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When and How to Shop for a Loan

Written by: John Mussi

If you're thinking of getting a loan but aren't exactly sure whether the current loan market is likely to produce a good interest rate, you might want to do a little bit of basic research into the interest rates that are offered both locally and nationally, as well as the various loan rates that are offered by different banks and lenders in your local area.

Below are some suggestions for how to tell whether or not the time is right for you to apply for a loan, as well as tips on how to shop around so as to find the best loan that you can get.

Researching national rates

The first thing that you need to do when trying to determine whether the time is right to apply for a loan is to do a little bit of research so as to find out what the base national interest rate is.

The interest rates that are set nationally are the basis for all interest rates, though some cities and localities may increase their rates from that point.

It's also a good idea to find out what the most recent changes in national interest rates have been, and whether there has been an increase or a decline as the rates change.

Anticipating rate changes

During your research of national interest rates it would be advisable to look for signs that the interest rate might be changing in the near future. These changes are often anticipated well in advance, and information about potential changes can often be found in financial journals, tabloids, and newspapers before the actual changes are announced.

If you find information that shows an interest rate increase is on its way, then you would be best served to get a loan before the increase... however, if you find that interest rates are going to be lowering in the near future then you might do better to wait until the rates go down so that you can save a little bit of money on interest.

If you find that there isn't any pending rate change in the near future then you'll likely do just as well shopping for a loan now as you would if you decide to wait.

Credit and collateral Of course, there are other factors that can influence the amount that you pay for your loan aside from simply the base interest rates.

Two of the most important of these factors are your credit score and the collateral that you have to secure the loan... after all, these are what the bank or lender are going to look at to determine whether to approve you for the loan and what interest rate to set for your payments.

Your credit score tells the potential lender whether you've had problems repaying your debts in the past, and the collateral that you use guarantees that they'll get their money back even if you default on the loan.

Using high value collateral that has an easily-accessible market (such as an automobile or real estate) can generally make a difference in cases where your credit is less than perfect.

Shopping for the best loan

Finally, it's important to shop around for the best deal on a loan instead of simply accepting the first loan offer that you receive.

By requesting quotes from a variety of banks, online lenders, and finance companies you should be able to determine which lender is willing to offer you the best rates, and find the right loan for the right price.

You may freely reprint this article provided the following author's biography (including the live URL link) remains intact:
About the Author

John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help homeowners find the best available loans via the www.directonlineloans.co.uk website.

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