Tips for Paying Down Various Loan Types in a Speedy Manner, Part 2

Business man writing a check

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic tips on paying down a loan debt quickly. There are many reasons why borrowers want to pay down their loans as fast as they can, from saving money on interest to improving their credit score and other areas of their finances.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we proudly offer a wide range of installment loan services, signature loans and title loans that serve as a better alternative to potentially predatory payday loans. Whether you’ve taken out one of our loan types or any other available to you, let’s go over a few additional methods at your disposal if your primary goal is to pay the loan back as quickly and efficiently as you can.

Lower Interest Rate Loan Conversion

In some cases, you’ll have been paying various loan or credit debts down properly for long enough that your credit score will improve as a result. In such situations, your score might have even improved enough for you to qualify for a new loan – one that covers the same amount you still owe, but comes in at a lower interest rate.

With this approach, you can instantly pay down the remaining balance on the higher-interest loan, assuming the new lower-interest loan moving forward. With lower interest rates, your ability to pay down the loan faster should improve, especially if you’re taking the savings and applying them directly to the principal of your new loan.

Additional Income

Whenever you receive additional income beyond that from your primary occupation, use it to pay down your loan. Whether this income from a gift, a tax refund or a work bonus, you’re unlikely to miss this money as part of your daily needs – so why not use it to build your overall financial profile and improve your credit?

Part-Time Work

Another potential source of additional income here: Taking on a secondary part-time job if it’s possible within your schedule. This approach has two direct positive impacts – you earn extra money that can be used to pay down the loan, for starters, but you also spend a greater percentage of your time working rather than in situations where you might spend money. You may not think that $8 movie ticket is really that great an expense, and on its own it isn’t, but those kinds of purchases add up over time if you’re making them regularly. Cutting back on those sorts of things by filling your time with work kills two metaphorical birds with a single stone, so it’s something to consider if it’s realistic within your daily timeline.

For more on methods for paying down debts quickly, or to learn about any of our title loans, signature loans or bad credit loan options, speak to the staff at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Tips for Paying Down Various Loan Types in a Speedy Manner, Part 1

Hand pushing blue pay keyboard button

For every loan type out there, from smaller installment loans to the largest mortgages or car loans out there, borrowers are always looking for ways to pay down their balances faster. The quicker you can pay down a given loan, the less interest you pay over its life and the faster you can resume directing funds toward other needs.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re proud to offer a variety of installment loans, from car title loans to signature loans and several other great alternatives to potential predatory payday loans. No matter which loan type you’re repaying, what are some handy ways to improve your pace and pay down a loan faster? This two-part blog will dig into several suggestions we can offer.

Understanding Details and Terms

For starters, it’s extremely important to spend time reading through all the details and terms of your loan before signing anything. You’re looking for a number of different areas, from the interest percentage being paid to the format used to calculate interest versus principal balance. A few specific areas to keep an eye on:

  • Repayment terms: In most loan situations, your loan repayment terms will be calculated using simple interest, where your monthly payment and its interest are just based on the loan’s outstanding balance. If this is your format, you’ll have fewer interest payments to cover.
  • Extra payment application: If you make any extra payments toward your loan, be sure to specify that the payments go toward the principal balance, not the interest.
  • Penalties: Some lenders have prepayment penalties that raise a fee to compensate for interest payments they do not receive if you pay the loan down too quickly. Ask any lender in advance whether this is the case, and consider how this may impact your choice.

Bi-Weekly Payments

Most loans are paid back on a monthly basis, and here’s a handy trick for those making such payments: Instead of making a single monthly payment, make bi-weekly payments instead that add up to the same monthly amount. In the short-term, you’ll barely notice a difference – most months are around four weeks long anyway.

But over a period of time, you’ll actually be making 26 full-sized payments over the course of the year, rather than just 24. For long-term loans like mortgages, this sort of approach can save you significant interest and pay your loan off much faster.

“Snowballing”

If you have multiple debts you’re currently paying down, you should strongly consider a tactic known as snowballing. This is where you take all the funds you have available for debt payment for a given month, then apply them singularly to the highest-interest repayment you’re making (with the exception of minimum amounts required for other loan balances). This will help you limit your interest over time while paying down the most significant debts first.

For more tactics for repaying loans faster, or to learn about any of our installment loan products, speak to the staff at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Comparing Signature Loans to Title Loans

looking at loan agreement

For those in need of some quick cash to help solve a temporary financial bind of any sort, there are a few prominent options out there. Two such options, perhaps the most common in the installment loan world, are known as signature loans and title loans.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re proud to offer both signature and title loans as installment loan options, alternatives to harmful, predatory payday loans you might find elsewhere. How do these options compare and differ, and which might be right for your situation? Here’s a primer to help you understand.

Secured and Unsecured Loans

The loan realm contains two broad loan types:

  • Secured loans: Those where the amount being borrowed is directly protected by collateral, whether monetary or in the form of property. The borrower puts up an asset of value that protects the lender in cases of nonpayment – in these situations, the lender takes the collateral for themselves if the loan is not repaid according to the conditions laid out.
  • Unsecured loan: An unsecured loan involves no collateral in the equation, on the flip side. For this reason, most lenders offering unsecured loans will have to take higher interest rates and fees to make up for the increased risk they’re taking on by giving this loan out with no collateral. In nearly all cases, then, unsecured loans will come with higher rates than equivalent secured loans.

Title Loans

Car title loans, then, are a great example of a secured loan type. The collateral in each of these cases is the vehicle title being used by the borrower, which has value and allows the lender to take a bit of risk when loaning out the money.

Because of this, title loan rates will generally be relatively favorable – the more valuable the vehicle, the better the rates. Title loans can also reach much higher amounts than other installment loan types in many cases, due mostly to the high value of vehicles on the market.

Signature Loans

Signature loans, on the other hand, are unsecured loans in nearly all cases. They do not require any specific collateral, only a signature. This can be great for certain people in a rough position where they don’t have much collateral to give, but still need some emergency funds.

On the flip side, though, they tend to come with higher interest rates. These can be mitigated somewhat if you have a good credit score, which the lender will check in advance, or if you have a cosigner to assist you.

To learn more about the differences between signature and title loans, or for information on which might be best for you, speak to the staff at 1st Choice Money Center today.

How Short-Term Loans Benefit College Students

Class Of University Students Using Laptops In Lecture

If you’re an upcoming college student, or the parent of one, did you realize that the average single-year cost of a four-year college in the US is above $26,000? Funding college or university attendance has never been tougher, even for parents and students who have been saving for years.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re here to offer an alternative that benefits many students: Short-term loans, from installment loans and title loans to signature and personal loans. We offer several such options, all of which include details like principal and interest payments that separate us from predatory payday loan formats. Let’s look at traditional forms of financial aid for college, how they can sometimes fall short, and how short-term loans will help bridge the gap if you or your child is in need.

College Expenses and Standard Financial Aid

The expenses incurred by attending college are significant. On top of heavy tuition costs, you have to consider housing, dining, book and technology costs, and day-to-day living expenses that are sure to add up.

The primary source of aid for these numerous expenses is a traditional Federal student loan, which is combined with personal savings, scholarships and any grants awarded to help cover the sums required. But even between all these options, many students find themselves reaching their limits for financial aid well before they’ve actually covered every expense in front of them.

Short-Term Loans for Additional Expenses

In cases like these, many students are turning to strong short-term loans to help make up the cost. These loans contain types that require little or no credit history, a valuable factor for younger adults who haven’t been able to build up much credit just yet.

In many cases, the forms of financial aid we listed above do well with covering the primary expenses like tuition and food – but fall short in certain additional detail areas. We’re talking things like computers, books, class fees, and all the other little expenses that add up over time.

Areas Covered

Here are several areas where short-term loans can be enormously helpful to college students struggling with their expenses:

  • Books and supplies: Between textbooks and backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils, calculators and any other items you need, supplies can add up to thousands of dollars in a hurry. Many students need to purchase a printer, which is another additional expense.
  • Household items: Things like towels, sheets, desks, chairs and others.
  • Day-to-day items: Things like groceries, clothes, laundry, toiletries and healthcare all have to be considered as well.
  • School fees: Areas such as lab fees, school activity fees and others cover things like parking passes, gym access and free attendance to university sporting events.

For more on how short-term loans can assist college students with overwhelming expenses, or to learn about any of our title loans or other short-term options, speak to the staff at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Ensuring a Clean Title for Auto Equity Title Loans

Auto Loan Application Form with a pen on a wooden desk

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re proud to offer several loan types that help people who need a quick boost to get back up on their feet. One of the most effective such programs we offer is the auto equity title loan, one offered to both Idaho and Utah borrowers, a fantastic and more beneficial alternative to payday loans.

In a car title loan situation, you put up the title of your vehicle and the car itself as collateral against the loan amount we’re lending you – up to $10,000 in most cases. Because vehicles are often worth significantly more than the $1,500 you can get from certain other similar loan types, the car title loan is enormously valuable for people who need larger sums.

While they’re rare, there are a few title issues that may be present on your vehicle that prevent you from being able to post it as collateral in a loan. Here are these potential issues, and what you can do about them.

Physical Title Document

Perhaps the most common title issue we see regularly is potential borrowers who simply have lost or misplaced the title. It’s vital to remember that a car’s title is a real, physical document that must be with you in the vehicle for several purposes, including if you’re planning to use the car as collateral on a loan.

These aren’t even the only issues you may run into if your title isn’t in the car, either. Ownership issues often crop up when this is the case, potentially creating several other hassles. Luckily, if you realize you’ve misplaced your title, your local motor vehicle office should be able to get you a replacement (assuming you are truly the legal owner of the car, of course).

Title Fraud Issues

Another potential issue with your car’s title is title fraud, which unfortunately is somewhat common in the vehicle industry. This is a process often performed by a shady used car dealer or a tricky previous owner, one where the title is scrubbed of previous issues that may have taken place with the car, such as accidents, major repairs or other potential safety hazards.

In many cases, title fraud is found when you’re dealing with less-than-reputable dealers or individual sellers. To avoid this, only deal with legitimate businesses when it comes to every area of your vehicle, including purchasing a new or used one.

Improper Transfer

Finally, you may run into one of several paperwork- or detail-related areas when it comes to taking possession of a vehicle you’ve purchased. Once again, this often takes place with shady dealers or sellers – it’s quite rare with reputable dealers. In certain extreme cases, the entire vehicle transaction may be voided due to improper transfer practices, meaning you won’t be able to put the vehicle up as collateral.

For more on the potential title issues that could block you from using your vehicle in a title loan, or to learn about our signature loans, installment loans or any of our other choices, speak to the staff at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Understanding Simple Loan Terms for Various Types

hands holding magnifying glass reading terms and conditions of loan agreement

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re proud to offer numerous loan products that can help you get some quick cash to remove yourself from a financial bind. From signature loans and personal loans to title loans and other choices, we have several robust alternatives to payday loans – potentially predatory loan options that often hurt borrowers more than they help.

Within any of our possible loan options, it’s important to understand what a few very basic terms mean. This kind of understanding will help you navigate all the important elements of any loan type, whether short- or long-term. Here are some basics to go over.

Collateral

Anytime you’re being lent money, the group or agency lending you that money needs to have some kind of value put up as an insurance policy in case you can’t pay the money back. A very simple example here would be a car title loan, in which case the collateral is the vehicle in question – if the loan is not repaid within the agreed-upon terms and time periods, the vehicle will be repossessed by the financial institution that made the loan.

In many cases, including the example above, the collateral itself doesn’t have to actually be given to receive the loan – it’s just agreed upon (generally in writing) that the collateral will be transferred in cases where the loan isn’t paid back.

Principal and Interest

These terms are grouped together because they are linked and relate to each other. Principal refers to the original amount borrowed from the lender, while the interest is the extra percentage you pay said lender to lend you the money. Interest rates for loans will vary widely depending on the type of loan you receive and the amounts involved, among other factors.

Default

If a loan agreement is broken by the borrower, whether due to late payments, missing payments or some other issue, this is called a default. This is considered a very bad word to hear in any loan situation, and a circumstance you never want to find yourself in. If you’re concerned about defaulting, speak to a loan officer about what your options are.

Lien

We discussed collateral above, and the lien is just the document that manages this area. It ensures that in a case of default, the collateral will become the property of the lender instead of the borrower. When a loan is repaid successfully, however, the unused lien will end.

Balloon Payment

A balloon payment refers to a larger payment or two that typically come near the end of a loan, payments where both interest and remaining principal balances are often being paid. One of the reasons payday loans are to be avoided is the propensity for them to end up in balloon payment situations, which can be avoided with many other loan types as long as you plan and budget properly.

For more on important loan terms to understand, or to learn about any of our signature or title loan options, speak to the staff at 1st Choice Money Center today.