a smart move to live below your means.
Lower your cost of living
Make a few sacrifices. Limit eating out. Use the public transport to save car fuels. Withstand the summer heat and keep from turning the air-con on to save power bills. Keep from buying overpriced cup of coffee. Refrain from visiting the shopping mall or watching shopping channels to avoid temptations. Don’t buy a new bottle of shampoo and consume the ones you stole from hotels. These expenses may be small, but you’d be surprised how cutting them can help you maximize your savings.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a resident writer for QuickCash, an Australian-based business, providing short-term cash loans for your borrowing needs. She is passionate about writing articles regarding personal finance and money hacks.