When you plan to use money that are not your, you will be paying interests. But no one want to pay high interest rates.
In this article we will give you advanced information on how to find the cheapest personal loan interest rates.
The truth is:
Americans overpay millions of dollars on their loan interest and credit card fees.
For those with bad credit the difference could be huge.
So, how to get the cheapest loan interest rates?
Loan market is huge. This is definitely an advantage, because people have many choices. But it could also be a disadvantage because offers are too much and people often skip many of them. That is one of the reason why they pay higher interest.
This is one of the best tips that every financial expert should start with. There is no better way to see what is best for you, than by asking. Apply with as many personal loan companies as you can and wait for offers. You lose nothing.
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Many people are worried to apply with many companies at the same time because they think that their credit score will be lowered. Let’s finally clarify this, because there are still many myths out there. When you apply for a loan or for a credit card, lenders have to see your credit report. There are two types of credit pulls: soft and hard.
Soft credit pulls don’t affect your credit score anyway!
Hard credit pulls affect your credit score. Every hard credit pull cost you some points of your credit score for a few months from the date of the check.
So, what types of credit pulls lenders perform?
Almost all legitimate lenders work that way:
When you apply for a loan, they perform soft credit pull, which doesn’t affect your credit score at all. Once you agree on their terms and request the loan, a hard pull will be performed. This happen later in the application process. This would mean that after you get the loan, your credit score will lose some points, but if you continue paying your loan on time regularly, you will continue building your credit score.
Are there any exception from that?
In some rare cases there are some exceptions. Some of the largest companies are not direct lenders. They are marketplaces that connect lenders and borrowers. Once you apply with such a marketplace, your personal information will be sent to many lenders. Most of them will perform soft credit pull, but there are chances that some of them will perform hard credit pull.
Almost all credit card issuers and credit unions perform hard credit pull.
We will explain later about them.
Be careful with that.
How to know about that?
Most lenders that perform only soft credit pull, should list that. They love to post this notification close to their application form. Here is how they looks like:
If you see something like that, you are good to go.
When you visit loan companies and request offers, which actually means completing the application forms, there shouldn’t be performed a hard inquiry. Don’t worry about that. A hard inquiry should be performed after you have been approved and after you agree to get the loan.
We at ElitePersonalFinance list this detail in our table. Check our list with all loan companies.
If you see this, feel free to apply without worrying for your credit score.
Pros of shopping around:
- You compare many offers, so you are able to pick the cheapest one.
- You credit score wouldn’t be affected, because most of the legit lenders perform soft pull.
- You get better idea about the lending market.
Cons of shopping around:
- Require some time.
- Some companies perform hard inquiry, which lower your credit score.
- Many calls.
- Almost no other significant cons, because shopping around is something good.
Be Careful When You Plan to Get Many Loans Too Often
Every time when you pay off your loan earlier, the company make you serious discount. You always pay your principal amount in full, but according to the interest fees for the remaining period, chances are:
- Lenders cut them totally, so you pay no interest fees.
- You still pay some fees, but they are with a significant discount.
At first sight this looks good for some people who have the ability to repay their loans faster. But things have their back side! Read on…
What about this scenario:
You get a loan, you pay it back, then you again get a loan and so on. Would this make your loans cheaper or actually more expensive?
To explain that, we will give you an example.
You get a loan of $1,000 for an year. After 3 months you find some money and you decide to pay it back in full. This would mean that all interest fees for the remaining period of the time should be discounted. You pay less than the total amount, counted at the start of the contract.
Say that your interest per month are $10.
So, totally you will pay: 3 * $10 = $30 fees (This is for the time that you keep the loan.)
For the remaining period you would save: 9 * $10 = $90 (You shouldn’t pay this because you repay the loan in full.)
In 3 months you go and get another loan with the same parameters. Again $1,000, $10 interest rates per month.
The situation looks that way. For these 3 months interval that you didn’t keep any loan, you would actually save:
$3 * $10 = $30.
This looks correct.
Where is the catch?
Most loans comes with origination fees and a bunch of many other hidden fees. Here is how you actually lose money.
You save $30, but let’s say that each of these loans comes with $40 additional fees (origination and ect.). This would mean that you actually would lose:
$40 – $30 = $10 (You lose these in fees.)
So in this scenario, your loan game actually make you pay more.
What would happen if you give back the loan and apply for a loan after an year?
Let’s count again.
For the period of the time that you don’t keep any loans, you shouldn’t pay anything. So, in our example you’d save:
12 * $10 = $120
After an year you apply and you pay extra fees attached to the loan of $40.
This time you’d save $120 – $40 = $80.
Here we win!
What are these fees and how can I count my loan correctly?
This definitely is your origination fee. Most loans have origination fee that wouldn’t be discounted if you pay the loan early. But there are many other fees, some of them are considered even hidden.
Ask every lender to disclose them carefully.
There is not exact formula on how to get the cheapest loan, if you plan to play games like this. But to give you an overall idea, things looks that way:
You have to count:
- How much would you save for the certain period of time that you don’t keep any loans.
- All nonrefundable fees attached to your loan for the same period of time.
- Then you have to compare these values.
In this case we gave an example with only one loan and only $10 per month interest rates. But there are people who work with many loans, and higher amounts. For them the loses could be huge.
A loan of $30,000, with an origination fee of 1% would mean $300 loss per loan. Count also other fees, hidden or no, and these $300 could become $500. This is what you will lose only in extra fees per loan.
- Paying back every loan earlier save you money.
- Within the period of the time that you don’t keep any loans, it’s possible that you increase your credit score, so the next loan would be with better parameters.
- You build trust in lenders. Every paid loan in full means trust to lender.
- Some people love these games. Get loan now, pay it in time, then another and so on. For some people this is passion.
- You can lose more in extra fees.
- Your credit score could get down for some reason, so next time you get a loan with worse parameters.
- You risk to not being approved. Even if your credit score is high, even if you have higher lender trust, still the lender is the person who have the final word. There is no loan that could be guaranteed.
Plan better your loan. It’s not possible to plan your loan exactly because there are always some unpredictable situation in our live. So, our advice would be: get more than you actually think you want. If you plan to get $1,000, apply with $1,100. The differences in fees wouldn’t be huge. But if one day you see that these $1,000 are not enough, you will be put in a situation where you will pay much more for refinances, new loans and things like that; or you will have to cut from your important spending.
Be Careful with Refinances
Whether you have one or many loans, a refinance could help you find cheaper loan. But only if you use it the right way!
There are many cases where you actually lose money when refinancing.
That is because you don’t count many fees, that in most of the cases are not too small. In fact there could be significant fees, you should pay if you want to refinance.
In order to understand whether your refinance will save you money on interest rates or actually make you lose money, you have to carefully put all of the numbers on the table and compare them. There is not exact formula because there are many different scenario.
To give you an overview, here is what you have to count.
For your existing loans and credit cards.
- Count how much you pay in fees per month.
- Count how much are your total amount for the full repayment period.
- Count how much you should pay to close the loans, if you refinance today.
- Count how much you would save because you pay off the loan, if you refinance today.
For your new consolidation loan.
- Count your monthly interest rates.
- Count your total amount.
- Count all extra fees attached to the loan: origination fees, hidden and non hidden extra fees.
- Count all extra fees that you will pay for the actual refinance, in most of the cases these are hidden fees.
To be sure that the new loan will work for you, you should put all of these numbers on the table, do the count and make sure that:
- You will pay less for your new loan.
- The new loan terms work better for you.
When should you refinance?
You should refinance, if you get better terms.
You should refinance, if you increase your credit score. You are with bad credit now, but in time you increase it. Update your lender for that, ask them, can they find something cheaper for you. Apply with other lenders.
How to Find Cheap Personal Loan Rates for Bad Credit?
Understand the bad credit loan market…
For people with bad credit things looks different. The reason is that they are different target.
There are 3 main types of loans available for people with bad credit:
- Personal loans for bad credit. These are loans of $1,000 to $100,000. Their APR is capped at 35.99%. These days there are personal loan companies who lend to people with bad credit.
- Payday Loans. These are loans of $100, to $1,000. They are very expensive. Their APR average at 400%, but it could be more.
- Alternative payday loans. These are loans that are between personal loans and personal loans.
First of all, people with bad credit are great target to payday lenders. All payday loans are predatory. We highly recommend that people stay away from them, because they are very expensive and people often become in debt cycle.
We have said this many times on our site:
People with bad credit have many other options than payday loans.
But unfortunately still many people don’t listen to our advice. We still receive a lot of complaints from people with payday loans.
People have to understand that it’s absolutely possible to get a personal loan, if you are with bad credit. Your APR will be higher, but times less than these 400% payday APR.
At the end case people with bad credit who can’t qualify for a personal loan can try alternative payday loans. These loans are more expensive than personal loans, but less expensive than payday loans.
ElitePersonalFinance have created detailed guides on these types of loans. We highly recommend that you spend some time on understanding bad credit loans, because this will save you a lot of money. Here are our recommendations:
Best personal loans for bad credit. In this guide we explain all about bad credit loans.
Alternative payday loans. In this guide, we will explain how alternative payday loans work. Very useful information for people with really bad credit.
What is the most important advice that we give to people with bad credit?
Work on your credit score and wait till you can be approved for cheap personal loan.
Even if you are bad credit, you won’t pay these 400% criminal interest rate, but you will always be paying more than people with good credit score.
If you can’t wait, then get expensive loan, but from the day that you get it, focus to repay it as fast as possible.
Loan Comparison Sites
Loan comparison sites are one of the best way to find the cheapest loan interest rates. These sites partner with many online lenders, banks, credit unions. Once you complete their registration forms, they will match you with all lenders in their system. You will be able to compare offers from multiple lenders instantly.
They are totally free. Where is the catch?
There is no catch. The question that you probably would ask is how these sites make money in case they are totally free?
Actually they partner with all of these lenders. Once you get a loan via them, they will get small percentage from the lender. But you lose nothing.
The best loan comparison sites are SuperMoney and Credible.
We highly recommend that you try them.
- You save a lot of time.
- These sites work with almost all big online lenders, banks and credit unions, so you get the best offers.
- You will be matched based on your details instantly.
- 100% free for you.
- Soft credit inquiry, which don’t lower your credit score.
- These companies don’t have a lot of offers for people with bad credit. Although they work with all credit profiles, people with 620 credit score and above receive much more offers.
- Calls from different lenders are possible.
- You share your personal details with many different companies.
Credit Unions and Banks Have One of The Cheapest Interest Rates, Let’s Try Them
If you want to get very low ARR, you have to try banks and credit unions.
Banks approve only people with good credit score. And even if you are with good credit score, it is possible that the bank will request to secure your loan or find a cosigner. If you meet all bank qualification criteria, you should expect high amount of up to $100,000 and very low interest rates. However, many people don’t meet these criteria. Their chances are to wait until they increase their credit score or to apply with credit unions.
Credit unions have lower credit requirements. Most of these institutions evaluate your real ability to repay the loan on time – your income and debt to income ratio. Credit unions pay less attention to your credit score. Even people with bad credit, who prove good income can be approved. Credit unions APR are capped at 18%.
For people with really bad credit, there are payday alternatives. These are small amount of cash, typically less than $1,000. Their APR are capped at 28%. That’s not too cheap, but if we compare this to these 400% payday loan APR, things looks better.
- Both banks and credit unions offer the cheapest interest rates.
- Credit unions approve people with bad credit, who can prove good income.
- Credit unions offer payday loan alternative for people with really bad credit.
- Both banks and credit unions offer great terms.
- Both banks and credit unions offer high amount of up to $100,000.
- Banks require perfect credit score.
- Banks could request to secure your loan or to add a cosigner, even if you are with perfect credit score.
- Credit unions require you to become their member.
- Both banks and credit unions could perform a hard inquiry on your credit file, so be careful. Ask them, when they plan to perform a hard pull.
Secured and Cosigner Loans
When you add a cosigner or secure your loan, you actually add some extra trust in your lender.
While for people with good credit, this could mean getting lower APR, for people with bad credit this could mean their last option to qualify for a loan at all.
Both of these types of loans are good, but you put something at risk.
Secured loans are these that you add some collateral such as your car. If you can’t repay the loan, the lender can get your collateral instantly.
- For people with good credit: Higher amount, less APR, better terms, more lender trust.
- For people with bad credit: Possibility to get a personal loan at all, low APR than traditional payday loans, possibility to avoid payday loans, higher amount.
- You build credit score, if you pay the loan regularly.
- You risk your collateral.
- You put at risk the partnership with this person.
- You can destroy your credit score, if you don’t pay the loan regularly.
Work on Your Credit Report
Higher credit score means that you will always be paying lower interest rates. But how to increase your credit score?
Well, this is a very long topic. We highly recommend that you review our 30 tips to increase your credit score.
Few basic tips from us.
You probably expect to read: pay your bills on time, manage your credit cards properly, pay at least the minimum and ect.
All of these are truth, but the effect after you start applying them will come in a long period of time. There is no way to boost your credit score fast.
That’s why we wanted to give few unique tips, that many people often skip.
- Review your credit score for errors and if you find them, report them to all credit bureaus instantly
Too obvious, many of you know that, but how many of you have actually completed this task. According to Experian study, almost 30% of the credit reports contain errors. This means that at least 30% of the people haven’t performed this task.
This is the only one fast way to increase your credit score fast and it is 100% legit. People who find errors and report them, could expect fast raise like up to a month.
Tip: Get for credit monitoring. That way you can monitor your credit report changes often.
- Boost your credit score with your existing loan and apply for refinance
When you get a loan, a hard pull will be performed on your credit file. This means that your credit score will lose some points for a few months. Nothing serious …
But after these few months the negative effect from this hard pull will be less.
If you continue paying your loan on time, you build credit.
Do you know that all regularly paid loan leads to credit boost?
This affect mainly people with bad credit.
People with bad credit typically pay high interest.
Now, it is time to try to improve your credit. Use your loan as a credit building tool. Combine with other ways to increase your credit like paying bills on time and ect. And in few months your credit score will increase.
Now, not only that your credit score is high, but also you have high lender trust, because you have proven that you pay your loan on time.
Now, it’s the time to go to your lender and ask, will you qualify for a better interest rates and will it be possible to refinance with cheaper loan.
Go also to other lenders, banks, credit unions and ask for refinancing.
Decrease Your Credit Risk
Credit risk is … your credit report. Yes, and no.
Actually credit report is one of the main factors that lenders use to determine your risk factor.
However there are other ways that lender use to determine your risk.
In our article you will find many of them.
If you decrease your risk, this would mean that:
- You will qualify for a loan.
- You will qualify for high amount.
- You will qualify for the cheapest interest rate.
Don’t Open Too Many Accounts
This is considered significantly negative factor. It increases your credit risk.
If you have 10 credit cards, even if some of them is with low limit, your risk factor will be high.
10 credit cards with a limit of $100 are NOT equal 1 credit card with a limit of $1,000.
10 loans of $100 are NOT equal 1 loan of $1,000.
Although the principal amount are same, your risk factor will be totally different.
With 10 items, not only you can’t expect the cheapest loan rates, but you shouldn’t expect an approval at all, even if you pay them on time.
If you already have many items, close them, or try to consolidate them in one.
Get The Minimum Loan Amount Possible
A great way to decrease your costs is to take out the minimum loan amount possible. A sound approach is to calculate exactly how much you’ll need and stick to it. If you follow this advice, you’ll keep your interest charges at a minimum – even with a high APR.
See, when you take out a loan – even with an APR as high as 100% – lowering the principal will help keep interest charges from getting out of hand.
To start, let’s compare four, 1-year loans, repaid over 12-months. Two have APRs of 100% and principal balances of $100 and $1,000. The other two have payday loan APRs of 400%, but with the same principal balances of $100 and $1,000.
Check out the table below:
||Total Interest Paid:
Notice, even with a higher APR, by keeping the principal balance at minimum, you save a lot in total interest paid. By reducing the 100% APR loan from a $1,000 principal to $100, you save $557.92 in total interest – and that’s just over one year. The 400% APR example is even more substantial. By reducing your principal balance from $1,000 to $100, you save a whopping $2,817.34 in total interest paid.
So plan your budget better, and you will always save.
Lower Your Repayment Duration
Another way to obtain a cheap personal loan is to lower your repayment duration. If you’re able to increase your monthly payments, you will save a lot in interest over the life of your loan.
To illustrate, we’ll use the same four loans as above. However, this time, check out how much you save in interest by lowering your repayment duration.
||Total Interest Paid: 1-Month Loan
||Total Interest Paid: 3-Month Loan
||Total Interest Paid: 6-Month Loan
||Total Interest Paid: 12-Month Loan
When comparing the 100% APR, $100 loan repaid over 1-month versus the 1-year loan, you save $53.66 in total interest paid. Even more, when comparing the 400% APR, $100 loan repaid over 1-month versus the 1-year loan, you save $279.98 in total interest paid.
The result are even more staggering when we increase the loan amount.
When comparing the 100% APR, $1,000 loan repaid over 1-month versus the 1-year loan, you save $536.58 in total interest paid. And when comparing the 400% APR, $1,000 loan repaid over 1-month versus the 1-year loan, you save $2,797.32 in total interest paid.
As you can see, reducing your repayment duration has a significant impact on your total cost of borrowing.
- Your total amount is less.
- You pay the loan faster.
- Your monthly increase.
- If you can’t pay your high monthly, you have to get other loans, which will make you pay more.
There is not the cheapest personal loan interest rates. Less rate means that you pay something else. But we will always have to be close to our cheapest personal loan interest rate.