Personal Loan Uses: Leveraging Your Debt

Katie DuncanMarch 28, 2024

Reviewed By: The Amplify Loan Team

When it comes to managing finances, it helps to have a clear understanding of the various tools and products out there.

One tool that often gets overlooked? Personal loans!

Personal loans can provide flexibility and convenience when it comes to borrowing money and can be leveraged effectively to meet your financial goals. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is a type of loan that allows individuals to borrow a fixed amount of money from a lender. Unlike specific loans like auto loans or home mortgages, personal loans can be used for a wide range of purposes, providing borrowers with greater flexibility.

Personal loans are typically unsecured, which means they don’t require any collateral. Instead, lenders evaluate the borrower’s creditworthiness, income, and financial history to determine their eligibility and interest rate. The borrowed amount is then repaid in fixed installments over a predetermined period.

Personal loans offer several advantages over other types of loans. They provide a lump sum of money that can be used at your discretion, and the repayment terms are usually more flexible compared to credit cards.

Launch Your Project or Debt Consolidation

Not sure how to finance a major upcoming purchase? A personal loan may be what you need.

Who are personal loans best for?

Personal loans can be a beneficial option for various individuals who don’t have access to other types of loans. Here are a few scenarios where personal loans can be particularly advantageous:

  • Non-homeowners: If you’re renting or don’t own a home, accessing funds through a home equity loan or line of credit will not be an option. In such cases, a personal loan can provide the necessary funds for various purposes, such as consolidating debt, making essential purchases, or covering unexpected expenses.
  • Homeowners with limited equity: Even if you own a home, you may not have enough equity built up to qualify for a home equity loan. Personal loans offer an alternative solution to tap into funds without risking your home as collateral.
  • Individuals with good credit: Having a strong credit history and a good credit score can significantly increase your chances of getting approved for a personal loan with favorable terms. If you have a solid credit profile, you may qualify for lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options.
  • Those in need of quick funds: In certain situations, you may require immediate access to funds, and the lengthy process associated with secured loans may not be feasible. Personal loans often have a faster approval process, allowing you to secure the funds you need in a shorter period.

It’s worth noting that personal loans are not limited to the above-mentioned groups, and eligibility criteria may vary between lenders. It’s always advisable to compare different loan options and evaluate your financial situation before making a decision!

Best ways to use a personal loan

Although personal loans often come at a higher interest rate than other lending tools, they can be useful in some situations.

1. Debt consolidation

One of the most popular uses of a personal loan is to consolidate high-interest debt. If you have multiple debts, such as credit card balances or medical bills, with varying interest rates, it can be challenging to keep track of payments and manage the overall debt effectively.

By taking out a personal loan, you can combine all your outstanding debts into a single loan with a fixed (and lower) interest rate. This simplifies your finances by having only one monthly payment and may even help reduce the overall interest paid, potentially saving you money in the long run.

2. Financing smaller purchases

Personal loans can be a smart choice for financing smaller yet essential expenses. Whether you need to cover home repairs, purchase new appliances, or purchase a car that doesn’t qualify for an auto loan, a personal loan provides a lump sum of money that can be repaid over time.

Compared to using credit cards or store financing, personal loans often offer lower interest rates, making them a more cost-effective option for these types of purchases.

3. Build credit

If you’re working on establishing or improving your credit history, a personal loan can be a valuable tool. By taking out a personal loan and making consistent, on-time payments, you demonstrate your creditworthiness and responsibility to lenders. Over time, this positive payment history can boost your credit score and improve your chances of qualifying for better loan terms and interest rates in the future.

4. Cover essential expenses

Life is unpredictable, and unexpected expenses can arise at any time. Whether it’s a medical emergency, urgent car repairs, or a temporary loss of income, a personal loan can provide the necessary funds to cover these essential expenses. Instead of resorting to high-interest credit cards or predatory payday loans, a personal loan offers a more affordable option with a fixed repayment plan.

Are personal loans bad debt?

Debt often carries a negative connotation, but it’s important to understand that not all debt is inherently bad. When used responsibly and for the right purposes, personal loans can actually be a good thing.

The most important thing is that you borrow responsibly.

  • Borrow within your means: Never borrow more than you can repay. It’s important to have a clear repayment plan in place. Taking on more debt than you can comfortably handle can lead to financial stress and potentially harm your credit.
  • Do your research and weigh the pros and cons: Personal loans generally come with higher interest rates compared to secured loans. Before committing to a personal loan, it’s essential to evaluate the interest rate and consider whether the cost of borrowing aligns with the benefits you’ll receive.
  • Borrow with a purpose: Only take out a personal loan when it serves a specific purpose and contributes to your long-term financial goals. Avoid using personal loans for unnecessary or frivolous expenses that could lead to a cycle of debt.

Personal loans can be powerful tools when used strategically and responsibly. By understanding the terms, considering your financial situation, and making informed borrowing decisions, you can leverage personal loans to your advantage.

A Personal Loan Is a Financial Tool

Personal loans offer individuals the flexibility to manage their financial needs efficiently. Whether it’s debt consolidation, financing necessary purchases, building credit, or covering essential expenses, personal loans can be leveraged effectively to achieve your financial goals.

Learn More About Personal Loans

Contact the Amplify Credit Union team today.

Katie Duncan

Katie Duncan is a financial writer based in Austin, Texas. Her articles include financial advice for freelancers, homebuyers, and more. When she’s not writing, Katie loves traveling and exploring the outdoors with her friends and her dog, Poe.