Are you struggling to pay back your personal loans? Paying off your personal loans can be daunting but there are several strategies and options to extend or postpone your loans - including deferment, forbearance & installments. Compare payment plans, consolidation and refinancing options. Learn how paying off your personal loans faster can save on the total cost of your loan. Paying off loans early is not always the optimal strategy, but to decide what is best in your case, evaluate how you benefit from debt, and compare those benefits to the cost of keeping loans in place.
Table of Contents
1. What Happens If You Don't Pay Back the Loan
2. How to Pay Back Your Personal Loan Early
3. How Paying Back A Loan Affects Your Credit Score
4. What to Do When You Can't Pay Back The Loan
5. Paying Back the Loan Means Knowing How Loans Work
6. How Much Money You Need to Pay Back The Loan
Are you struggling to pay back your personal loans? Paying off your loans can be daunting, but there are several strategies and options to extend or postpone your loans, including deferment, forbearance & installments. Compare payment plans, consolidation, and refinancing options. Learn how paying off your loans faster can save on the total cost of your loan. Early payment off loans is not always the optimal strategy, but to decide what is best in your case, evaluate how you benefit from debt, and compare those benefits to the cost of keeping loans in place.
When applying for personal loans, it's important to always abide by the terms of the loan agreement: your minimum monthly payment is based on the type of loan, the amount you owe, the length of your repayment plan, and your interest rate.
Do you want to learn how to make payments, set up a loan repayment schedule, and get help to pay back your personal loans? Read these topics before signing a loan contract.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T PAY BACK THE LOAN
If you default on a personal loan, there are many ways a lender can make your financial life miserable. So, if you cannot make your loan payments, take immediate action to minimize the damage and preserve your credit scores.
Attention! If you miss a loan payment, you will get a brief letter from the lender expressing their disappointment and hoping you get back on track before your loan goes into default.
How Can a Lender Do If You Default on a Loan?
When you default on a loan, there are many options a lender can do that are bad for you, in that they can create significant damage to your credit score and your finances for many years to come. Here are the biggest ones:
- They can add late fees to your debt – If you miss a payment, the first thing that will happen is you get hit with a late fee. In other words, the lender will add an extra amount of money to what you already owe them. Refer to your loan agreement or the lender’s website to find the exact amount that will be added to your next payment. The late fees are irreversible, but if your payments get back on track, you’re unlikely to suffer any consequences as long as your payment is less than a week overdue. Otherwise, there is a chance that your credit score will decrease. It applies to all types of loans, including payday loans in one hour.
- They can send your account to debt collectors – In case of failure to pay back a loan, the lender may wait a month, but after that, your account may end up in collections, which is in no way a pleasant process. They will demand that you repay the loan immediately and in full. Collections agents tend to be very demanding and aggressive people who call and send letters incessantly.
- They will report the default to the credit reporting agencies – They often do this even before the account goes into default. When that happens, your credit score will drop, and it can take many years to undo that damage.
- They can sue you – Most loan documents specify that the lender has the right to take you to court to recover any money you owe them. This will multiply the effect on your credit score.
- They can also create a tax obligation on your part – If you default on a loan, in some cases, the lender can write off all or a part of the loan and issue you a 1099-C IRS form for that amount, which will count as taxable income, thus increasing your tax bill.
It Can Ruin Your Credit for Years
Important Let's face facts: if you don't pay off a loan, there are many ways a lender can make your financial life uncomfortable. Your reputation will take a hit, as will your credit score. Interest rates will go up for you considerably in the future, and you may even find bankruptcy the only way out. It could take a decade or more to negate the effects of not paying back a loan.
Please learn more below.
HOW TO PAY BACK YOUR PERSONAL LOAN EARLY
Why paying back a loan early can be a good option for you? When you have extra money available, paying off a debt you owe is often a good idea. Take everything into consideration, since some loans may include a pre-payment penalty.
Living with debt is one of the most stressful experiences anyone can have. Though it can sometimes feel like a long slog, paying off all of your debts and loans will create a brighter financial future. Of course, in many, if not most, cases, it's possible to pay off a loan early. In that case, you should do so, as it will not only make you feel better as each debt is paid off, but it will allow to take control on your money, thus strengthening your finances.
The Benefits of Paying Off a Personal Loan Early
In addition to being a huge load off your shoulders, paying off a personal debt has a few advantages:
- Save on interest. You can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in accrued interest in the long run.
- Access more cash. Once you’re debt-free, you don’t have to set aside a portion of your monthly budget for loan payments, which will most likely improve your quality of life.
- Qualify for another loan. If you need to take out another loan, for example, a cash advance, you can improve your odds of receiving a better offer by paying off your current loan early because this reduces your debt-to-income ratio. Moreover, you may have no other choice since many lenders prohibit you from having more than one loan at each moment of time.
How to Pay Back a Loan Early
There are several methods you can use to pay off a loan early. You can make larger monthly payments, or you can make multiple payments every month.
If it is possible, you can pay the balance of the loan in a single lump sum. However, while all of these will work, you should take a close look at the fine print in your loan contract for a better understanding of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, since some loans may include a pre-payment penalty.
Information While paying off a debt early seems not so challenging, there are also some considerations to be made before you decide to do so. For example, some types of loans come with tax advantages that you may lose when you pay off the loan early. As noted, sometimes the pre-payment penalty, if there is one, may be higher than the interest payments you'll save by paying everything off early.
More Tips to Pay Off a Personal Loan Faster
Dealing with monthly loan payments can be a financially and mentally challenging task. So, it's understandable if you want to get rid of your debt as fast as possible. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
- Be smart about your payments. Every time a payment is due, round up the amount to the nearest $50 or even $100 so that you can pay a bit more each month. Also, rather than making one or two payments each month, switch to a biweekly schedule. This way, you can make 26 payments (as opposed to 24) in one year. Finally, in case you come across some unexpected cash like an inheritance, it’s a good idea to make one large payment, but you need to communicate with your lender to ensure that it goes toward your loan balance, not the interest.
- Look for a better deal. Some lenders are willing to offer discounts on your interest rate if you go paperless or opt-in for automatic payments. Moreover, after a series of on-time payments, you may be able to negotiate a better interest rate.
- Find opportunities to save more money. You can also try to save more during the month so that you can make larger payments. Start with your spare cash, and then try to cut unnecessary costs. Selling unwanted items online is an option too.
Remember that these recommendations are only useful provided that your lender does not apply additional charges for paying off your personal loan early and that you have enough money to cover your living expenses.
When Should I Avoid Paying Off My Loan Early?
Check Your Interest Rates and compare them to the rates on the other debts. If you have several credit cards with interest rates much higher than the loan, instead of paying off the loan early by making double payments, it may make more sense to use the extra money to pay your higher interest debt first.
Paying off debt as soon as you can is always a great idea, but sometimes there are better ways to get it done. Factor in everything before you decide to pay off a loan early. An early loan payoff is not advisable in the following situations:
- You will be charged a high early repayment penalty. If your lender charges early repayment penalties, compare those penalties to the total amount you would save on interest by paying off your loan early. Only consider an early payoff if you stand to save considerably. There are online tools that help you calculate how early you can pay off your loan.
- You don’t have a long credit history. First-time borrowers and those with low credit scores (perhaps due to a history of loan default) can build (or re-establish) their scores in order to qualify for more favorable rates in the future.
- You can save your money. If you’re currently comfortable with making monthly payments, instead of considering an early payoff, you should deposit your extra cash into an interest-earning savings account so that you won’t have to apply for a new loan after paying off your current one.
- You can invest your money. Instead of a savings account, you can consider other financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, or even real estate to generate more profits, albeit with more risk, possibly.
HOW PAYING BACK A LOAN AFFECTS YOUR CREDIT SCORE
Given the fact that payment history is the number one factor in credit scoring, many borrowers wonder how new loans (and existing debts) affect credit scores. Before you pay off a loan, consider what it will mean for your credit history.
One thing to keep in mind when you are thinking about your credit history and how to improve your credit score is to pay attention to the details. Some people let their credit score drive their financial decision-making, instead of thinking about what's best for them and their finances. Remember that keeping control of your finances drives your credit score and not the other way around.
Will Paying Back A Loan Early Affect your Credit Score?
If you are considering paying back a loan early, consider the effect on your current and future financial situation.
For example, if any other accounts are behind, it may be better for your finances to catch those up before you consider paying off that loan. The same is true if you are carrying a credit card debt. That is an expensive form of debt, and paying it off could have a more positive impact on your credit score than paying off a loan early.
The easy answer as to how paying off your loan will affect your credit score depends on your loan amount and fees. Credit scoring companies prefer credit card balances that are near zero, and they will be more impressed if you pay off accounts that are in collection or that have been charged off. In other words, the impact of paying off a loan one your credit score will depend significantly on what else is in your credit portfolio and report.
How to Maximize Your Credit Score
A case could be made that paying off your loan might have less of an effect than keeping the loan off and making your scheduled payments every month. Demonstrating that you can handle the payments will do more to improve your score than simply eliminating the debt.
Credit scoring models provide greater compensation to consumers who make ongoing, timely payments for the length of a personal loan. Moreover, they pay closer attention to the first 12-24 months, so it may be better for your credit score to make payments for the life of the loan and pay it off naturally than to pay it off prematurely.
With respect to credit scores, many people ask, "how does a personal loan affect credit score?" To answer this question, we should consider both positive and negative effects.
How a Personal Loan Can Help Your Credit
Most notably, personal loans can boost your credit score by diversifying your credit mix since they are considered installment loans, which are different from credit card debt. Installment loans are not included in your credit utilization ratio, so technically, it's possible to pay off credit card debt by taking out a personal loan. In addition, making regular payments can establish a positive history and, in turn, increase your credit score.
How Personal Loans Can Hurt Your Credit
You should also consider the downsides of personal loans. Firstly, every time you apply for a personal loan, a hard inquiry is added to your credit report, which lowers your credit score. This negative effect tends to last for several months. So, if you're shopping around for a good deal on a personal loan, make sure you submit all your applications during a two-week period. Secondly, you get into debt, and there is always a risk of failure to pay back a loan. Finally, bear in mind that taking out a personal loan has additional costs such as organization fees and potential late fees.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU CAN'T PAY BACK THE LOAN
Everyone faces money-related issues, when financial constraints have a not very pleasant impact on daily life. Look for the best approach when being unable to make payments on your loan. It is important to understand your next steps and find possible solutions.
Facing Financial Difficulties
Sometimes it is very difficult to pay back a loan. No one likes it and it is very stressful, but you have to deal with it, or a lot of bad things can happen. These can include:
- Loan default.
- Sending your loan to collections.
- Reporting the default to a credit agency, both of which can hurt your credit score.
- They may even take you to court and get a judgment against you, which could hurt in many ways.
As soon as you get that first delinquency notice on your loan, you should take steps to prevent a default.
One possible solution is to lay out your debts in front of you and set some priorities over others. You may also find it possible to pay off one or more of your more expensive debts, thus freeing up money and making it easier to prevent default on your personal loan.
Be Up-Front with the Lender
Advice The best approach when being unable to make payments on your loan is to contact the lender and find out if there is something you can work out together. The lender just wants their money back; most would rather accept a lower payment for a longer term than receive nothing back at all. They have no desire to ruin your credit forever. And being proactive at solving the problem means you always know what is going on, so there is no fear of the unknown.
Not paying it back at all will have a terrible effect on your credit score and proactively working with the lender will help you and make that lender and others more likely to loan you money in the future.
Know Your Rights
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are not allowed to be abusive, unfair, or deceptive towards you under any circumstances. You can report anyone who violates this law to the Consumer Protection Bureau or the Attorney General in your state.
Contact a Lawyer
Once you receive a lawsuit, it's strongly recommended that you seek legal help and appear in court to avoid a default judgment.
Speak with a Credit Counselor
A credit counselor can help you budget and allocate your cash resources appropriately so that unnecessary expenditures are eliminated, and your money goes toward paying off your debt.
PAYING BACK THE LOAN MEANS KNOWING HOW LOANS WORK
It is crucial to know how loans are supposed to work before you borrow money for any purpose. By understanding how loans work, you can save a lot of money and make smarter decisions when you know how things are supposed to be.
What Is the Cost of the Loan?
For example, the first thing any borrower should know is that there are certain interest rates and fees applied for any loan. By law, all lenders are required to disclose how much you will have to pay for your loan, so it is worthwhile to pay attention to those disclosures. For many loans, a Loan Amortization Calculator will show you how things work.
Information When you run the numbers through your amortization calculator, you can check it against the numbers the lender gave you in their disclosure, and you can then make an informed decision as to whether you can handle the costs.
Pay Down the Loan Balance
The crucial element of any loan (among them the guaranteed approval loans) is a requirement that you pay the money back. You make the payments every month for the term of the loan, and you are expected to make the payments to the lender on time and for the full amount.
If you want to save money, you can usually repay the loans early. However, before you decide to do so, run the numbers and make sure doing so makes sense with regard to your finances.
Advice First, find out if there is a pre-payment penalty if you do so, but then make sure there isn't something else you can do with the extra money that will do more for your financial health. For example, if you're carrying thousands of dollars in high-interest credit card debt, it may not make sense to double up payments on a six percent APR loan.
HOW MUCH MONEY YOU NEED TO PAY BACK THE LOAN
Every borrower needs to make an informed choice when it comes to deciding which loan offer they want to take and which lender they want to deal with. One crucial moment here is knowing how much it will cost to pay back the loan.
The Truth in Lending Act
Thanks to the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), all borrowers have a right to know how much it will cost to pay back the loan before they sign a contract.
Under TILA, all lenders are required by law to make written disclosures about all of the terms, rates and fees of the loan before they present a contract to sign.
All such disclosures must include the following:
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – this is the cost of credit as expressed as a percentage of the principal amount annually.
- Total Finance Charges – a total amount of interest and fees you will pay over the life of the loan, assuming you make every payment on time.
- Amount Financed – this is the amount you are borrowing.
- Total of Payments – this is the sum of all payments you will make over the life of the loan, assuming all payments are on time.
Other Disclosable Information
Important! Necessary TILA disclosures include a number of other essential terms of the loan, including the amount you are expected to pay every month, the number of payments, late fees, whether you can pay back the loan early, and other terms that may be specific to you, that you and the lender worked out beforehand.
In many cases, these disclosures are made in advance, but they are often provided as a part of the loan contract. In any case, an applicant should review everything in detail, to avoid problems and surprises later on. If your lender doesn’t provide you with this information in advance, the best idea would be to find another lender.