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Covering expensive household purchases on short notice can put a huge dent in your budget and can even be downright unaffordable if you don’t have enough savings set aside to cover the purchases, repairs or maintenance required. Taking out a loan to buy something that you need for your house or to carry out a renovation might not seem like the best approach when you’re committing to a repayment period that will last three to five years or longer.
Luckily, there are many different kinds of short-term loans that will only have you making repayments for a few months after you’ve received the money. With a shorter commitment, you can feel safer about utilizing your credit for larger household purchases because there’s a lower risk of defaulting in a shorter period of time.
Essentially, the longer you have to make payments on a loan, the more likely it is that you’ll eventually face difficulties in managing your monthly payments. You don’t necessarily need to default on the loan completely for it to have a negative effect on your credit score either – simply making a few late payments or overutilizing your credit could cause your score to stagnate or decrease over time. With a short-term loan, such risks of defaulting or making late payments aren’t as elevated because you’ll only have to repay loans for 6 months to a year.
Furthermore, you’ll get to choose the length of the loan repayment period, so you’re never forced to be okay with a three, five, 10, or even 30-year commitment in order to get a large loan amount. Plus, short-term loan amounts can range anywhere from $50 up to $50,000, with alternative loans available to individuals with poor credit still offering maximum loan amounts ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the lender and your proof of income.
In this guide, we’ll explain why short term loans are ideal for spreading and covering the costs of household purchases while also giving you some tips you can use to maximize your loan amount and approval odds and still avoid a cycle of ongoing debt in the process.
When it comes to short-term loan periods for flexible funding types like payday and check advance loans, you can usually choose your own period within the time frame allowed by the lender. For household purchases, six months is a good sweet spot because it ensures that you’ll be able to borrow a decent amount and split it up into six payments without owing an enormous amount each month.
At the same time, it doesn’t keep you paying for an entire year, which is really bordering on the edge of being a long-term loan. If you need to borrow more or extend the length of the repayment time frame, many alternative lenders will let you do that – you just have to call them to let them know you want to extend the loan or shift your payment dates.
Taking out multiple loans simultaneously isn’t necessarily the best idea when you’re trying to borrow an amount large enough to cover household purchases. However, it might be an option to consider if you don’t have the most solid proof of income and can therefore only be approved for smaller amounts from each lender. The most important thing to remember is that you should only borrow what you can afford to repay.
The lender will determine your maximum loan amount based on how much you make. This amount is set at a number that you will reliably be able to afford every month. Going to another lender and taking out an additional loan to borrow an amount of money equal to or above that previously established limit would be the equivalent to borrowing twice as much as you can reasonably afford to.
If you have great proof of income and the first lender you contact is willing to approve you for their maximum loan amount, it would be best to stick with that first loan and just accept the maximum amount offered. Taking out the maximum amount from two or more lenders on the same day is possible, but it would put you in quite a bit of debt very quickly.
Since larger loans would eventually wind up on your credit, you’d be heading down a road that would land you with a credit history so poor that even the most lenient payday lenders will balk at approving you. For example, let’s say lender A approves you for a six-month loan of $2,000, and then you receive the same loan amount from lender B. Sure, you’d be looking at twice the money initially but, at that point, the combined monthly payment would be above $800-$900 after you factor in the interest. Are you really going to want to pay that much money every month to cover two loans for 6 months?
That’s why many short-term lenders cap their amount for six-month loans at $2,500 – asking the average person to pay back more than $700 per month would be a risk-prone business model. If you have exceptional proof of income, some short-term lenders will let you borrow up to $5,000 or more in six months. If you’re trying to borrow any more than that from a single lender, you can expect your credit to play a significant role in the approval.
It’s a common misconception that you should try not to renew a loan or that you shouldn’t pay off an old loan with a new loan. They say it will launch a “vicious, never-ending cycle” that will drive you into permanent debt. If you were to exercise such an approach irresponsibly using long-term loans with larger amounts, you could certainly land in a great deal of trouble by recklessly applying for new loans to repay old debts.
However, there are some situations in which repaying an old loan with a new loan could be the most logical thing to do. For example, some people use debt consolidation loans to reduce the overall amount they owe and consolidate their monthly payments into one fixed payment that’s paid to a single creditor on the same day every month.
Another scenario in which renewing or paying off an old debt with a new debt makes sense would be if you’re still in a bad financial situation and you’re about to be behind on payments for a loan that will negatively affect your credit report.
In that case, you’d be making a lesser sacrifice by utilizing more credit to keep your report free of any negative items while you work to get back in the clear. Plus, if you’re disciplined and you time it properly, using one loan to pay off another can actually accelerate the credit building process because your report will show that you’ve fully repaid multiple quick loans.
When you apply for a short-term loan, it’s a common practice for the lender to ask you what you need the money for. You don’t need a special reason – this is just a general question that’s often included on loan applications. In this field, you can simply put “household purchases” and optionally explain more.
Ultimately, the lender doesn’t care what you spend the money on, as long as they can see proof that you’ve been receiving enough money from your employer (or another income source) to comfortably cover the scheduled prepayments.
Payday and instant loans offer the least stringent approval processes. It’s very rare for any of these lenders to run a credit check, as the primary factor considered during deliberation will be your income. All you’ll need is a photo ID or driver’s license to show that you’re a citizen over the age of 18, an active checking account in good standing, and something that proves how much you get paid each pay period.
Acceptable proof of income for most lenders would include official paycheck stubs (not printed copies), bank statements, and official government papers that list the benefit or assistance amounts you receive. The payday lender will direct deposit the loan into your checking account with the agreement that they’ll also be automatically withdrawing the monthly payments from the same checking account on an auto-bill basis. If the funds are not available to be withdrawn on the designated payment date, you could face a late fee.
If you’re trying to buy a house, you should be looking at a long-term loan like a mortgage. If you simply need to spend a couple thousand on household purchases to get your home in beautiful working order, a short-term loan can be the most responsible and applicable financial solution for that.