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The Ins And Outs Of Loan Comparisons

Aug 17, 2007
When doing a loan comparison for the best buy there are several features to compare. The four most often overlooked, and perhaps the four most crucial, are the terms of the loan, the credit insurance youll need to take out for the loan, and whether there is a balloon payment and / or prepayment penalty included. Lets take a look at each of these four and see how they can impact your loan comparison.

Credit insurance is much like taking out life insurance with your creditor as beneficiary. What credit insurance does is ensure that if you should die, become disabled, lose your job or in any other way become unable to pay your loan the lender will be paid.

A loan comparison should not only include the cost of credit insurance but the type of insurance included and required. You might consider credit life insurance, credit disability insurance, credit property insurance or credit unemployment insurance, or a combination of one or more of these options. The credit insurance might pay your loan for its whole term or it might be designed as a short term recovery option.

You can buy credit insurance from your lending institution as a fee that is added on to each of your monthly loan payments, as a lump sum fee that is added to the total amount of the loan. In any loan comparison keep in mind that that lump sum fee will incur additional interest charges as well. Most of the time, however, the insured can cancel any of these credit insurance options at any point during the life of the loan.

No loan comparison should exclude a study of credit insurance. The determination that you need any of these insurance options, however, doesnt necessarily mean that you should include them in your loan.

You might already have some of this protection in place with other policies or you just might find a better deal elsewhere. This is especially true if you talk to the carrier that is now insuring you for life, insurance, auto or any other type. Often when you package the various type of insurance your carrier discounts heavily.

Of course, no matter whom you pay the cost ultimately must be considered in any loan comparison. Just because it doesnt get paid to the lender or as part of your monthly loan payment doesnt mean that the coverage added elsewhere isnt the result of the loan.

The term of your loan is a crucial point when doing a loan comparison. The longer the time period you spend paying back your loan the more interest you will pay. The flip side of that is that if you take on a higher monthly payment to reduce the term of the loan you could end up unable to make the payments on a timely basis. If this happens the late fees could eat up the savings involved in signing for a shorter term.

In a balloon payment you generally make smaller monthly payments up until the end of the loan when you make one huge payment to finalize. While lower payments are great, there are plenty of folks who find that, despite their best efforts, they cant come up with the money for the balloon payment. When you do a loan comparison its best to avoid a balloon payment.
About the Author
James Copper manages Any Loans who offer a finance comparison service.
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