Qualities of a Good Personal Loan: Low Fees, Immediate Funding

qualities good personal loan

Due diligence is vital for any loan you’re considering taking out, and this includes direct loan options like title loans and personal loans. As you do your research for a quality personal loan, for instance, there are several specific qualities of the loan that you should be prioritizing to ensure you get a good deal and aren’t being taken advantage of.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re happy to explain the details of any of our personal loans or other short-term loan types to clients who want to know more about them. As you’re evaluating your options here, what are some of the top things you should be looking for in your loan? This two-part blog will look at several considerations.

qualities good personal loan

Low (Or No) Fees

Fees will typically be part of the conversation when it comes to personal loans, but lenders vary pretty widely when it comes to how they’re used. Generally, the most common fee that usually can’t be avoided is the origination fee — this is just the fee a lender takes in exchange for processing your loan. Other possible fees might be things like late payment penalties, check processing charges or even something called a prepayment penalty (which is exactly what it sounds like: a fee you’re charged for paying off your loan early).

In an ideal situation, you want to avoid as many of these additional fees as possible. Many personal loans can be obtained for nothing more than a small origination fee (1-5% of the total) and don’t penalize you for prepaying, for example. You can check the fine print of any loan agreement to see what kinds of fees might apply.

Immediate Funding

Many people are taking out personal loans for immediate expenses, such as emergency home or car repairs. In these kinds of situations, you obviously don’t want to wait around for days or weeks to get the money you need — you want it as soon as possible.

The good news is that, in general, personal loans can be obtained pretty quickly after approval. At 1st Choice Money Center, for example, we can fund personal loans within 24 hours in most cases. Other lenders may have a similar timeline, or it could be even faster. It’s definitely something you’ll want to ask about when you’re considering different loan options.

In fact, many of our personal loans are funded on the very same day as the application is made. We take pride in offering quick funding for our clients because we know that when they need money, they need it fast.

For more on what you should be looking for in any personal loan you’re considering, or to learn about our personal loans, title loans and other installment loan types, speak to our team at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Idaho Debt-Free Habits: Cash, Savings, Tracking Spending

debt-free habits savings

In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked at some of the simple habits that debt-free people tend to take in their lives. For those dealing with debt issues, emulating some of these habits may be helpful for not only getting back on track financially, but also avoiding falling into a harmful debt cycle again in the future.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re happy to offer several quality short-term loans for those with debt needs in Idaho, including installment loans, title loans and other alternatives to harmful payday loans (which we do not offer). We also regularly offer clients tips and expertise on how to stay in good shape financially and avoid major debt obligations. Here are some of the other habits that debt-free people tend to have, and which you should consider adding to your life if you’re struggling with debt.

debt-free habits savings

Pay With Cash or Debit Where Possible

While utilizing your credit is sometimes a necessity, using it for everyday purchases is not a good idea if you’re trying to get out of debt. This will increase your debt and interest payments, putting you further behind.

Instead, think about using cash or your debit card for regular expenses like groceries, gas and entertainment. You can still use credit when needed, but make it a point to use it sparingly.

Try to Put Aside Money for Savings

Another habit of people who stay out of debt is saving money on a regular basis. It may be difficult to do if you’re already struggling to make ends meet, but even setting aside a small amount each month can help you in the long run.

An emergency fund is a good place to start, as it can help you cover unexpected expenses without having to put them on a credit card. Once you have an emergency fund in place, you can start working on other savings goals, like retirement.

Keep Track of Your Spending

It’s also important to be aware of your spending habits if you want to avoid getting into debt. People who stay out of debt typically keep close track of their finances, so they know where their money is going.

There are a number of ways to do this, including writing out your budget, tracking your expenses in a software program or even using a simple notebook. Find a method that works for you and make sure to keep an eye on your spending.

Create a Debt Repayment Plan

If you’re already in debt, one of the best things you can do is create a repayment plan. This will help you focus on paying off your debts and getting out of the hole you’re in.

Start by listing all of your debts, along with the interest rate and minimum payment for each one. Then, come up with a plan to focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Once that debt is paid off, you can move on to the next one.

Making these changes in your life won’t happen overnight, but they can make a big difference if you’re trying to get out of debt. If you need help getting started with debt reduction or related needs in any part of Idaho, contact 1st Choice Money Center today!

Debt-Free Habits: Budget, Credit Cards, Frugality

debt-free habits budget credit

At 1st Choice Money Center, many of our most-used services fall in the realm of debt reduction and related themes. Many clients utilize our personal loans, title loans and other alternatives to predatory payday loans as great methods of helping them pay off some immediate debt, and this is an area where we’re happy to offer tips and expertise to clients to assist them.

For many, the goal here is to slowly begin pulling themselves out of debt and, eventually, to reach a much more comfortable place in this regard. One theme that’s often important in such situations: Taking on the habits of debt-free people, and doing some of the same kinds of things they do to maintain that position. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over several ways you can do this.

debt-free habits budget credit

Stick to a Planned Budget

Budgets are a vital part of staying debt-free, but not all budgets are created equally. In fact, it’s often the unplanned or poorly executed budget that leads to debt problems in the first place. If you’re serious about reaching a debt-free state, then you need to sit down and create a budget that actually works for you – one that accounts for all of your regular expenses, leaves some room for incidentals and can be followed week in and week out without fail.

Part of this, of course, is getting creative with your spending and learning to cut costs where you can. But another big part is simply being mindful of your budget at all times and not letting yourself stray too far from it. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

Keeping Track of Credit Cards

For some, it can be easy to lose track of credit card balances and end up in debt that way. After all, it’s not like you get a bill for your credit card balance every month – you just have to keep an eye on it yourself.

The best way to do this, of course, is to avoid using credit cards altogether. But if you do need to use them from time to time, make sure you’re monitoring your balances carefully and paying them off in full as often as possible. That way, you can avoid paying interest and fees and keep yourself out of debt.

Avoiding Unnecessary Spending

The theme of frugality is one that comes up a lot when discussing debt-free living. And for good reason – it’s one of the most effective ways to stay out of debt and save money at the same time.

Frugality doesn’t mean you have to live like a hermit, of course. But it does mean being mindful of your spending and avoiding unnecessary purchases. If you can learn to do that, you’ll be in much better shape financially – and you’ll be well on your way to becoming debt-free.

For more on how to start taking on the habits of people with low or no debt, or to learn about how any of our instant funding loans or similar loan programs can help, speak to the team at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Paying Off Debts While Living Paycheck to Paycheck

paying debts living paycheck

For many people who are living on a paycheck to paycheck basis, debts you still have to pay off may seem insurmountable. With the right kind of management, though, you can find ways to pay down debt despite being relatively tight on your overall funds.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re proud to offer quality personal loans, title loans and installment loans that serve as great alternatives to predatory payday loans, which we steadfastly refuse to offer. Debt reduction is often a chief reason clients come to us for some quick cash needs, and we’re happy to not only provide this, but also to offer some general tips on money management and debt payment if you’re tight. Here are a few of the themes we recommend.

paying debts living paycheck

Evaluate Your Spending and Debt Habits

First and foremost, it’s important to get a handle on where all of your money is going. This means evaluating both your spending and your debt habits. Every month, make it a point to sit down and map out what you’re spending, as well as what you’re paying in terms of bills and other debts.

Once you have this data in front of you, it will be easier to spot trends and problem areas. From there, you can work on making changes to your spending and debt repayment habits.

Create a Debt Reduction Plan

Once you have a good idea of where your money is going, it’s time to start working on a plan to pay down your debts. The best way to do this is to create a budget and make debt reduction a priority.

Start by listing out all of your debts, including the interest rate, minimum payment and total balance. Then, focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Make the minimum payments on all of your other debts, but put any extra money you can towards the debt with the highest interest rate.

As you pay off each debt, you’ll have more money to put towards the next debt on your list. This will help you get out of debt faster and save money on interest in the long run.

Get Help From a Personal Loan

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, a personal loan can be a great way to get some extra cash to help you make a dent in your debt. At 1st Choice Money Center, we offer personal loans with competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms. We can work with you to find a loan that fits your needs and budget.

If you’re looking for a way to pay off debt and get your finances back on track, a personal loan from 1st Choice Money Center can be a great solution. We offer competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms to help you get back on your feet. Contact us today to learn more about our personal loan options.

Utah Home Upgrades on a Tight Budget: Needs, Long-Term, DIY

home upgrades tight budget

In parts one and two of this multi-part blog series, we’ve gone over some simple ways homeowners can go about upgrading their spaces even if they’re somewhat tight on funds. You can make real improvements to your home without huge costs in many cases, and knowing how to do so is vital if such upgrades are needed and you don’t have too much money available for them.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re happy to offer a variety of installment loan types that are perfect for those who need a quick infusion of cash, such as title loans offered to a variety of Utah clients. In today’s final entry into our series, we’ll look at a few more ways you can go about arranging upgrades or home improvements without breaking the bank.

home upgrades tight budget

Needs Over Desires

While it’s just fine to occasionally treat yourself to a little something extra, it’s important to be mindful of what kinds of changes or additions will actually improve your quality of life as opposed to those that are simply nice to have. It can be tough to stay disciplined in this way, but doing so will help ensure that you’re getting the most out of any money you do spend on upgrading your home.

Think Long-Term

When you’re considering making changes to your home, it’s important to think about how those changes will affect you not just now but also down the road. Will that new sofa be comfortable enough to last for years, or will it start to show its age after only a few months? It’s often worth spending a bit more upfront on items that will last longer, as they’ll save you money in the long run.

Do It Yourself

In some cases, it’s possible to take on home improvement projects yourself instead of hiring someone else to do them. This can obviously be a great way to save money, but it’s important to make sure you’re actually capable of completing the project before taking it on. There’s nothing worse than starting a job only to find out half-way through that you’re in over your head!

Utilize Government Programs

In some cases, there may be opportunities to take advantage of government programs that can help you with the costs of upgrading your home. These programs vary from place to place, so it’s worth doing some research to see what might be available to you.

For instance, if your home needs an energy upgrade, performing an energy audit may allow you subsequent discounts on certain energy-saving products.

Get a Loan

Last but not least, remember that taking out a loan can also be a great way to finance home upgrades without breaking the bank. At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re happy to offer a variety of installment loan types that are perfect for those who need a quick infusion of cash, with helpful and robust programs that offer great alternatives to predatory payday loans (which we do not offer).

For more on this subject, or to learn about any of our short-term loans for Utah clients, speak to the staff at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Home Upgrades on a Tight Budget: Renting, Trading, Shopping Around

home upgrades tight budget

In part one of this multi-part blog series, we looked at some of the ways homeowners go about upgrading their homes even if they have limited funds. It doesn’t necessarily take a fortune or even a significant amount of money to make some important upgrades to a given home — it just takes some know-how.

At 1st Choice Money Center, home upgrades are just one of many reasons why clients come to us for quick cash infusions in the form of personal loans, title loans and many other quality loans for people with bad credit. What are some other methods or themes you might consider if you’re looking to upgrade your space and don’t have a huge budget? Here are a few.

home upgrades tight budget

Borrowing and Renting

Where possible, instead of purchasing an item outright for your home, see if you can borrow it or rent it instead. This could be everything from lawn care equipment to larger tools or appliances you need for a one-time project.

The sharing economy has made this easier in recent years with companies such as Airbnb, but even beyond that there are plenty of ways to get items you need without necessarily owning them. For example, some companies will deliver and pick up large appliances for a fee.

You can also rent storage space as needed rather than purchasing a shed or other storage unit, which could be perfect if you’re in the middle of a decluttering project or are simply trying to find more space in your home.

Consider Trades

Especially if you have friends or acquaintances who work in home remodeling or upgrade industries, but even if not, it’s worth considering trade-offs for services or goods.

For example, if you’re good at mowing lawns but terrible at painting, see if you can work out a trade with someone who’s good at painting and could use help with their yard work. This could also be a great opportunity to build community and get to know your neighbors better.

The key is to be creative and to think outside the box when it comes to how you might acquire goods or services for your home without necessarily spending cash. By employing some of these methods, you can upgrade your home on a tight budget.

Shop Around

For any product or service you’re considering, it’s important to do your research and shop around before making a purchase. This is especially true when it comes to home improvement items and services.

There are often multiple options available for similar products, so take the time to compare prices and reviews before making a decision. In some cases, you may be able to find a cheaper or more effective option by doing a little bit of extra research.

The same goes for services such as home repairs or renovations. Get multiple quotes from different contractors before making a decision, and be sure to ask about any discounts that might be available.

For more on how to perform home upgrades even if you don’t have a large budget, or to learn about any of our installment loans or other quality short-term loans, speak to the team at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Home Upgrades on Tight Budget: Funding, Organization, DIY

There are a number of areas that become a bit more difficult when you’re on a tight budget, and upgrading your home is one of them. However, with the right basic approaches and a little financial assistance, this is a process you can carry out without much trouble at all.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re happy to provide clients with forms of immediate funding that can be ideal for needs like these, from personal loans to title loans and more — and we’re proud to offer helpful alternatives to predatory payday loans, which we refuse to traffic in. In this multi-part blog series, we’ll go over how to upgrade or remodel your home while on a tight budget.

Get Quick Funding

First and foremost, you should be aware of your options when it comes to securing the necessary funds for your home upgrade. If you don’t have the cash on hand, you may want to consider a personal loan or line of credit. These can be obtained relatively quickly and easily, and are often a more affordable option than a high-interest credit card.

We also offer things like title loans for those who need a little more time to pay back their loan. And unlike payday loans, our products come with no prepayment penalties, so you can get your home upgrade done without breaking the bank.

Cleaning and Organizing

One free approach that should be taken before starting any home upgrade project is cleaning and organizing the space. This will help you get a better idea of what work needs to be done, as well as making it easier to move around in the space.

It’s also a good opportunity to discard any items you no longer want or need, which can free up some extra cash for your project. Host a garage sale, or donate any items you can’t sell.

Consider Largest Impact First

Naturally, you’ll want to consider the most important changes or upgrades that your home requires. If you’re short on funds, it’s best to start with the projects that will have the largest impact.

For instance, fixing up the roof or windows can be a major undertaking, but they’ll also provide the most return on investment. Updating the plumbing or electrical system may not seem as important, but these projects are necessary for safety and can also save you money in the long run.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

When it comes to home upgrades, there’s always the option of doing the work yourself or hiring a professional. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s often best to hire a pro, as this will ensure the work is done correctly and to your satisfaction.

That said, there are some projects that can be DIYed relatively easily and cheaply, such as painting or basic repairs. Doing a bit of research online can help you decide which projects are best for a DIY approach.

In part two of our series, we’ll go over some more themes to consider here. For more on this, or to learn about any of our quality short-term loan products, speak to the team at 1st Choice Money Center today.

Signature Loans with Bad Credit: Can You Get Them?

Signature Loans with Bad Credit

If you have poor credit or no credit, your options in a financial emergency are somewhat limited. This leads to the common question of whether you can get signature loans with bad credit.

The short answer is that yes, bad credit personal loans for Idaho and Utah residents can include signature loans. That being said, not all lenders will offer this type of loan to those with poor credit. Take a closer look at what signature loans are and what they involve to better understand why the best lenders offer this type of personal loans in Utah.
Signature Loans with Bad Credit

What Are Signature Loans?

Signature loans are a type of unsecured personal loan. Because they are unsecured, you don’t have to use collateral to get the loan. This contrasts with secured loans, such as auto title loans in Utah. In fact, this is the biggest difference between signature and title loans in Utah and Idaho.

Instead of requiring collateral, you just sign a document for a signature loan. This is where the name comes from.

To make up for the fact that your signature loan is unsecured and doesn’t require collateral, you should expect to have a higher interest rate. This is because lenders commonly increase the interest rate on a loan as a way to reduce their risk if you do not pay. At the same time, unsecured loans are riskier than secured ones. In other words, while you won’t have to put your car, home, or other expensive item as collateral for these types of small personal loans Utah, you should expect a slightly higher interest rate. Even so, the rates should be less than those for payday loans in Utah.

Are Signature Loans Called Anything Else?

You may also hear signature loans called by a few other names, including:

  • Personal loans(or unsecured personal loans)
  • Good faith loans
  • Character loans

What to Expect from a Signature Loan with Bad Credit

When you apply for a signature loan, two of the biggest factors affecting your interest rate will be your income and credit. This means that while you can get one of these loans with poor credit, you should expect to have a higher interest rate than someone with good credit would. Remember that by charging a higher interest rate, the lender offsets their risk somewhat.

If you need bad credit personal loan in Utah or Idaho but have a good income, your income may mean that your interest rate is more competitive.

Not All Lenders Will Offer Them

It is also important to note that while you can get a signature loan with bad credit, it will depend on the lender. Many see poor credit as too high of a risk and will refuse any loan. Others will only refuse unsecured loans to those with bad credit and offer car title loans or other secured ones.

1st Choice Money Center proudly offers signature loans without credit checks. As such, we accept you regardless of your credit situation. Contact us today to start the process of applying for your loan.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Pros and Cons of Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is simply the process of combining two or more debts into a larger single one. This works best for consumers dealing with high-interest debts. The New York Federal Reserve claims that the average loans in the US including exceeded $14.9 trillion.

Most of these Americans do not know how to manage these debts and have to look towards other options to manage their finances. Some of the most common methods they use include taking assistance from creditors to manage their loans or using a home equity line or home equity for debt consolidation. However, going for debt consolidation has its pros and cons. Let us take a look at them.

Pros and Cons of Debt Consolidation

Pros of Debt Consolidation

Following are some of the pros of debt consolidation.

Faster Debt Payment

Most credit cards do not have a set date for repaying debt which can cause debtors to get stuck in a loop. Debt consolidation has a starting and ending point, allowing the debtors to know how long it will take to repay the debt. Additionally, it also provides them with safe monthly or interval payments according to the agreement.

Simpler Finances

Debt consolidation allows debtors to convert multiple debts into a single one which makes the finances simpler. They do not have to worry about paying multiple interests, loan installments, or meeting deadlines. Rather they can easily make payments by keeping a single consolidated debt.

Lower Interest Rates

The average interest rate is 16%, whereas the personal loan in Utah ranges around 11% on average. Interest rates vary according to different factors, tone of which could be bad credit personal loans in Utah. That said, debtors with good credit scores to get lower interests and easier payments.

Cons of Debt Consolidation

Following are some of the cons of debt consolidation.

Up Front Costs

There is always a chance that a consolidated debt may come with a loan fee. These loan amounts are a flat payment amount and can include the following:

  • Annual fees.
  • Balance transfer fees.
  • Closing costs.
  • Loan origination fees.

Therefore, anyone going for debt consolidation should keep an eye on the terms of the consolidation and check the fee for the service as well.

Higher Payment Rates

Debt consolidation may also require making larger payments than you were first paying for the separate debts. There are various reasons for this, for example, bad credit personal loans in Utah are the biggest reason why debtors have to pay extra. Therefore, it is essential to double-check all the factors of your loan before making a decision.

You cannot Miss Payments

Missing payments on a consolidated debt can make things worse. The interest amount and the payment structure are fixed in the consolidated debts and debtors need to pay on time. Missing out on payments makes debtors pay higher amounts, increasing financial instability.

Bottom Line

Debt Consolidation is a good way to merge your debts efficiently. However, you should keep in mind that these debts require a lot of vigilance in terms of setting the terms and the payment structure. We suggest you check out 1st Choice Money Center for more info and assistance with your debt consolidation. We will help you out.

Credit Card Debt Negotiation: Possible Outcomes for Utah Clients

credit card debt negotiation outcomes

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic tips on how to negotiate debt with your credit card company. This is one method some people may take if their credit debt is piling up, allowing both sides to work together toward a realistic solution.

At 1st Choice Money Center, we’re proud to offer a variety of loans for clients struggling with debt, including Utah signature loans, title loans, and several other quality alternatives to predatory payday loans. We’ll also offer you basic expertise and insight on managing your debt, including on negotiation with credit card companies. Here are some additional tips and options to consider in this realm.

credit card debt negotiation outcomes

Workout Agreement

During a workout agreement, your credit card company agrees to reduce your interest rate, waive or lower your payment, and/or eliminate late penalties as part of a new, approved plan. They may extend your due date, allowing you to make payments more frequently. This can be most helpful if you cannot afford the minimum due on your card each month, or if you’ve had a period of unemployment and are now struggling with payments (rates will vary).

Only use this option as a last resort; not everyone qualifies for these terms.

Hardship Agreement

For people who cannot make credit card payments due to illness, job loss, natural disasters or other forms of hardship, a hardship agreement may be a possible solution. This allows you to suspend your payments for a specific period of time, with the interest and fees still accruing on the balance. There are a few different ways this may be done, including the credit company lowering minimum payments for some period or extending the due date. A hardship may be granted for anywhere from 6 months to 12 months, in most cases.

In this case, you must send a letter explaining your situation to the company and include documentation of your illness or loss (e.g., doctor statement) notifying them of an expected recovery period. After your suspension ends, your interest rate will be in effect, but your credit card payments may be lowered or modified.

Budgeting and Documentation

After you’ve completed an agreement with your creditor, you should start budgeting to reduce future debt. This can be done through creating month-to-month spending plans which include an itemized list of all recurring costs (utility bills, rent/mortgage, groceries, etc.). If you have a partner or spouse who is living with you, this step will be important for them to help keep track of expenses.

In addition to budgeting methods, documentation should also be gathered from all parties involved regarding the agreement terms. The credit card company may require copies of your statements or paycheck stubs to ensure you are fulfilling the terms of your new contract.

For more on negotiations with a credit card company, or to learn about any of our installment loans or other short-term loan options in Utah, speak to the staff at 1st Choice Money Center today.