Borrowing money may be an expected part of running a household, but it’s still an enormous decision that may impact your finances for years to come. You want to get it right to ensure the best for your financial future.
If you’re thinking about getting a fast cash loan today, you’re probably facing down a big expense you can’t afford on your own.
Is that all you need to give yourself the go-ahead to borrow?
Maybe, maybe not. You need to get some perspective on your finances before committing to fast cash online, so ask yourself these five questions first.
1. Is it Something You Need?
Step number one: ask yourself if you truly need to make the purchase in question. Is it something that you can’t live without on a fundamental level? Understanding the differences between your needs and wants can help you answer this question honestly.
While you may need to replace a flat tire for the car you drive to work every day, upgrading your vehicle before you’ve paid it off is a luxury you can live without.
2. Is it Urgent?
Need isn’t the only motivator for borrowers. Urgency comes in as a close second. After all, it dictates how quickly you need to find cash. If there’s no time limit on when you have to fix your car, you can realistically put off repairs until you’ve saved up enough money.
However, if your car is the only way you can get to work, you may have to repair it ASAP, regardless of your finances.
3. How Much Will it Cost to Borrow?
Cash advances, installment loans, credit cards and lines of credit all cost money. Every lender charge interest and fees on top of the amount you borrow.
When you borrow money, the cost of fixing your car won’t equal the quote provided by your mechanic. You also have to factor in how rates and fees will increase what you owe.
4. What’s Your Credit Score?
Your credit score is often one of the biggest factors determining your rates and terms. People with good or excellent credit easily qualify for lower rates and fees, but a low credit score flags you as a potential risk to some lenders.
While some lenders may deny you outright, others may increase their fees to reflect the risk you represent. While not all online loans direct lenders will follow risk-based pricing, you’ll almost always pay more to borrow when you have subprime credit.
5. Do You Have Room in Your Budget?
Perhaps the most important question closes this guide. Can you afford to cover your scheduled repayments on time?
Understanding what kind of online loan, you’re borrowing can help you answer this. Some fast cash arrives in the form of a payday cash advance, which means you’ll have to pay it all back at once — usually by your next payday.
Other online loans with monthly payments spread out payments over multiple weeks or months, so you pay a fraction of what you owe on a regular schedule. Depending on your lender and credit, online loans with monthly payments may still come with a high cost, but their payment schedules may be easier to handle than a lump-sum setup.
Borrowing money isn’t a decision you should make off the cuff. It’s something you should only do after careful introspection. Answer these questions and refer to your budget to make sure fast cash loans are right for you.