Interest rates are rising, which can mean bad news for anyone with a personal loan. However, there are several things you can do to still get the best interest rates possible.
Know your credit score
Your credit score is a key factor in determining your interest rate. If you have good credit, you’ll likely be offered lower interest rates than someone with a lower score which can save you thousands on your personal loan origination fee and APR. Each credit reporting bureau provides one free credit report annually, but you can pull your “soft” records from sites like Mint or CreditKarma daily without penalty.
Get a personal loan with a low origination fee
One of the best ways to reduce your interest payments is to get a personal loan with a low origination fee. This means the bank doesn’t have to pay an upfront fee to get your loan approved. You’ll likely be offered lower interest rates as well, so it’s important to compare all of your options before making a decision.
Shop around for the best interest rates
Once you’ve narrowed your options, shopping around for the best interest rates is essential. Different banks offer different rates for personal loans, so comparing apples to apples is vital before deciding.
Ask for lower rates before you close
One way to get lower rates on your personal loan is to ask for them before you close. You’re negotiating with the bank and may not get the best rate possible. Still, it’s worth a try if you’re interested in getting a lower interest rate on your loan or have competing offers available.
Make payments on time
One of the easiest ways to reduce your interest payments is simply to make on-time payments. Keeping your loan and debt payments in good standing means you’re not paying interest on penalties such as late payment fees on top of the original amount you borrowed.
Consolidate debt into a single personal loan
If you have multiple debts affected by rising interest rates, consider consolidating them into a personal loan. This will bring your interest rates down and make it easier to pay off the entire debt at once.
Consider using a debt management plan
Consider using a debt management plan if you can’t afford to make large payments on your personal loan every month. This type of plan allows you to make smaller, more manageable payments over a set period of time to lower your overall interest rate.
Contribute to an investment account
If you can afford to put away a larger chunk of your monthly income, doing so could help lower your interest rate on a personal loan. Many retirement or investment accounts offer temporary hardship loans converted to traditional loans at a lower interest rate. The more available you have in an investment or retirement account, the more you can borrow when an emergency arises.
The bottom line
If you are finding that your personal loan interest rates are starting to increase, you can do a few things to lower the cost of borrowing. Consolidating your debts into a personal loan could bring down your interest rate while using a debt management plan or contributing to an investment account can also help reduce the cost of borrowing.
Name: Michael Bertini
Job Title: Consultant