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Loans allow you to borrow a fixed sum of money to be repaid in monthly instalments over a set term, with interest added on top. Loans can be an effective way of getting hold of extra funds, but it’s important to ensure you can afford the monthly repayments before committing to this way of borrowing.
Unsecured or personal loans are not secured against an asset such as your home or car. They enable you to borrow a lump sum of money over a fixed term.
The rate of interest you’ll pay and the amount you can borrow will depend on your credit history as well as your income and monthly expenditure.
Secured loans are secured against an asset such as your home – which is why they are also known as homeowner loans. Secured loans are often easier to get accepted for if you have a poor credit rating.
Interest rates are often lower than for personal loans, and borrowing limits are generally higher. However, should you be unable to repay your loan, you could lose your home.
Bad credit loans are designed for those with poor credit ratings who may find it harder to get accepted for a loan.
They usually have higher interest rates and lower borrowing limits.
With this type of loan, a family member or friend guarantees that they will cover the loan repayments if you’re unable to. Guarantor loans can be an option to consider if you have poor credit.
Car loans can be a personal loan that you use to buy a car, or car finance that you are offered at a dealership or online broker to pay for a vehicle. Many car finance deals are secured against the vehicle you plan to purchase.
A debt consolidation loan is a type of loan that allows you to consolidate existing debts into a single place with one monthly repayment. This can make it easier to manage your repayments and, if you choose a loan with a lower rate of interest, you’ll save money too.
You might take out a loan to help fund:
Loans can also be a good option for debt consolidation. Check out our page on this topic for more information.
This will depend on your credit history and personal circumstances – the better your credit score, the more you are likely to be able to borrow. It will also depend on the type of loan you apply for. Unsecured loans typically allow you to borrow between £1,000 and £25,000, while secured loans generally allow you to borrow £25,000 or more.
Taking out a loan is a quick and convenient way of getting access to extra funds, whether you need to pay for home renovations or you’re looking to consolidate existing debt more cheaply. But it’s crucial you only ever borrow what you can afford to repay. Choosing a longer loan term may reduce your monthly repayments but you will also end up paying more interest overall.
Rachel Wait - Personal Finance Journalist
With an unsecured loan, you can usually choose a loan term of between one and five years, although some lenders will stretch this to seven years. Some loan providers do provider short term loans, which can last between 6 to 12 months.
In comparison, secured loan terms are much longer and you can often borrow for up to 25 years or even more.
A good credit rating indicates to lenders that you are a responsible borrower and as a result, you’re more likely to get accepted for the most competitive loan rates. If you have a poor credit score, you may find it harder to get accepted for a loan, but that doesn’t mean your application will always be rejected. Guarantor loans and bad credit loans are options worth considering if you have poor credit.
Many loan providers will give you an instant decision if you make your application online. If not, you may have to wait between two and five days to find out if you’ve been approved. Once you’ve been accepted for a loan, the funds will often be transferred to your account the very same day or within a couple of days.
With secured loans you may have to wait three to six weeks to get your money as more thorough checks will be required.
Yes, many lenders will allow you to repay your loan early, but you may have to pay a fee. Early repayment charges are typically the equivalent of one to two months’ interest.
If you miss a repayment you may be charged a fee of around £25 and asked to make up the repayment as soon as possible. If you do this, no further action should be taken. However, if you continue to miss repayments and default on your loan, a mark will be left on your credit report and this could affect your chances of getting credit in the future.
Your lender could also start legal proceedings to get the money back. What’s more, if you have a secured loan, you may have to sell your home (or other asset) to repay what you owe. Always talk to your lender as soon as possible if you have any concerns about repaying your loan.
A repayment holiday allows you to take a break from making a loan repayment for a set period of time – usually around a month or two. However, interest will still be charged so you’ll pay more interest overall and the term of your loan will increase.
Many lenders offer joint loans but both applicants may need to live at the same address. Both applicants will also be responsible for repaying the loan, which means if one of you can’t or won’t keep up with their share of the repayments, the other person will need to pay back the entire loan.
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