The coronavirus is a cause for concern for many people right now. Some have already lost their jobs, while others might be dipping into their savings to let them coast along until things return to normal. The stimulus package should be helpful, while some have the option of filing for unemployment.
Still, though, it’s possible that those measures aren’t going to be good enough, particularly if you have dependents. If this is the reality that you’re facing, then you may need to consider pursuing a loan. If you do, there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind.
If you’ve decided that you need a short-term loan to get you through this difficult patch, then one thing you should certainly do is only go through an accredited financial institution. You could approach a well-known bank in your area, for example.
Banks are generally certified FDIC, meaning that any money that they keep in trust for you is insured. When you get a loan through a bank, you know that the terms that you’re going to get will be much more favorable than if you go through a disreputable online lender. A credit union would also be an acceptable way to go.
If you’re approaching an institution online for a loan and you get a bad feeling about it, it’s helpful to do some research to determine its reputation. If you find out that it engages in predatory practices, like demanding exorbitant interest rates, then make sure to steer clear of it.
Getting a secured loan is always easier than getting an unsecured one. An unsecured loan is going to mean a higher interest rate, even if you’re going through an accredited financial institution.
To get a secured loan and a better rate, though, you may need to have something like a house or some other form of property to put up as collateral. Remember, it may seem scary to offer up something like your home in which you have most of your equity. However, these are dire times for some people, and you need to put food on the table.
One more thing to think about is that at the moment, with shelter-in-place orders for much of the country, you’ll probably have to pursue a loan through the lender’s website. You can communicate with a loan officer through a phone call, or have an online chat if you’re comfortable doing so. You can even sign whatever forms are necessary electronically in most situations these days.
Remember that while getting a loan might not be the most palatable option, you need to keep yourself and your family afloat until the economy and the job market stabilize. The chances are good that once you’re back on your feet, you’ll be able to pay off the principle and whatever small amount of interest has accrued.