The two most common types of personal loans are secured loans and unsecured loans.Secured Loans tend to be for large amounts of money and for longer periods of time, typically five years or more. Home loans are a form of secured loan, whereby you borrow money against the value of your property. But smaller secured loans exist, which are also tied to your personal assets.If you miss repayments on a secured loan, you risk losing the assets tied to the deal – often your house. The main benefit of secured loans, other than being able to borrow more money over a longer period, is that the interest rates on offer tend to be low and can be fixed or, on occasion, variable.
Unsecured Loans are usually used for smaller sums and over shorter periods of time. They don’t require any personal assets to be tied into the agreement, although failing to repay the loan will still have serious consequences.
One type of unsecured loan which is fairly new to South Africa is a payday loan. A payday loan is a very short-term loan for a few hundred Kwacha, usually between K100 and K8 000 which can be taken to tide you over until your next payday. The interest rates tend to be much higher than traditional loans taken over a year or more, but the application process is usually quick and the cash is only borrowed for a short period
Different types of loans suit different purposes – you wouldn’t buy a car with a credit card and you wouldn’t take out a five year loan for a weekend away! If you don’t do some basic homework and you end up taking the first loan you are offered, you could end up paying far more than you needed to, or be saddled with repayments for far too long. Here are a few pointers when considering a loan
• Shop around – whenever there’s choice in life, it’s never a good idea to commit to anything without at least researching some of the alternatives, especially a financial commitment• Can you afford it – it’s vital that you think carefully about whether or not you can comfortably afford to repay the loan you are considering. If you have any doubts, don’t take the loan in the first place.
• Consider the loan duration – the repayments might be smaller with longer loans, because you are spreading the repayments more thinly, but the total amount you have to repay may be higher because you’re paying interest over a longer period
• Check out any fees – some loans come with additional fees, such as arrangement or early repayment fees. They could be worth paying if the overall cost of the loan is still appealing, but make sure any such cost is taken into account• Look into flexibility – you might not always have much choice, but it can pay to have flexibility, especially with a longer-term credit loan. It could mean you can pay more or less than usual some months, take a repayment holiday, or pay off the loan early without any extra charges
• Ensure you have a good understanding of what’s being offered – any advice you are given should be clear and, if you don’t understand something or feel you are being bamboozled by jargon, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification
Your credit history can have a big impact on the cost of borrowing money and the options available to you. It is like an ongoing school report that chronicles your financial behaviour.Your credit history also looks at your current debt and a number of other factors. Always remember it’s easier to harm your credit rating than to improve it – prevention is better than cure! Most lenders use some form of credit checking to assess your application for a loan, so ensure you do everything you can to protect your credit rating.
No other lender in Zambia can approve loan applications and get the cash to your bank account as quickly as Zambou can. There are other ways to borrow money, but none as quick or convenient as a Zambou loan.It’s impossible to give one piece of advice to everyone about the right type of loan for them – it’s down to individual circumstances – but our service is designed to tide you over for short periods, when you know some money is coming your way. The service is not designed for managing existing debt, as a long-term credit solution, or if you aren’t sure whether you will be able to pay back the full loan repayment on time. The application process is completely transparent and we calculate the cost of the loan up front, before you apply. Facing up to debt problemsIf you are feeling the strain financially, or you’re starting to struggle repaying a loan, it’s never worth kidding yourself and pretending there isn’t a problem. The sooner you are honest with yourself and those around you, the sooner you can start taking action to rectify the situation.Make a list of any outstanding credit – the lender’s details, how much you owe, and how much your repayments are. If you’re struggling to keep up with repayments, talk to your creditors quickly. Depending on the lender and the type of credit, you may be able to reduce your payments, extend the loan period, suspend repayments for a short period, or even repay the loan early – if you have a small amount owing and want to reduce the number of your monthly repayments.Budgeting
Draw up a basic monthly budget, showing your income against regular outgoings like bills, entertainment and housekeeping costs. If you’re left with a positive sum each month, that figure should help you decide what kind of repayments you can afford – whether u are considering a new loan, or calculating how to pay off existing credit.If you’re left with a negative figure – in other words your monthly outgoings are regularly higher than your monthly income – you should think carefully if there are any monthly costs you can reduce or remove altogether. Cutting back on luxuries and non-essential costs in the short to medium term is well worth it if it means you can settle debts and be more financially stable in the long run.If you are budgeting to work out what you can afford to pay back to existing creditors, try to work out a timeline of which debts you might be able to settle and when, plus prioritise the most important debts and tackle them first.High priorities could include a home loan or rent arrears (because you might lose your home if you don’t pay them), household bills which are a necessity (such as water and electricity) and court fines. Seeking Further Help. There are debt counselling services which can help with advice and counselling when you are having financial difficulties. Don’t bottle up stress and anxiety about financial problems.