Personal Loans and Retirement – Keeping Your Finances in Check

By | February 20, 2013

Life is difficult when the cost of everything seems to go up faster than your fixed retirement income. There may be a case where something comes up and you do not have enough cash on hand to pay for it. In these cases, a personal loan may be a very good solution to your problem. However, you need to shop around carefully for the best deal you can get or you could wind up in worse financial shape than before.

Interest Rates

The first thing you want to do is make sure you get the best interest rate you can on your personal loan. Ultimately, the interest rate is a big factor in determining what your monthly payments will be and how long it will take you to pay back the loan. Instead of having a variety of lenders pull your credit reports, which hurts your credit score, pull a copy of all three of your credit reports from the major credit bureaus and make sure they include your FICO score. If you can tell your lender upfront what your score is, the lender can usually give you an estimate of what type of interest rate you qualify for putting an inquiry on your credit report.

Find a Trusted Lender

Internet companies like personal loans can be very attractive options for senior citizens who want to limit the amount of driving they have to do because they can research loan solutions from their home computer. Additionally, you may want to check with a peer-to-peer lending companies to see if you can get a better interest rate with a privately funded loan. On the other hand, if you have a good relationship with your local bank or credit union, you may find that they want to keep your business and will offer you a better deal. No matter which type of lender you go with, check with the Better Business Bureau and make sure the lender is reputable.


Whatever type of loan you accept has to work within your monthly budget. If you fail to repay the loan, the lender will likely pursue aggressive collection tactics that will make your life very uncomfortable. Make certain that the lender is clear about what the monthly loan payment will be and make sure that you can free up enough money in your budget to cover the loan payment. The last thing you want to do is get yourself into a situation where you have to keep re-borrowing money just to keep up with your loan payments. If you cannot afford to make the monthly the loan payment, you may be better off trying to find another solution to your problem.

Applying for a loan can be stressful, but it does not have to be the end of the world. Do not let lenders take advantage of the fact that you are in a bad situation. Assess your credit and your own financial situation so that you know what you can afford. Do not be afraid to ask questions. A little time and research can help save you hundreds to thousands of dollars on your loan.