Borrowers have many options to consider when looking for emergency funding, but how do you know which loan type is best for you? During your search you may come across loans like Spotloan, which function similarly to a Cash advance or payday loan. While these types of loans can come with benefits like fast funding, they usually also have consequences like high-interest rates, low loan amounts, and brief repayment terms.
Here, you will learn about the different lenders and financial products available to consumers and how you can go about finding the right kind of funding that will help you out the most!
Finding The Right Personal Loan
With so many lenders and financial products available, finding the right personal loan can seem overwhelming. But, by doing a bit of self-evaluation and reviewing your options, finding a form of funding that works well with your budget and finances can be simple and straightforward.
Assess Your Finances
To begin, assess your current financial situation by taking a look at your most recent credit report and credit score. Your credit score can help guide you toward lenders who may work well with you, as well as help weed out lenders who wouldn’t be a good fit at all.
You will also want to calculate how much debt you currently have associated with your name. If you are already struggling with paying off your current debts, now may not be the best time to apply for another loan. You may consider refinancing or looking into a debt consolidation loan if this is the case. But, if you don’t have many loans, credit card balances, or other forms of debt in your name, there may be room in your budget for the right kind of personal loan.
Create a Financial Plan
The next step you will want to take is to create a financial plan. Ask yourself questions like:
- Do you want a short-term or long-term loan?
- Are you willing to use collateral to secure your loan?
- How much money do you need?
- Are you paying one lump sum expense or recurring expenses?
- How much can you afford to contribute each month to pay off your loan?
Long-term vs. Short-term Loans
Think about how long you want to take to pay off your loan. If you are looking for a quick turnaround time and want to eradicate your debt quickly, a short-term loan may work best for you. Or, if you are looking to cover an extensive expense and need a few months or more to pay off the costs, a long-term loan may be what you are looking for.
Secured vs. Unsecured Loans
Personal loans typically come in two different forms: secured and unsecured loans. A secured loan is funding that requires the borrower to include collateral in order to receive approval. Car title loans and home equity loans are two common types of secured loans. An unsecured loan, on the other hand, is funding that does not require borrowers to offer any collateral. Instead of using the equity in a borrower’s collateral to determine approval, lenders for unsecured loans will consider the borrower’s credit score, income, and other factors.
Research and Compare Options
Next, after you have assessed your own financial situation and decided what you are looking for in a loan, it’s time to research minor and major loan companies and compare the different deals and products they offer.
How to Compare Loan Offers
Knowing how to compare loan offers is essential if you want to make sure you are getting the best possible deal. Below are some core elements of a loan you should get more information about before you submit an official loan request.
Qualification and Loan Amounts
First, ask your potential lenders about their basic qualification standards and what loan amounts they offer. You may find approval requirements and loan amounts can vary depending on the lender or financial product you go with. For example, credit unions may require borrowers to live within a certain town or county or work within a particular field in order to receive approval. Other institutions, like banks, may require borrowers to have exceptional credit. Furthermore, you may find that some lenders only offer short-term loans while others specialize in long-term funding.
Your repayment period will play a pivotal role in determining your monthly payments. A longer payment schedule may allow for smaller monthly payments, while a shorter repayment schedule will most likely require larger payments.
Interest Rate and APR
When researching loans, be sure to get information about both the annual percentage rate (APR) as well as the interest rate. The APR of a loan is calculated based on the original loan principal as well as any other fees included in the loan agreement. Regular interest rates, on the other hand, are calculated at first using the loan principal and then the current balance as the borrower pays off their loan.
Fees and Additional Charges
It’s also important to inquire with your lender about what types of fees and charges they require. Below are some common charges you may come across when researching loan offers:
- Origination Fee – An underwriting fee many lenders charge for writing a borrower’s loan contract.
- Late Payment Fee – A penalty charge incurred when a borrower submits a late or delinquent loan payment.
- Prepayment Fee – A penalty charge some lenders require if a borrower submits an early loan payment.
- Balloon Payment – Lump sum fee due at the end of the repayment period for some loans.
While it’s very likely your lender will charge an origination fee and late payment fees, prepayment fees and balloon payments can be avoidable when you work with the right lender.
Loans Like Spotloan: What You Need To Know
Spotloan is a lender that offers installment loans ranging from $300 to $800 with repayment terms ranging from three months to ten months. Spotloan is also an asset of BlueChip Financial, a tribal lending financial institution. This entity is owned, organized, and operated by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. The Tribe’s Reservation is located within the state of North Dakota, where the Turtle Mountain Band handles all BlueChip Financial business.
Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for personal loan approval with Spotloan:
- Applicants must be at least 18 years or older.
- Applicants must have a regular source of income.
- Applicants must have a valid email address and phone number.
- Applicants must have an open and active checking or savings account.
Sometimes, Spotloan will also require a government-issued photo ID in order for borrowers to prove their identity. The most common documents used to prove identity for a loan are a driver’s license, passport, or military ID.
Spotloan claims they do not discriminate against loan applicants on the basis of the following:
- National origin.
- Marital Status.
- Applicants with income coming completely or in part from any public assistance program.
- If an applicant has properly exercised any right constituted under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
Approved borrowers from the following states may access loans via Spotloan:
Spotloan does not operate in the following states:
- District of Columbia.
- New York.
- North Dakota.
- West Virginia.
Borrowers can pay back funding to Spotloan via ACH, debit cards, checks, or money orders. Furthermore, approved borrowers who have received funding from Spotloan have a three-day grace period to change their minds and cancel their loans with no consequence.
Borrowers who want to take advantage of the three-day rescission period must contact Spotloan before closing time on the third business day, after which funds are deposited into their bank account. The working business hours for Spotloan are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT on Saturday.
- New Hampshire.
- New Jersey.
- New Mexico.
- North Carolina.
- Rhode Island.
- South Carolina.
- South Dakota.
Does Spotloan Do Credit Checks?
While Spotloan does look at your credit history and request information from credit reporting agencies, these inquiries may not appear on your credit report. Essentially, Spotloan does a credit check to review all accounts where borrowers have accepted credit. These accounts may include mortgages, credit cards, existing loans, or any other credit agreement. The type of credit pull Spotloan performs may be referred to as a soft credit check.
Hard Credit Checks vs. Soft Credit Checks
Consumers and financial institutions can look at credit history via hard credit checks or soft credit checks. A hard credit check, also called a hard credit pull, is an official credit report from one of the major credit bureaus when a consumer submits a loan application. There are three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These credit reporting bureaus keep track of hard credit inquiries, and therefore borrowers should limit the number of hard credit inquiries they allow to prevent penalties on their credit report and credit score.
Alternatively, soft credit checks are safe inquiries into a consumer’s credit history. Lenders can perform soft credit checks by inquiring with non-traditional credit reporting agencies. Borrowers can also perform soft credit checks for a report on their own financial history via their accounts with a bank, credit card, and other financial institutions. Unlike a hard credit inquiry, soft credit pulls do not negatively affect credit scores do not negatively affect credit scores, so borrowers and lenders may request them as often as they like with no consequence on following reports.
How Do Interest Rates With Loans Like Spotloan Work?
Spotloan charges a maximum APR of 490%. This APR breaks down to approximately 1.34% interest charged daily. However, Spotloan offers a potential benefit for borrowers who have successfully paid off one Spotloan installment loan and are looking to apply for a second.
For returning customers, Spotloan offers interest rates that could range from 460% to 330%. Furthermore, borrowers who continue to take out and pay off Spotloan personal loans with a clean payment history have the potential to receive an APR of 99% once they take out their 10th loan.
Borrowers risk having their APR increase if they make late or delinquent payments. Another way borrowers can increase their Spotloan funding balance is by sending a bad check. Spotloan charges $10 for all returned checks as an NSF fee.
Spotloan Loan Comparison
Let’s take a look at an example of how a Spotloan loan might work. Say you received a loan amount of $600. With an APR of 490%, you could pay off the loan with ten bi-weekly payments over the course of five months. This repayment plan would result in $775 of finance charges, bringing the total cost of the loan to $1,375 – more than twice the amount of the original loan!
Alternative Options Besides Spotloan
As you can see, it’s easy for a loan from Spotloan to get expensive and potentially unaffordable quickly. Instead of dealing with a 490% APR, you may want to look into other options that could offer you better rates, more money, and more flexible terms.
Check out more information on alternative lenders and loan products you may consider below!
Borrow From Friends or Family
Before applying for and accepting a loan offer that comes with interest rate charges and other fees, consider asking a friend or family member to loan you the money you need. Getting a loan from a trusted friend or person in your family could help you get your money faster, avoid a hard credit check, and even save money. However, if you do plan to ask friends or family for a loan, make sure you discuss the loan amount and repayment plan in detail. Both you and the person you are borrowing money from should feel comfortable and informed about the situation to avoid damaging the personal relationship.
If you decide that borrowing money is the right choice for you, you may be able to get a better deal with a traditional personal installment loan than you would with a loan from Spotloan. Installment loans usually fall into the category of personal loans because borrowers can use funds for just about any expense. While most personal installment loans were designed for short-term financial emergencies, there are lenders who offer long-term options for borrowers who need them.
Consumers who need to take care of expenses regularly may be better suited for a credit card. Credit cards are revolving lines of credit which means borrowers don’t have to re-apply every time they want more money. With credit cards, consumers have access to a preset credit limit which they can spend all of or none of over the course of a month. At the end of the month (also called the billing period), the credit limit will renew, giving the account holder the ability to spend against the full amount of their credit limit once again.
Keep in mind that it’s very easy to accumulate unaffordable credit card debt by keeping a high balance from month to month. If you can, try not to carry a balance at all!
Cash advances are a type of short-term loan allowing borrowers to access quick cash. Typically, loan amounts for cash advances are relatively low, about a few hundred dollars or less. Interest rates for cash advances are also usually relatively high, even for borrowers who have a clean credit history. Similar to a payday loan, borrowers should try to pay back their cash advance loan within a few days to avoid accruing extra charges.
Home Equity Loan
Homeowners may be able to take advantage of the value in their property with home equity loans. In order to receive a home equity loan, an appraiser may visit your home to inspect its current condition. Based on that inspection, the appraiser will inform you of the equity in your home.
If you are paying a mortgage that is for a lesser amount than the equity in your home, then your home is considered to have positive equity. Consumers with positive equity in their homes may be able to enjoy high loan amounts with a home equity loan. However, know that home equity loans are secured using your home, which means you may lose it if you miss recurring payments or default on your loan.
Online payday loans are a form of short-term funding designed to give borrowers access to money while they are waiting for their next payday to come around. As a type of payday cash advance, payday loans usually come in low loan amounts, have short repayment terms, and almost always have extremely high-interest rates and other hidden fees.
Car Title Loan
A car title loan is a type of secured loan that uses the borrower’s qualifying vehicle title as collateral. Since the equity in vehicles is normally on the higher side, car title loans can be a popular choice amongst borrowers with a poor credit history who feel they won’t be able to find an approval for a high loan amount elsewhere. However, the high rates and brief terms that usually accompany car title loans put borrowers at risk of falling into a stressful cycle of debt.
How Do Spotloan Installment Loans Compare to Payday Loans?
Wondering how does a payday loan compare to an installment loan from Spotloan? A payday loan and a Spotloan loan share many similarities, including high-interest rates and low loan amounts. The biggest difference between Spotloan and a payday loan is the repayment terms.
Online payday loans typically require full loan repayment within approximately fourteen days or less, while Spotloan gives their borrowers three to ten months to repay their loans. However, longer repayment terms may not be the best for your finances. Because of the high-interest rates, longer repayment terms may cause the total cost of your loan to skyrocket.
CreditNinja: How Does It Compare?
CreditNinja is a direct lender that has offered personal installment loans since 2018. During our time in the industry, we have been able to help over 275,000 people navigate financial emergencies.
Some perks you may be able to enjoy with CreditNinja loans are:
- Fast application.
- Easy approval process.
- Expert help is available.
- Flexible terms.
- Competitive rates.
- All credit types considered.
How Do CreditNinja Loans Work?
Loans with CreditNinja are fast and efficient! You can apply online, receive a loan decision, and even get paid, all without having to leave your home. Simply fill out an application and receive a loan approval decision right away. If approved, you can expect funds in your bank account as soon as the same day or the next business day!*
What Is Instant Bank Verification (IBV)?
Instant bank verification (IBV) is a way for lenders to get an insight into your current financial situation. Your bank account history will show activity like direct deposits from your employer, spending history, etc. Loans with instant bank verification are generally faster and more efficient than traditional loans that require borrowers to locate and submit multiple documents during the application process.
In order for CreditNinja to complete your bank account verification, we will need two sets of numbers: your bank account and routing numbers. Your routing number is a nine-digit number that identifies the financial institution with whom you bank. Your bank account number is a 9 to 12-digit number that identifies your account within the financial institution you bank with. You can find both of these numbers on the bottom of any check associated with your bank account, as well as via your online or mobile bank account.
How Will Loans From CreditNinja Affect My Credit Score?
When used responsibly, CreditNinja loans have the potential to positively impact your credit! By making timely payments and paying off your debt, you may see an increase in your score the next time you pull a credit report. However, keep in mind that making late payments or defaulting on your loan may have a long-lasting negative impact on credit scores.
How To Tell if a CreditNinja Loan Is Right for You
Consumers looking to borrow money with bad credit may find CreditNinja helpful. Often, bad credit borrowers don’t have the best options available when it comes to installment loans. CreditNinja works to be a better alternative to predatory payday lenders and other unaffordable forms of funding, such as installment loans from Spotloan.
*Applications approved before 10:30 a.m. CT Monday-Friday are generally funded the same business day. Applications approved after this time are generally funded the next business day. Some applications may require additional verification, in which case the loan, if approved, will be funded the business day after such additional verification is completed.