Make Sure You'll Be Able to Pay Off Your Personal Loan with These 4 Tips

Unsecured personal loans give people cash when they need it at reasonable interest rates. These loans can be used to consolidate credit-card debt, finance a wedding, pay for a vacation, or do almost anything else. When taking out a personal loan for any of these uses, it's important to make sure you have a plan to pay the money back. Here are some ways to make sure you'll be able to pay back your personal loan.

Stop Using Credit Cards

If you're using a personal loan to consolidate credit-card debt at a lower interest rate than credit cards typically offer, make sure you won't rack up more credit-card debt after you transfer your cards' balances to a loan. If you use credit cards to earn rewards, make sure you pay off the balance every month. If you struggle to pay off your credit-card balance each month, you may want to put your cards away until the personal loan is paid off. You might even want to cut your cards up and never use them again.

Make Sure You Have a Source of Income

If you're taking out a personal loan to help pay for a wedding or vacation, make sure you'll have a source of income after the wedding or vacation. Without a source of income, you won't be able to afford your monthly payments. If you don't have a job already, it might be wise to delay getting a personal loan until after you've secured a job that will provide you with enough income to afford the monthly installments.

Don't Take Out Too Large a Loan

You don't necessarily want to take out the largest personal loan you can afford. If you max out your potential debt load, you won't have any financial resources to help with potential emergencies. By not getting the biggest loan you can, you should be able to qualify for another loan if you have a medical emergency, lose your job, or face some other unexpected situation.

Set Up Monthly Payments

Anytime you take out a new loan, it's possible to forget to make the first few monthly payments. After all, you've not had to make them before, so you haven't gotten in the habit of making them. To avoid missing a payment by accident—and avoid the late fees and other charges that may accompany a missed payment—sign up for automatic billing. You might even get a small discount when you do.