Money Monday: Before you get a loan, think.

13 Things to ask yourself to ask yourself before getting a loan

With going back to school on the horizon, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss what needs to happen before you decide to get a loan. Maybe you've been considering a loan for the upcoming school year, or for something else entirely. The questions below are brought to you by Caressa Davis, a fellow Spokester who represents Vantage Credit Union in St. Louis, MO. You can check out her blog on YoungFreeStLouis.com.

Take your time, do your research, and ask for help. You don't want to be stuck with something that was not in your best interest. Caressa asks us to ponder 13 different questions before you go get that loan:

  1. Do you need it? Like really, REALLY need it?
  2. How can I minimize the amount I need to borrow? 
    • try to raise some of the funds first
  3. Are there extra fees I might be charged?
  4. What is the interest rate?
  5. What is the security component?
    • secured vs unsecured
  6. What will my monthly pay out be?
  7. Can I afford the monthly payments?
  8. How long will the loan last?
  9. What’s the grace period for a late payment?
  10. What are the consequences of missing payments or defaulting?
  11. How fast can I pay it off?
    • keep in mind you can pay it off too fast for some loans
  12. How long will the loan process take?
  13. Am I getting this from the right financial institution?
    • there might be a better rates
    • some financial instituions are more likely to work with you, so take advantage of that!