Take some time to comparison shop for your loan. When you compare loans, it can be hard to see which one will cost you the least. To make it easier, lenders are required to tell you a loan’s annual percentage rate, or APR. The APR is a number that combines the interest rate, the term, and the fees to show you the total cost of the loan. The lower the APR, the lower the total cost. Remember, the loan with the smallest monthly payment may not have the lowest cost overall.
Discuss the costs and the options with your lender. Carefully study the monthly payment and the APR. Then decide if you can really afford the loan. You want to be sure the monthly loan payment is an amount you can afford, but minimize the total cost of your loan if you can.
Before you sign any loan agreement, be sure to read it, including the fine print. Make sure you understand the terms and the costs.
It’s very important to be comfortable with your lender and make sure you fully understand everything about your loan before you sign. If you’re unsure, don’t sign – and seek advice.
It often takes a few days for a decision to be made about your loan application. However, a bank legally has up to 30 days to respond.
If you decide to apply for a loan, remember that you have legal rights as a borrower. The U.S. government passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to promote the availability of credit to all applicants who qualify for credit without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, or age.