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When to consider a personal loan

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

While many of us try to save for moments when a car breaks down or a large appliance needs to be replaced, sometimes there just isn't enough money available when you need it most. It is during these times that we might be tempted to take out a personal loan, but one must always consider the purpose of a personal loan and whether it is the right choice for the purpose you have in mind. Taking out this type of loan must be wisely justified and taken out responsibly, but many of us don’t know what type of circumstances would make a personal loan the kind of loan to consider. Check these points off to figure out if a personal loan should or shouldn’t be considered.

 

Necessity

 

The first thing to consider is whether the expense is a need or a want. A personal loan should only ever be considered if the purchase will help get you back on track with daily living. If for example, your car needs a major repair that will cost more than you can currently afford but without the car you are unable to do your job properly, the personal loan will help you get back to your all-important daily tasks so that you can continue to earn money.

 

On the other hand, if your sound system packs up and you can’t listen to your favourite tunes when you get home from work, you might not be able to unwind as much as you’d like to after a tough day at the office, but you can live without the sound system. In this situation you can wait until you can afford to purchase a new system in a few months, or even a year’s time. Think seriously about whether the item can be lived without or not in your immediate future.

 

Personal investment

 

Personal loans need not be taken out just for physical items, but can also be considered if you’re planning on embarking on a bit of personal investment. Whether you want to start a new degree or diploma, or upskill yourself with a short course, a personal loan can be used to pay for the fees if you are unable to do so yourself.

 

What many don’t realise, is that there are salary limits on qualifying for a student loan. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for example, does not accept anyone whose combined household income is more than R350,000 per year. This makes a personal loan the next option. Educating yourself further is an investment in your future, and even your children’s future if you have a family, and taking out a personal loan to kickstart the investment is a justifiable reason.

 

Affordability

 

A personal loan should only be considered seriously if you are comfortably able to afford the monthly payments. This takes a bit of conversing with relevant authorised financial service providers, but will prove fruitful if you can find an option to suit your budget. If you take a look at your budget and the repayments will leave you out of pocket, then it is not a reasonable option.

 

Research is the best way to find an affordable option for yourself, but beware, if the lender you have approached is offering you a quick loan with high interest rates, it’s possible they are not an authorized service provider. According to Maya Fisher-French, personal finance journalist, “My advice would be for consumers to be vigilant in managing their financial affairs, especially when it comes to “too good to be believed” offers. Often these offers require upfront payments that end with the lender disappearing without a trace and the consumer robbed of their hard-earned money.

 

While taking out a loan is a big financial decision, you can ensure that you do so responsibly. If you require the help of a personal loan, and you’ve spoken to an authorised financial services provider you can get the most out of the situation to ensure your day to day living situation is maintained or even enhanced.