Individuals who need personal loans in Georgia should ask a credit union associate – not to mention themselves – several questions first.
Clearly, those questions should start with, “Do I really need a personal loan, or can I manage without it?” Having some debt is wise in order to improve your credit score, but you also don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too many loans.
That being said, a personal loan may help you consolidate debt, pay for large purchases, and so much more. If you do decide that a personal loan is the way to go, you should research your options and get the important questions answered first. Doing so may empower you to make the smartest choices.
Questions about Personal Loans in Georgia that You Should Get Answered
1. How much money do I need?
Start with analyzing your current finances and speaking with others who may be involved, such as your significant other, to determine how much money you need to borrow.
2. Would I prefer to pay it back over a long span of time or a shorter period?
Typically, when you obtain almost any type of loan, how much you pay monthly may depend on the loan term. The longer the loan term, the smaller the monthly payments may be; a shorter loan term may mean larger monthly payments but less interest accumulating. Analyze your budget to see how much you can afford to pay every month.
3. What is the difference between using a bank or a credit union for a personal loan?
Generally, most lending institutions offer similar options. However, obtaining a personal loan from a credit union may mean lower interest rates, more personalized service, and added benefits for you, as a member, in the long run.
4. Which lending institution has the best interest rate?
As you are researching your loan options, this may be one of the most significant questions to have answered. Even a small percentage of a difference may make a significant impact in how much you would pay over the life of the loan.
5. Can I use a personal loan to consolidate debt?
Yes, you typically may use a personal loan to consolidate debt. In fact, personal loans may be used for a wide range of purposes – making a large-scale purchase, repairing a broken appliance, starting a business, taking a vacation, you name it. Using a personal loan to consolidate debt, particularly, may help reduce the stress of having to pay multiple debts every month. (Keep in mind that other loan options may serve your specific purposes better. For instance, a mortgage loan may be more ideal for a new home than a personal loan. Speak with one of our associates to identify the best type of loan for your needs.)
6. What kind of credit score do I need?
A high credit score may enable you to obtain a loan with lower interest rates, but many lending agencies may work with borrowers with lower credit scores to create solutions that work for them. Learn more about credit scores in our following blogs:
7. Can I pay the loan back early without a fee?
Some loans require you to keep paying on the loan until it ends, and you may have to pay a prepayment penalty if you pay it off early. Keep your eye on this as you are comparing personal loan options; factoring this possible prepayment penalty into your calculations may help you see the bigger picture.
8. What documents will I need?
Typically, you may need the following:
- Proof of identity (driver’s license, state ID card, passport, birth certificate, military ID)
- Some form of collateral, such as a house, car, or boat
- Your credit score and credit history, which we may obtain on your behalf during the application process
- Proof of income, typically in the form of copies of your last two or more paystubs
- A debt-to-income analysis, which we may perform during the application process
9. Are there any other fees I should be aware of?
Be sure to ask your loan officer about any hidden fees as you are comparing personal loan options. Some lending institutions may require origination and/or application fees for the processing of the loan. You also should ask about late fees and insufficient funds fees that may apply during the life of the loan.
These are only some of the many questions you should have answered while you’re researching your options for personal loans in Georgia. For answers to your specific questions, speak with one of our associates. Contact Georgia Heritage Federal Credit Union by sending us a message online, calling us at (912) 236-4400, or visiting ghfcustaging.wpengine.com.