If you’ve found yourself in need of funding but don’t know where to start when it comes to the variety of loan options available, you may want to consider an installment loan. So, what is an installment loan?
An installment loan is a lump sum of money that a lender will provide you upfront to cover various expenses. You’ll repay what you borrow via regular installments. Since there is no shortage of installment loans out there, you may wonder how to find the right one. Below we’ll dive deeper into what to look for when you shop around for an installment loan.
The interest rate is the amount a lender will charge you to borrow money. It’s expressed as a percentage of the principal or the amount loaned. The lower the interest rate, the less you’ll spend on an annual basis given the same loan amount. You can prequalify for various installment loans without impacting your credit to get an idea of the types of rates you might qualify for.
A repayment term is the length of time you have to pay back an installment loan. Many installment loans are flexible and come with terms that range from a few months to several years. If you’d like a lower monthly payment, longer repayment terms may make sense. Just keep in mind that you will pay more in interest over the lifetime of your loan.
Lenders often charge fees for installment loans. In addition to interest, you may be on the hook for origination fees, application fees, late payment fees, prepayment penalties, and/or annual fees. Some lenders charge less fees than others and you may even be able to find a lender that doesn’t charge any fees.
If you shop around, you’ll find that many installment loan lenders offer online applications you can complete within minutes. As long as you have basic personal and financial information on hand, you won’t have to spend a lot of time applying for an installment loan.
When you’re in a financial pinch, you don’t want to wait weeks or months for your cash. That’s why it’s important to choose an installment loan that offers fast funding. Depending on the lender, you may receive the money the same day you apply, within 24 hours, or in a few business days.
Since you may have an installment loan for months or years, a lender with reliable customer service is essential. You want to ensure that you can count on them any time you have a question or need help. Before you commit to an installment loan, explore the lender’s ratings and reviews to learn more about its customer service.
The reality is that not all installment loans are created equal. In fact, these products can vary greatly from lender to lender. By doing your research and knowing what to look for, you’ll be able to find the best installment loan for your particular budget and needs.
OneMain Financial is the leader in offering nonprime customers responsible access to credit and is dedicated to improving the financial well-being of hardworking Americans.