Calculate Your Personal Loan Payments | Loan Rates Today


Combined with low rates, manageable terms, and a solid repayment plan, a personal loan can be an incredibly effective way to organize your finances.

No matter whether you are planning to use a personal loan towards a new purchase, home improvements, or to consolidate debt, it’s important to consider whether the loan will be manageable—and affordable—over time.

If you already have a personal loan, understanding the relationship between payments, interest, and the life of the loan can help you create an efficient financial plan to pay your loan off as soon as possible.



Loan Requirements

If you’re considering taking out a personal loan, you’ll want to have a good handle on what lenders are looking for.

Meeting these requirements not only means you have a higher chance of getting approved, but it also means that you could get a better interest rate and more flexible terms, making the loan more affordable overall.

While every lender is different, here is a quick overview of what lenders are generally looking for:

  • Credit score
  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Credit repayment history

Some online lenders will also look at outside factors, like education and a borrower’s career to assess eligibility for a loan.

According to Bankrate, this is because some jobs are considered more stable throughout a shifting economy, decreasing the perceived level of risk from lenders.

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Where to Find Personal Loans Today

Today, borrowers have plenty of options when choosing a lender for a personal loan.

Rates, terms, and overall affordability can vary greatly from one lender to the next, which makes exploring different options a key part of finding an affordable loan.

Banks

If you have an existing relationship with a local bank, you may want to check their loan rates. Establishing a positive lending relationship with a brick-and-mortar bank is great for those who prefer in-person meetings to discuss rates and terms.

With stricter requirements, however, new lenders may have difficulty taking out personal loans from large banks, especially those with less than ideal credit.

Online Lenders

Lending online is becoming incredibly popular, and many consumers find the best terms and lowest rates through online banks.

There are plenty of options when choosing between online lenders, including online-only banks, lending companies, or even peer-to-peer lending platforms. These lenders also offer the benefit of convenience.

Not only are loan applications easier to fill out, but they also tend to have the quickest response rates, meaning that you could potentially get an answer within hours.

Credit Unions

If you are a member of a credit union—or are eligible to become one—a credit union can be a great resource for personal loans.

Because credit unions tend to have lower operating costs, their personal loan products often have competitive rates and flexible terms.

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Paying Off Your Loan

If you’ve already taken out a personal loan and need to create a manageable financial plan, there are plenty of effective tools, resources, and payment methods to choose from.

Along with using the loan payment calculator above to assess the efficiency of your payments, consider using one of the payment methods below to decrease the cost of the loan:

Make Two Payments Each Month

If you commit to making payments twice a month, you will be actively decreasing the life of the loan and cutting back on interest fees.

Alternatively, you could simply double your minimum payment for the same effect—but for some, separating into two payments may work best with their payment schedule.

Round Up Payments

Rounding up your monthly payments is an easy way to start knocking down loan debt without making a huge dent in your budget.

For example, if you have a car loan for $256.58, you can easily round up to $300 to avoid making minimum monthly payments and start decreasing your interest cost.

It may not seem like much at first, but over time, using this method can really pay off—in the above example, rounding up results in paying an extra $528 each year.

Analyze Your Budget

Budgeting may seem complicated, but there are plenty of intuitive tools and programs to help you discover places to cut back on frivolous spending and make larger loan payments.

Free budgeting tools from Personal Capital and Mint can help you separate your spending into categories, making it easy to pinpoint areas for improvement.

If you notice that you are overspending in one category, make a commitment to cut back and apply those funds towards your loan instead.

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