One of the crucial factors to consider when getting a loan is the length of the repayment period that you will apply for. This will affect how much you pay each month as well as the total amount you will pay back. As well as getting the length of repayment period right, you need to choose the right method of repayment so that you can afford the repayments whilst still paying your loan back quickly. Here is some advice about choosing the right repayment period for your loan.
Shorter period is better
Whenever you are looking to get a loan, work out what the shortest repayment period you can afford is for the amount you want to borrow. Although longer repayment periods will mean that you pay less each month, you will probably pay more in total because of the extra interest you will pay over the longer period. Always go for the shortest period you can afford to pay, as this will help you to pay your loan off more quickly and also save money by paying less in interest.
Standard loan repayments
As well as working out the length of your repayment, you need to consider the different methods of repaying your loan. Although not all loans offer different repayment plans, it pays to know which plan will work for you so that you can find a loan that fits these criteria. The standard repayment method is the most common, where you simply pay a fixed amount each month until you have paid off the entire loan. With this type of repayment you know that you will be paying off the loan steadily each month, and after a certain period you will have paid the loan off.
There are some loans on the market that offer you a graduated repayment scheme, meaning that the loan repayments start off small but then increase after a certain period of time. This is good if you have taken out a loan and expect your earnings to increase over time, and so allowing you to afford higher repayments. This method of repayment is less common and so you will need to shop around to find a loan like this.
Some loans allow you to pay just the interest each month for a number of years, and then pay the final balance off in one go. This type of repayment is good if you know you will receive a lump sum of money in a few years but need to get hold of cash now. This type of loan means you pay little at the beginning, but at the end pay off the final balance. However, you generally end up paying more with this type of loan as you are only paying interest for the first few years of the loan.
Changing the terms
Although choosing the right loan period is important, there is always the possibility that you can change the terms if you need to. If you find that you can afford to pay off the loan more quickly, then try and do this, although beware of charges for early repayment. Also, if you find yourself struggling to pay off your loan then you should speak to your lender and try to arrange an extension for repayment so that you can more easily manage the payments. However, remember that the longer you take to pay off the loan, the more you are paying overall.