Borrowing and repayment plans go hand in hand
Taking out a personal loan is an option for many people. How to pay off a personal loan can be a completely different story. When funds land in your account after obtaining a personal loan of any kind, chances are repayment is the last thing on your mind. You feel a sigh of relief, perhaps, because the pressing situation that prompted you to borrow funds is off your plate. When you have to pay off personal loan debt, however, it’s possible that you will feel a little less relieved. That isn’t the case, however, if you make a solid smart repayment plan before borrowing.
At CheckSmart, we’ve got you covered. We want to help you make smart moves when meeting your financial goals, so we created a Smart Personal Loan Repayment Guide to help you plan for success after utilizing a personal loan.
Communication is key
Working with a loan provider that you are comfortable communicating with can make a big difference as you work to repay your loan. That’s why at CheckSmart, we have dedicated Lending Pros who will walk with you through each step from application to repayment. If you have a question or concern, you can always chat with the team in store. Keep open communication throughout your loan repayment process with your CheckSmart Lending Pro. If anything arises that is out of the ordinary, and you think you might be late making a payment, having clear, open communication can prove beneficial. You’ll want to discuss any potential late payments with your Lending Pro well ahead of your payment due date. Do not wait until your payment is already late to open discussions about difficulties you’re facing. Just like any other loan or debt, you need to maintain open and honest communication with your lender in order to have success through the process of personal loan repayment. As a first step to planning for Smart Personal Loan Repayment, choose a lender that you can easily talk to when you have questions. In some states, an Extended Payment Plan (EPP) may be available for your payday loan. Please contact your Lending Pros at CheckSmart at least one full business banking day prior to your due date for more information.
Choose the right loan for your situation
One of the biggest perks of a personal loan is the flexibility in borrowing. Personal loans are for expenses that are, well, personal. You do not have to specify why you’re borrowing funds4 in order to obtain the loan. It’s important to choose the right loan that will help your circumstances and make repayment reasonable within your budget limits.
When choosing a loan through CheckSmart, our Lending Pros work hard to find your SmartMatch. What is a SmartMatch Loan? Each customer has a unique situation at hand prior to reaching out to our team to review loan options. We take those circumstances into consideration when making recommendations before you start the application process. Choosing the right loan will help you during the personal loan repayment process. If you need only a short term, small loan to handle an unexpected expense, for example, you wouldn’t want to take on a larger loan than necessary as the temptation to overspend might be difficult to navigate. Consider what you need, the amount you want to borrow to cover that need, and how the repayment plan will fit within your budget. Personal loans offered by CheckSmart vary by state, please contact a local store for details.
Consider repayment prior to receiving your loan
Planning to pay off a personal loan prior to receiving the loan is not the typical thought process for many borrowers. When you need cash quickly, repayment is often the last thing on your mind. However, without pausing to consider the impact of personal loan payments1 on your monthly expenses and budgeting, you may find yourself in a pickle when the first personal loan payment is due.
Before you apply, consider the following questions that can save you from the stress of taking on debt that you cannot afford to repay:
- Is the personal loan I am considering going to pay for something I need or something I want?5
- What will the payments look like? How much I will owe, when is my due date, and how long will the repayment period will last should all be considered.
- Can I afford the payment? Assessing budget constraints is a must.
If you can confidently answer each question regarding your ability to repay your loan, taking out a loan might be a fit for your needs! If you are unsure about your ability to repay, consider a smaller loan, borrowing from friends or family if possible, or other forms of borrowing that may be a better fit for your long-term financial goals.
Create a budget then stick to it
If you don’t follow a budget currently, don’t despair. You’re not alone. In fact, according to a survey published in 2022, only 27% of people follow a budget6 on a regular basis. Just because you’re not alone, however, doesn’t mean a budget isn’t for you. When you create a budget2 and track what you’re spending, you can make plans to save more, spend less, and enjoy the freedom that comes with being in control of your finances.
Start by tracking what you are currently spending by assessing the full picture of your transactions from the previous month. Then categorize your spending according to needs and wants. There are tools available to help, or you can simply create a spreadsheet. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Simply track what is being spent, categorize, and then the fun begins when you start moving funds to areas of your lifestyle and budget that are most important to you such as savings or paying down debts.
One way to keep your budget on track is to schedule and maintain consistent budget checkups;3 plan to look at your budget daily, every few days, or at least once per week. You can adjust your plan and keep an eye on fluctuations in categories such as fuel or food which tend to vary month over month.
Once you have a budget in place, you can clearly see how much you can allocate to debt repayment. This will help you determine whether you can pay off a personal loan. If you’ve already obtained a loan, and you’re interested in understanding how to pay off a personal loan faster than anticipated by your loan agreement, you will need a solid budget. You can move funds from categories in your budget that are wants vs needs. For example, you could lower your budget for eating out and increase the amount you’ve allocated for your payments according to your personal loan repayment schedule. No matter what your budget looks like,3 you’ll need to make sure that all debt payments are planned and accounted for as you work to manage your finances.
Take your time. We’re here when you need us.
If we had to sum up our Smart Personal Loan Repayment Guide into one sentence it would be this: Before you borrow, take the time to consider your repayment plan. Personal loans are a wonderful resource to many people year after year. At CheckSmart, we want our customers to make smart lending decisions that will be beneficial and prove helpful along the way. That’s why we encourage our customers to work with one of our dedicated Lending Pros to find the right loan, create a personal loan repayment plan, and consider their budget prior to borrowing funds. We’re here when you need us with multiple conveniently located stores. When something out of the ordinary happens in your financial life, we’ve got you covered.
1Millerbernd, Annie (2022, January 7). How To Manage Your Personal Loan Retrieved from: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/loans/personal-loans/manage-personal-loan-payments
2Consumer.gov Making a Budget Retrieved from: https://consumer.gov/managing-your-money/making-budget
3Bev O’Shea and Lauren Schwahn (2022, December 2). Budgeting 101: How to Budget Money Retrieved from: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/how-to-budget
4Jackie Veling and Ronita Choudhuri-Wade (2022, May 13). Should I Get a Personal Loan? Retrieved from: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/loans/personal-loans/personal-loan-why-should-i-get
5Neidel, Courtney (2019, December 17). Needs vs. Wants: How to Budget for Both Retrieved from: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/financial-needs-versus-wants
6Winters, Mike (2022, April 9). 73% of people don’t regularly follow a budget—and that’s OK, says a financial therapist Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/29/its-ok-to-not-follow-a-budget-says-a-financial-therapist.html
Jessica PriceRead More from Jessica Price
Jessica is hyper-focused on making information about the Personal Loans offered by CheckSmart including Payday Loans, Installment Loans, Line of Credit, and Title Loans accessible and easy to understand. Learning the basics about finances shouldn’t be complicated after all! The key to responsible borrowing is understanding the loans you’re considering, and it’s Jessica’s mission to help anyone considering a loan make an informed decision. Jessica is passionate about sharing easy-to-follow Budgeting Tips and helping readers increase their financial literacy in the Financial Corner of the blog. You’ll find great budgeting tips, Simplified Savings tips, and information that will help you improve your financial wellness sprinkled throughout each of her blogs.