The Holiday Borrowing Risk List
Ch. 3.5. Installment Loans
If you need to borrow for the holidays, a safe, affordable installment loan may be the best way to protect yourself from borrowing more than you need, or ending up in a debt cycle.
Installment loans are loans with fixed monthly payments, which can be paid over as little as two months or up to 30 years.20 The terms of your loan can vary greatly depending on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and your yearly income, but in general, installment loans are a safer and more responsible ways to borrow money when you need it. You’ll know before you take out your loan exactly how much your monthly payments are going to be, and if you make them all on time, you can actually build your credit.
Even if your credit isn’t exactly anything to write home about, you can find responsible lenders offering no credit check installment loans that can meet your needs and help to rebuild your credit.21 You can find personal installment loan options at your local bank or credit union, or even online at responsible lenders.
Just know, while there are plenty of good online lenders, if you decide to go that route you should double check that the lender you’re dealing with is in fact real. Believe it or not, many fake lenders have been known to set up fake websites, especially during the holidays, in order to trick borrowers in need. Best case scenario: your holiday cheer is stolen when you realize that loan isn’t coming through. Worst case: your entire identity is stolen and used to make fraudulent purchases and open accounts in your name.22