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How Do I Decide Whether to Take a Loan or Not?
How Do I Decide Whether to Take a Loan or Not?
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How Do I Decide Whether to Take a Loan or Not?

Njenga Hakeenah
March 6, 2023

Taking out a loan is a significant financial decision that should be made with careful consideration. 

Whether you need money for a large purchase like a home or a car, or for an emergency, loans can provide the necessary funds to help you achieve your goals.

Even if getting a loan could be easy, it is important to have a clear repayment strategy to ensure that you sustain your creditworthiness as well as ensuring that the money is spent on the purpose for what the loan was acquired.

Before you make the decision to take out a loan, there are several factors to consider.

Read Also: Full Guide: All You Need to Know About Personal Loans in Kenya

1. Assess Your Financial Situation

 You need to consider your current income, expenses and debt to determine if you can afford to take on a loan. You should also consider your long-term financial goals, such as saving for retirement or buying a home. If taking out a loan would prevent you from achieving these goals, it may not be the best decision.

  • Evaluate Your Current Income and Expenditure

To determine if taking out a loan is a good financial decision, you must first evaluate your current income and expenditure. This will give you an idea of how much money you have available each month to cover loan payments, in addition to your other living expenses. 

You should also consider your future financial stability, such as your employment and earning potential when making this assessment.

  • Determine if Taking Debt is Practical

Next, consider if taking on debt is practical for your current financial situation. This means evaluating the amount you want to borrow and your ability to repay it. You should consider the interest rate, repayment terms and any additional fees associated with the loan. 

You should also make sure that you can afford the monthly payments without straining your budget.

  • How is Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is another important factor to consider when assessing your financial situation. A high credit score will likely lead to lower interest rates and better loan terms. If your credit score is low, you may have difficulty getting approved for a loan or may have to pay higher interest rates. 

It is important to review your credit score and credit report before applying for a loan and make any necessary changes to improve your score.

Read Also: How to Check Your CRB Report and Understand It 

2. Identify Your Loan Needs

What do you need the money for, and how much do you need? Knowing the purpose of the loan will help you determine the type of loan that is best for your situation.

  • Determine Why You Need the Loan

Before applying for a loan, it's important to determine why you need the loan. This can help you choose the right type of loan for your situation. For example, if you need a loan for a house, a mortgage loan may be the best option. If you need a loan for a car, a car loan may be a better choice. Understanding the purpose of the loan will help you choose the right loan option for your needs.

  • Evaluate How Much Money is Needed

Once you have determined why you need the loan, it's time to evaluate how much money is needed. This will help you determine the amount you need to borrow and choose the right loan type.

Always consider any additional costs associated with the loan, such as closing costs or fees.

  • Research the Different Loan Options

After determining why you need the loan and evaluating how much money is needed, it's time to research the different loan options. This includes comparing interest rates, repayment terms, and other fees from multiple lenders. You can compare loans from traditional banks, saccos and other lenders to find the best option for your needs. 

You should also review the terms and conditions of each loan, including the repayment period and any penalties for early repayment or late payments.

Read Also: Things to Consider Before Taking a Personal Loan in Kenya

3. Shop Around for the Best Loan

Once you have assessed your financial situation and identified your loan needs, you can start shopping around for the best loan. This involves comparing interest rates, repayment terms, and other fees from multiple lenders.

As mentioned earlier, compare loans from the lenders you approach to find the best option for your needs. Take note of the terms and conditions of each loan and lender as well as any penalties for early or late payments. In short, understand the small print.

>>>>> Compare Personal Loans from over 30+ Trusted Lenders in Kenya

  • Compare Interest Rates and Charges of Various Lenders

One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a loan is the interest rate. 

You should compare interest rates from multiple lenders to find the best option for your needs. Also, make sure to consider other charges like origination fees, prepayment penalties and late fees. 

These charges can significantly affect the overall cost of the loan, so it's important to compare them among different lenders.

  • Reputation and Track Record of the Lender

In addition to interest rates and charges, it's important to consider the reputation and track record of the lender. Research the lender's history, including customer reviews and any financial scandals. 

You should also consider the lender's financial stability and experience in the lending industry. A lender with a strong reputation and track record is more likely to provide a reliable and trustworthy loan experience.

  • Read the Fine Print and Understand All Terms of the Loan

Finally, it's important to read the fine print and understand all terms of the loan. This includes the repayment terms, interest rate and any penalties for early repayment or late payments. It is also important to understand the loan's terms and conditions, including any fees and charges.

Some lenders have several layers of terms and conditions therefore you should make sure you fully understand the terms of the loan before signing any agreements.

Read Also: 5 Ways a Personal Loan Can Improve Your Life

4. Make the Decision

Finally, after considering all of the above factors, you can make the decision on whether to take out a loan or not. You should weigh the pros and cons of each loan and make sure that you can afford the monthly repayments. If you are confident that taking out a loan will help you achieve your goals and will not negatively impact your financial situation, then it may be the right decision for you.

  • Weigh the Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking the Loan

Before making the decision to take a loan, it's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Advantages of taking a loan include access to funds for significant expenses, such as buying a house or paying for education. 

The disadvantages of taking a loan include the need to make regular repayments which can impact your monthly budget. In addition, the accrual of interest over time can increase the overall cost of the loan.

  • Consider the Long-Term Financial Impact

It's important to consider the long-term financial impact of taking a loan. This includes the total cost of the loan including interest and fees, and the impact on your credit score. 

Taking out a loan can also affect your long-term financial goals such as saving for retirement or buying a house.

  • Seek Advice from a Financial Advisor

If you are unsure about the decision to take a loan, seeking advice from a financial advisor can be helpful. A financial advisor can help you assess your financial situation, understand the advantages and disadvantages of taking a loan, and help you make an informed decision.

Read Also: How to Waste Loan Money in 8 Simple Steps 

Wrapping Up

Most banks have long loan application procedures and stringent eligibility requirements and you may not be assured that they will approve your loan. 

Again, the loan disbursal period differs from bank to bank which may be a significant challenge to someone who needs money right away.

Cognisant of this, consider applying for a loan early by working backwards from when you want to have commenced the project you are seeking financing for. This way, if the loan is approved, you will be on track.

Again, if the loan is not approved, you could evaluate your credit score and other factors that could have hindered the approval and work on remedying them in case you plan on taking another loan.

But, consider carefully what the purpose of the loan is before initiating the process and only go through with it after you are sure that getting a loan is the best option for you.

Njenga has over 8 years experience in multimedia and business journalism both as a writer, editor and producer. He has over 5 years of experience in radio broadcasting as a news reader, reporter and presenter. He is also a 2012 Earth Journalism Network-EJN Fellow.

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