Before you pursue a loan of any type, it’s important to know more about your credit history. It is a record of all your past financial commitments and contains information about your repayment reliability and the total amount of debt you’re carrying. Banks and other lenders look at this record to determine your credit worthiness, usually by assigning you a credit score. The lower your credit score the less likely a lender is to underwrite your loan.
Your credit history is an ongoing compilation of information about you, so anytime you make a late payment or miss a payment it is captured in the file. Likewise, if you have ever defaulted on a debt or otherwise failed to fulfil a financial contract it will show up in your credit history.
Credit reference agencies collect other information about you, such as changes in employment or address. If your record shows that you make such changes frequently this will also lower your credit score.
Yes, most people with bad credit will be able to qualify for some type of loan but usually with some restrictions and limitations. There are numerous lenders who focus specifically on loans for people with bad credit so don’t give up. Just keep in mind that you will probably be charged a higher interest and offered a lower loan amount. The positive part of this is that once you’ve secured the loan you can start repairing your bad credit history by making regular, on-time payments. It happens slowly, but over time your credit history will show improvement.
There are two types of loans available to you if you have poor credit – unsecured and secured. Unsecured loans are more difficult to get because you don’t put up collateral as security for the loan. This is risky for the lender so expect them to require more stringent loan terms in this situation.
Secured loans, on the other hand, require you to provide some form of asset as collateral. Most of the time this means you will secure the loan with your house. The amount of money you can borrow and the interest rate you will pay are influenced by your credit history, your total amount of debt, and your home’s value. Different lenders weight these items different ways, so be sure to check with several to find one with a program suited for you.
Before you submit any loan applications, gather some information from several potential lenders. Find out about their interest rates, any special loan terms they may require, and any other specifics about their loan process. One word of warning – researching lenders is different than actually submitting loan applications. You can do all the research you want, but be careful not to submit a large number of loan applications over a short time period. This kind of activity can actually damage your credit history further. Another option is to contact an independent loan broker to help you find appropriate lenders and loan programs.