As the gift giving season approaches, you might be feeling a bit rushed to fulfill your shopping lists. While our hearts are filled with joy, it’s important to be careful with our finances so the holidays don’t turn into a financial burden. 

Holiday expenses can really stack up, especially when you’re trying to host people, buy gifts and travel to visit family all in the same month. I get it … you want to do it all and make everyone happy during the holiday season. But just like all your other financial decisions, I want to encourage you to approach this one with a strategy.

A holiday loan can be a good option to cover the costs of gifts, parties and trips but not all loans are created equal. So, before you pull out the laptop and start applying, ask yourself the following questions just to make sure you’re moving with purpose.

How much will this loan cost me? 

Getting a loan is all fun and games until it’s time to pay it back. When applying for a loan be sure to read all the fine print and pay close attention to the section where it explains APR (annual percentage rate) as this will determine the cost you will pay for the loan over time.

You may have only borrowed a certain amount, but ultimately, you will be responsible for paying back the amount you received plus all the interest. And interest can have a massive effect on how much you end up paying back. 

Consider loans with lower APR to reduce the amount you will be required to pay back. Also make sure you have agreed to an amount you can afford to pay each month.

How long will I have to pay?

When calculating the total amount you’ll pay for the loan, be aware of the term or length of time allowed to pay it back. What about fees? A lender could charge a fee for paying your loan off early, so it’s a good idea to find an option where you are not charged a pre-payment penalty.

Paying off a loan early cuts down on the amount of interest you pay and saves you money, so try throwing out more than the minimum when making payments.

Are these gifts worth getting into debt for?

Look, this should have been the first question, but you probably would have talked yourself out of the loan. 

Since there is no price tag to be placed on the happiness of your family and friends you will likely go ahead and get a loan. But make sure the prices are within reason.

Is my credit score high enough to qualify?

Last on the list, but certainly most important, does your credit score qualify for the type of loan you want? A credit report in good standing will be the ultimate determining factor in whether you get a good deal or not.

Now, I can’t tell you if you should or should not apply for a holiday loan. However, my hope is to equip you with enough information to make the best decision for your specific situation.

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Getting a loan to cover holiday expenses may sound like a good idea, but if you’re not careful the cost can outweigh the benefit. By taking time to weigh the pros and cons, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that will bring joy year-round. Want the inside scoop for finding the best loans and other credit tools? Join the Flyy Credit University today by clicking here

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