1. Money

Loans

This page offers tools for getting the best loan rates. Find out where to compare loan rates, and what you can do to get a better rate. We'll cover auto loans, debt consolidation loans, and home equity loans. You'll know how to get the best loan available to you. Whether you want to refinance a loan or get a new loan, this is the place to start.
  1. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) (3)
  2. Auto Loans (11)
  3. Co-Signing (7)
  4. Credit Scores and Reporting (34)
  5. Mortgages
  6. Peer to Peer Lending (20)
  7. Student Loans (15)

How to Calculate Loans
When getting a loan, it helps to calculate loan payments and costs. Use that information to compare loans and determine which one fits your needs. You can calculate loans yourself using formulas, or use an online calculator. Learn your options and how to calculate loan specifics.

Line of Credit - How a Line of Credit Works
A line of credit is a pool of available money that you can borrow. This page covers the basics of how lines of credit work.

How Amortization Works
Amortization is the elimination of a debt over time. With an amortization schedule, you can see how payments are applied to principal and interest. This page explains amortization, and then you can generate an amortization schedule with our free online calculator.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
How much does that loan really cost? Is it possible to compare loans with different interest rates and closing costs? The annual percentage rate (APR) helps you understand how various loan offers stack up. Learn how it works, how it doesn't work, and how to calculate it.

Recourse Loans and Non-recourse Loans
What happens when you can't repay a loan? It depends on the type of loan. With some loans, known as recourse loans, lenders may be able to garnish your wages, collect from your bank account, and so on. With other loans, the lender can only take collateral (like a home you purchased with a home loan). Find out what the risks are.

Family Loan
Borrowers sometimes find that a family loan is the best option. What does it take to set up a family loan properly? You have to consider financial and personal topics to make sure the loan does not become a nightmare.

No Closing Cost Loans
You may see loans advertised as 'no closing cost loans'. While it may be a good deal, you should understand what it means to use a no closing cost loan. It does not mean you’re getting something for free. Let’s drill down into no closing cost loans and whether or not you should use them.

Pay off Loans
You have a loan and a little extra money. Should you pay off loans early? It’s important to understand what you get from a loan, and what it costs. You’ll save a bundle if you pay off loans early, but it’s not always the best thing to do.

Basics of Loan Preapproval
Experts suggest that you get preapproved for a loan before making a purchase. But what does that mean, and why is it important?

Loan Modifications
Loan modifications are changes to your loan agreement. Your payments get more affordable, and you don’t have to default on your loan. Banks choose to offer loan modification programs because it is easier to work with you than to go after you. Let's review how loan modification works, and how you can improve your chances.

Cheap Loans - Where to Find Cheap Loans - What to Avoid
Do cheap loans exist? There’s almost always a cost to borrow money, but you can manage the costs and improve your chances. Find out how to find cheap loans, and what to avoid.

Alternatives to Title Loans
Title loans are risky loans where you pledge something you own as collateral for a loan. We’ve previously covered the risks of title loans, so let’s see how you can avoid using them. There are several alternatives you should investigate before using a title loan.

IRA Loan
When you need money, an IRA loan may come to mind. Technically, it’s not possible to borrow from your IRA. However, you can do a few things that act like an IRA loan for quick cash. Learn what your options are.

Upside Down Loans
An upside down loan is a situation where the loan balance is greater than the purchased item’s value. This happens when the item loses value faster than the loan balance decreases. This page covers upside down loans and how to spot trouble.

Subprime - Definition of Subprime Borrowers and Lending
Subprime refers to a borrower that is not 'prime'. These subprime borrowers...

Moral Hazard - How Moral Hazard Works
Moral hazard is a concept saying that people will take risks if they have an incentive to do so. The idea is that people might ignore the moral implications of their choices. Instead, they will do what benefits them the most. The concept of moral hazard comes from the insurance industry.

Getting a Loan With Bad Credit
It’s hard to get a loan with bad credit. Options are limited, and borrowing is more expensive. If you’re trying to get a loan with bad credit, do some homework before you get a loan. It’s easy to get into expensive traps, and there are a few things you can do to improve your chances.

Loan to Value Ratio
The loan to value ratio (LTV) tells you how much of a property is being financed...

Debt Elimination Basics
Debt elimination is the process of knocking out loans so you stop paying interest. Sometimes borrowing is necessary. However, once you’re financially secure (or if you’re in over your head) you need to start on a debt elimination program. Find out how to go about debt elimination, and what you need to know before starting.

How Universal Default Works
Universal default is a feeding frenzy that your lenders participate in. If you’ve got a universal default clause on one of your credit cards, you may have to pay the default rate even if you always pay on that card as agreed. Make sure you understand how universal default works so you’re not surprised during hard times.

Deficiency Judgments
Deficiency judgment are court orders that make you personally liable for unpaid debt. They are often associated with foreclosures, when a home's selling price is not enough to cover the loan balance. Let's take a closer look at what deficiency judgments are and if you should expect one.

Car Title Loans
Car title loans are short term loans against your automobile. When you get a car title loan, you pledge your auto as collateral in order to get cash. For people with no other options, car title loans are a reasonable choice. However, car title loans are also very expensive and very risky.

Community Reinvestment Act
The Community Reinvestment Act was designed to make money available to underserved areas. Banks took deposits in low-income areas, but they did not make many loans in those areas. Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act to encourage lending, home ownership, and business expansion.

Government Loans
Government loans come in a variety of flavors. You can get a government loan to go to school, buy a home, run a business, and more. This list shows the most common government loan programs.

Bank Loan Calculators
It’s a good idea to use a bank loan calculator to figure your loan payments. Before you commit to anything, you should know what you’re getting into. Here are several bank loan calculators that help you understand what your payments will be like and how much interest you’ll pay on the loan.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure - How Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Works
Deed in lieu of foreclosure is a way to get out of a home loan...

How Subsidized Loans Work
Subsidized loans are loans for which the borrower does not pay interest. Interest would normally be charged periodically according to the annual percentage rate (APR). However, with a subsidized loan the interest is paid by another party.

Loan Deferments
When you are unable to repay a loan, you may go into deferment. Different loans have different requirements, so you’ll want to investigate your loan before attempting a student loan deferment. This page summarizes the concept of deferment so you can better understand whether or not you’re eligible – and if it’s a good idea.

What is a Credit Line?
A credit line is an available amount of money that you can borrow. What is a credit line used for? Just about anything. You can get a credit line for personal or business spending. Find out what a credit line is and how they’re used.

Refund Anticipation Loan
A refund anticipation loan (RAL) is like an advance on your tax refund. Instead of waiting for your refund from Uncle Sam, you get a refund anticipation loan so you can spend the money sooner. However, some problems arise when you use refund anticipation loans.

Unemployment Deferment
Unemployment deferment allows you to temporarily suspend payments on your student loans while you are unemployed. “Unemployment” is triggered by working less than 30 hours per week. To begin an unemployment deferment, you must submit a request through your lender.

Unsecured Loans - Definition of Unsecured Loans
Unsecured loans are loans that are not backed by any collateral. This page gives a definition of unsecured loans.

Home Equity Loan Tax Deduction
One nice feature of home equity loans is that borrowers may get a tax deduction on interest paid for the loan. Before you fall for a marketing campaign, you should understand that the tax deduction is not unlimited. This page explains how the tax deduction really works.

Home Equity Loans
Home equity loans allow a homeowner to borrow money by pledging the house as collateral. Borrowers who want to borrow a relatively large amount of money or who don’t have good credit often find the home equity loan to be attractive. Read up on the basics and get some tips on managing your home equity loan.

What Types of Loan Modifications Exist?
Banks can change the terms of your loan to make the payments more affordable. These changes are often called loan modifications, and they may be permanent or temporary.

Bank Levy Basics
When you owe money, creditors may use a bank levy to collect. They can’t get you to pay, but they can try to take money from your accounts. By using a bank levy, creditors have your assets frozen and paid to them so you can’t spend the money.

Car Payment Calculator
The car payment calculator is intended to help you figure out how much your car payments might be. In addition, you'll get an idea of how much interest you pay over the years. The car payment calculator includes an amortization schedule for your reference.

Debt Consolidation Programs
Debt consolidation programs are usually just a big loan that pays off other smaller loans. They can be very beneficial to borrowers, but these programs also have their pitfalls. Read up on how you should use debt consolidation programs and how to find the best deal.

Cash Title Loans
Cash title loans are short term loans that allow you to pledge title to an asset in exchange for cash. The most common cash title loan is a car title loan. Before you use a cash title loan, make sure you know the pitfalls.

Auto Title Loans
Auto title loans are short term loans that allow you to pledge title to an asset in exchange for cash. The most common auto title loan is a car title loan. Before you use a auto title loan, make sure you know the pitfalls.

Loan for Title
Getting a loan for title is the process of pledging an asset in exchange for a loan. You should use the loan for title program only if you have no other options. Let’s review what happens when you use a loan for title arrangement.

Payday Loans
Payday loans are short term loans you can use to get through a rough spot. Before you use a payday loan, make sure you understand the costs and risks. This page gives you a quick overview of how they work, and ideas on what you can do to avoid using payday loans.

Refinance
Definition of refinance. To replace a loan…

Understanding Simple Interest
Simple interest is the most basic type of interest. In order to understand how various types of transactions work, it helps to have a complete understanding of how interest works. We'll cover the basic idea, the simple interest calculation, and the limitations of simple interest.

Workout Programs - How Debt Workouts Work
Borrowers sometimes find themselves in over their heads. One way to avoid foreclosure or default is to use a workout program. Debt workout programs are agreements between a troubled borrower and a lender.

No Closing Cost Refinance - Definition
A no closing cost refinance is a transaction where you refinance without paying closing costs. A refinance happens when your new loan pays off and replaces an old loan. A no closing cost refinance means that you avoid paying up-front closing costs when you complete the transaction. Let's review the basics of no closing cost refinances and when you should use them.

Emergency Cash Loans
Emergency cash can come from a variety of places. Ideally, you’ve got an emergency fund built up. If not, you may need an emergency cash loan. This page covers emergency cash loans, and the best places to find them.

What Can I Use My Loan Money For?
A lot of borrowers ask what they can use loan proceeds for. When taking on a loan, some people get more money than they actually need. More brazen borrowers take a loan out without any desire to use the loan for its intended purpose. Some people want to invest the money and earn more than the interest rate they’re paying for the loan (earning...

Home Equity Loan Basics
This is a nice overview that will take you into deeper details if you want the specifics.

When You Need Money - Cures for the I Need Money Blues
At some point in our lives, we all reach the point where we say “I need money”. If you’re at that point, here are some ideas on getting the money you need. I hope to steer you in the right direction and cure the "I Need Money Blues".

4 Keys to Successful Debt Help
Seeking debt help is difficult. There are a lot of pressures and promises that can lead you to make a bad decision. Before you go into a debt help program, make sure you know as much as possible about what you’re getting into.

Credit at About.com
About.com's Credit guide can help you manage your borrowing and get the best deals. You'll find tips on managing credit to your advantage.

Finaid.org - Student Loans
A great starting point for those who want student loans and other types of financial aid. Get information on private loans here.

Amortization
Definition of Amortization.

Prepayment Penalty
Definition of prepayment penalty.

Tax Return Loans - Definition and Overview of Tax Return Loans
Tax return loans are loans you get in anticipation of a tax refund. While tax return loans help you in the short term, they can be hazardous to your financial health. Learn how tax return loans work and what to watch out for.

Tax Refund Loans - Definition and Overview of Tax Refund Loans
Tax refund loans are loans you get in anticipation of a tax refund. While tax refund loans help you in the short term, they can be hazardous to your financial health. Learn how tax refund loans work and what to watch out for.

How to Get a Private Loan With Bad Credit
Readers ask if it’s possible to get a private loan with bad credit. It depends who you borrow from. If you do a private loan with somebody you know, the answer is yes - as long as they’ll lend to you. If you’re looking for private student loans and you have bad credit, it’s not as easy.

Debt Elimination Program Pitfalls
Debt elimination programs promise to wipe away your debts. Some of them are legitimate, but the debt elimination industry is notorious for scams. Before you sign up with anybody, learn the common pitfalls of debt elimination programs.

Loan Payment Calculation
How much will you have to pay for a loan? A loan payment calculation gives you the answer you need. If you just want the answer, use our free online calculator. If you’d rather run the numbers yourself, this loan payment calculation formula shows you how.

How to do Amortization Calculations
Amortization calculations help you see how a loan is repaid. Each time you make a payment on an amortizing loan, you pay off some principal and some interest. An amortization calculation shows you how much of each is applied to any given payment. Learn how to do amortization calculations so you understand how loans work.

Calculate Loan Interest
You may want to calculate loan interest costs as you evaluate loans. Different interest rates, loan terms, and fees can affect your total cost, so it’s important to pick the right loan. You can calculate loan interest with an online calculator or you can do the math yourself.

Bank Account Garnishment
Question: A creditor threatened to take money I owe them from my bank. I’ve never heard of bank account garnishment. Can they do that? Answer: It’s not technically bank account garnishment, but the creditor may be able to...

Bank Account Levy
A bank account levy happens when somebody seizes assets in your bank account. If you owe money and cannot reach an agreement with a creditor, they may use a bank account levy to collect what you owe. Your account will be frozen, and your money may ultimately disappear.

Excel Loan Calculator
Running numbers is easy with an Excel loan calculator. Microsoft Excel includes built-in tools and formulas so you can get information quickly. The Excel loan calculator shows all the details about your loan, and helps you figure out how to repay it early.

Early Payoff Pitfalls
When you have extra money, does it make sense to do an early payoff and get rid of all your loans? There are benefits, but you should also know what you’re giving up. Learn what you lose with an early payoff, and then decide if it’s the best thing to do.

How to Pay off Debt Early
You can save a lot of money if you pay off debts quickly. The methods below will improve your chances. Before you choose one, make sure you understand how to pay off debt early with each lender. There may be fees or special steps you need to take.

How Much Did You Save by Paying off Debt Early?
Do you pay off debt early, or have you done it before? Celebrate it and help inspire others by sharing your story. Tell us why you paid off debt, how you did it, and how it helped you.

What do You Get From Online Banking?
Does online banking make your life any easier? How do you do it, and why? Share your experiences banking online. Some people are hesitant to get online, and they may not know what they can accomplish after they log in. Share your story and learn from others.

Collateral Basics
To get a loan, you may be required to use collateral. Learn more as we define collateral, see why it’s helpful, and examine how it’s used with loans.

Installment Loans
With an installment loan, you borrow once and repay according to a schedule. Mortgages and auto loans are typical installment loans. Your payment is calculated using a loan balance, an interest rate, and the time you have to repay the loan.

Loan Term
A loan’s term can refer to two things. First, it tells you how long the loan will exist. It can also refer to requirements and specifics of the loan agreement.

Calculate Interest You Pay
When you pay interest, you pay a fee for using somebody else’s money. In addition to returning their money, you pay a little extra. Knowing how to calculate interest helps you understand what it costs to borrow and it makes it easier to choose the best loan.

How to Get Preapproved for a Loan
Learn how to get preapproved for a loan. You’ll know how much you can spend, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate, and you’ll understand the costs of your loan before pulling the trigger.

Why Can’t Divorce Split Loans?
Your marriage may be over, but those loans can cause problems for years to come. Find out how loans are -- and are not -- affected during divorce.

Debt and Divorce
Getting a divorce and unsure what to do about debt? The decisions you make are important, and they may help you avoid trouble in the years to come.

Checklist for Divorce and Debt
Set yourself up for a clean break after divorce. Find out what steps to take with regards to debt and divorce, and learn what risks you face.

How to Get a Loan
Getting a loan for the first time can be complicated. Learn what it takes.

Joint Loans - Overview
What if you want to borrow with somebody else? A joint loan may work, but they're not always easy to get.

Calculate how a Refinance will Work
Learn how to run the numbers on a mortgage refinancing. Does it make sense for you to refinance?

Can I Refinance?
Find out what it takes to get approved for a refinance.

When to Refinance
When does it make sense to refinance, and when should you avoid refinancing a loan?

Unsecured Personal Loans
Want to borrow without pledging your home or car as collateral? An unsecured personal loan may be right for you. Find out how they work and how to get one.

What is a Prepayment Penalty?
Learn about prepayment penalties: what they are and whether or not you should avoid them.

SBA Loans are Available for Franchises
Find out about purchasing a franchise with an SBA loan.

What is an Amortization Table?
Learn the basics of amortization tables: what they are, what they tell you, and how to get one.

No Credit Check Loans
You can get a loan without credit, but look before you leap.

What is Debt?
Why do people and businesses borrow money? Explore how debt is used and learn about the risks.

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