A loan is a lump sum of money that you borrow with the expectation of paying it back either all at once or over time, usually with interest. Loans are typically a fixed amount, like $5,000 or $15,000. The exact amount of the loan and interest rate varies depending on your income, debt, credit history, and a few other factors. There are many different types of loans you can borrow. Knowing your loan options will help you make better decisions about the type of loan you need to meet your goals.
Open-Ended and Closed-Ended Loans
Open-ended loans are loans that you can borrow over and over. Credit cards and lines of credit are the most common types of open-ended loans. Both of these loans have a credit limit which is the maximum amount you can borrow at one time. You can use all or part of your credit limit depending on your needs. Each time you make a purchase, your available credit decreases. As you make payments, your available increases allowing you to use the same credit over and over as long as you abide by the terms.
Secured and Unsecured Loans
Secured loans are loans that rely on an asset as collateral for the loan. In the event of loan default, the lender can take possession of the asset and use it to cover the loan. Interests rates for secured loans may be lower than those for unsecured loans.
When it comes to mortgage loans, the term “conventional loan” is often used. Conventional loans are those that aren’t insured by a government agency like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Rural Housing Service (RHS), or the Veterans Administration (VA).
Loans to Avoid
Certain types of loans should be avoided because they are predatory and take advantage of consumers. Payday loans are short-term loans borrowed using your next paycheck as a guarantee for the loan.