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How to Use a Personal Loan in Six Unexpected Ways

February 13, 2019 | By Ana Elliot

There are so many things most people want to do: travel, eat at fine restaurants, redo the master bath, move to a new city (or any number of things on our to-do lists and vision boards). Generally, we have so many other things we have to do or need to do, there is never any money left over for the stuff we'd like to do. Sometimes, a good way to make sure your life is going in the direction you want it to is by thinking outside of the financial box. What does this mean? Well, simply put, thinking about financial options you wouldn't normally consider, like a personal loan, for instance. While most personal loans are used for consolidating debt into a manageable payment, in this article, we are going to ask you to think outside of the box regarding personal loans and what you can use them for!

What Is a Personal Loan?

First off, let's answer this question for those who might not know: What is a personal loan? Well, NerdWallet defines a personal loan as, "money borrowed from a bank, credit union or online lender that you pay back in fixed monthly payments, typically over two to five years. Lender rates can range from 7% to 36% APR." Personal loans are also considered "unsecured" loans meaning, simply, that they are not backed by any collateral on the part of the borrower (that's you). That means you don't have to put your car or something else up as collateral to get a personal loan. Sounds useful, huh?

Six Unexpected Ways to Use a Personal Loan

That’s right – we aren’t just going to show you one or two ways to use a personal loan that you hadn’t thought of. We are going for a grand total of six! Yeehaw!

Moving/Relocation

Do you need to move for a new job? Do you need to move to be closer to family? Renting too long? Well, you can use a personal loan to help fund a move or purchasing a new home. While most personal loans aren’t enough to cover a house purchase, it could greatly help with the cost of hiring movers or a down payment or closing costs. Whatever the extra costs are keeping you from tackling that home or move, a personal loan could help.

Travel Goals

While a lot of people put the dream vacation they've been planning for a while on a credit card, you can also do the same with a personal loan. And, if your credit score is good, you might be eligible for better interest rates on that loan.

Remodeling Your Home

Has your kitchen needed new counters and cabinets for ages? Have your bathroom tiles been cracked since you moved in? Have you dreamed of remodeling your house so you can increase its value, but could never afford to do so? Well, investing in your home is never a bad idea and, when it comes time to sell, it will pay for itself! Using a personal loan to help make your home look the way you need it to or do what you want for your future could be a great idea. You can even remodel your home to have green features! Higher efficiency appliances and features can not only bring your monthly bills down but could make you eligible for certain tax benefits!

New Business

Perhaps your life has turned you in a totally new direction and you’ve been thinking about making the plunge into your dream business. If you are having trouble opening up a line of credit for your new business, you might want to look at a personal loan to get the ball rolling!

Wedding Bells

Weddings are expensive. Like… $30,000 on average expensive. Yikes. Before you go tabling your plans on marriage altogether, perhaps look into a personal loan. You might be tempted to throw the cost on a bunch of your credit cards but it would be easier to just pay back the one loan with a fixed monthly payment and loan term than dealing with all those card payments.

Major Purchase

At this point, you’re probably getting the gist. Any big or major purchase in your life that could end up haunting your credit cards or just living in your dreams is a contender for a personal loan. Keep that in mind!

So, How Do I Apply for a Personal Loan?

If any of the above options felt like good ideas, you might be interested in the application process. Well, you can apply for personal loan online directly through the lender but your first stop should be to do your homework. Look at the different loans out there and do some research. Which loans are the closest to what you are looking for or fit your needs the best? Using loan comparison tools like this one from NerdWallet are great ideas to help you narrow down your searches. Once you’ve decided which loans are the best fit, we highly recommend pre-approval first. That way, you can compare different pre-approval offers without affecting your credit score!

Go Chase Your Dreams!

Long story short, a personal loan is a great tool to fuel your life. Whether that’s in the classic sense of consolidating your credit card debt to make managing your debt easier or through taking that perfect vacation, building that reading nook, making that green commitment you’ve promised yourself, or even moving to a seaside city to open your underwater-cave-themed bar. Whatever your bliss is, wherever it might lead you, don’t let it be derailed by maxed out credit cards screaming for minimum payments every month!