Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated August 18, 2017)
If you're looking to get the most from your hard-earned money, one of the best ways to do it is to educate yourself before you spend it. This holds true for whatever you're in the market for, whether its groceries, a new car, or even borrowing money. After all, when you borrow, you're simply buying the use of someone else's cash. And what you have to pay back is not only the amount that you borrowed, but also the fee charged for the use of the amount that you borrowed, more commonly known as interest.
But how do you know if you're getting a good deal or not? Well, again, by educating yourself. Be aware of what's available in the marketplace. For example, if you're searching for the best mortgage refinancing that you can get, you have to find out what's being offered. You'll also need to know what the most competitive interest rates are. Get quotes from several different lenders stating their rates and fees, and get them in writing. But don't stop there. Don't take their word for what your costs or savings will be; run the numbers yourself with a good set of mortgage calculators. Compare the total costs of each loan.
Of course, you'll want to know where your credit stands. Some unscrupulous lenders have been known to sell customers higher-priced loans when they should have qualified for lower-interest rate products. So take nothing for granted. Get a copy of your credit report so that you can be certain that you're getting the best deal possible for your situation. And if it's a little shaky, take steps to repair your credit. It can only save you money.
If you're looking for cash advance or low-interest personal loans, the story is still the same. Since the fees and interest rates that can be charged are as varied as the lenders that charge them, you can only protect your wallet by knowing what's available and comparing similar products.
Lastly, by all means, familiarize yourself with the laws that are in place to protect consumers, along with your rights under those laws. Don't fall victim to scams and overcharges. Be smart; educate yourself. You'll end up with the best loan available for your needs, at a price that you can live with.
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