Best personal loan rates for October 2021
Average rate of personal loans of the day
As of Oct. 18, 2021, the average three-year unsecured personal loan rate was 8.95%, according to S&P Global.
Personal loan rates in the past year
Personal loan rates have been dropping steadily over the past 12 months. Todd Nelson, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at LightStream, said falling interest rates are influenced by a number of factors, and as the cost of loans goes down, so do interest rates.
One of the barometers of the cost of credit is the federal funds rate, the rate at which commercial banks borrow and lend their reserves to each other. The rate has been low since March 2020 to combat the economic impact of the pandemic, which can impact short-term rates on consumer loans.
Now may be the time to lock in a solid rate on a personal loan.
What is a personal loan?
If you’re strapped for cash and need to borrow a lump sum to pay for things like home renovations, debt consolidation, or medical bills, personal loans provide a quick influx of money. You can get a personal loan from banks, credit unions, and various online lenders. You will withdraw a fixed amount of money at a set term and interest rate and repay that money in monthly installments.
The interest rate on your loan will depend on your credit score and other financial factors. In some cases, you can get your money back as quickly as the same day you agree to the loan terms. Some personal loans can incur fees, such as late fees and origination fees, but the best personal loans are offered free of charge.
What is an interest rate?
An interest rate is basically the fees you pay to borrow money, shown as a percentage of your loan amount. Personal loans almost always have fixed interest rates, although it is possible to find personal loans with variable interest rates. Fixed interest rates do not change during the life of the loan, while variable interest rates change at regular intervals. In addition to the payments you make each month on your loan balance, you will also pay interest on this principle.
For example, if you have a loan of $ 5,000 with an interest rate of 10% and a term of three years, you will shell out $ 5,808 over the term of your loan, of which $ 808 is interest only. The higher your interest rate, the more you will pay in total.
Can you spend a personal loan on anything?
You can use a personal loan for many purposes, although some expenses, such as tuition, are usually not covered. Here are some examples:
This list is by no means exhaustive. Check with your lender to see if your reason for taking out a personal loan is acceptable.
Are personal loans bad for your credit?
Much like a credit card or a student loan, payments (or non-payments) can be reported to credit bureaus and will likely impact your credit score. However, they won’t damage your credit as long as you make your monthly loan payments in full and on time. If you do, you can actually improve your credit score because you will have a longer history of consistent payments.
A personal loan can also help diversify your credit mix, which can increase your score. A personal loan is an installment loan, that is, you pay it off at regular intervals, which is different from revolving credit, such as credit cards. A healthy balance of these types of credit is good for your credit score.
Checking your rates with most companies won’t impact your credit score, as most lenders only generate a soft credit request when they show you personalized rates. However, if you choose to accept a loan, lenders will likely conduct a serious credit investigation which can negatively affect your credit score. A thorough investigation gives the lender a complete overview of your credit history. Too many inquiries about your credit report, especially in a short period of time, can also have a negative effect.
How to get a good interest rate on a personal loan
The interest rate on your personal loan depends on many financial factors, including your income and other debts. The most important element is probably your credit score. Here are some tips to improve your credit rating:
- Request and review a copy of your credit report. Check if there are any errors in your report that could affect your score. If so, contact the credit bureau to discuss correcting the error.
- Keep credit card balances low. Maintaining a credit utilization rate (the percentage of your total credit that you use) of 30% or less will show lenders that you can manage your credit well.
- Create a system to pay bills on time. Your payment history is a big percentage of your credit score, and lenders like to see stable and reliable payments in the past. Set up calendar reminders or automatic payments so you don’t fall behind.
You should shop around to see which lender offers you the best deal. The first lender to offer you a personalized rate isn’t always the best.
Is a personal loan the right choice for you?
If you need a lump sum of money fast, a personal loan can be a great option for you. A personal loan can help you immediately cover an expense and spread the cost over a longer period. You can also get a lower interest rate on a personal loan than with a credit card.
However, if you already have a large amount of debt, a personal loan can just add to your stress. The overall cost of everything you spend money on, whether it’s a home renovation or medical bills, will end up being more expensive in the long run as you will have to pay interest on the money. that you remove. If you have the flexibility, saving money for your expenses is probably a better choice.
Keep in mind that if you fall behind on your payments, the loan can damage your credit score, making a lender less likely to give you money in the future.