Long-term loans let you borrow money for nearly any purpose then repay your balance over time. Most long-term loans are unsecured loans, meaning you don't have to put down collateral like you do with a home loan or car loan.
Of course, long-term loans aren't all the same. The size and scope of the loan can be tailored to meet the borrower's needs and financial goals. Keep reading to learn more about long-term loans, how they work, and how to get started.
What Is a Long-Term Loan?
Before we go any further, let's talk about how long-term loans work. Basically, a long-term loan is any loan that lasts longer than 12 months – but can last up to 10 years or more.
Long-term loans are typically tailored to your financial needs, letting you borrow what you need with enough time to repay. These loans come with mandatory monthly payments that must be made to keep your loan in good standing, although the amount of your monthly payment can vary.
While long-term loans can help you get cash for any reason, they can also help you build credit. That's because your lender will report your credit movements to the three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If you make on-time payments and keep your loan in good standing, a long-term loan can help beef up your credit history and boost your score over time.
Benefits of Getting a Long-Term Personal Loan
Long-term loans can be used in more than one way, and the best use for you really depends on your financial needs. For example, a long-term personal loan can help you afford a large expense when you don't have the cash on-hand. A kitchen remodeling project can easily cost $30,000 or more, for example. With a long-term loan, you can borrow the money then slowly repay it over time.
But there are other, no-nonsense reasons to take out a long-term loan as well. Perhaps you're drowning in medical bills and want the option to consolidate them and make a single monthly payment. Or, maybe your credit card debt is out of hand, and you want to consolidate and secure a lower interest rate.
At the end of the day, a long-term loan can help in any situation where you need cash now and can repay over time. In addition to solving your cash flow issues, long-term loans come with the following benefits:
- Choose a loan amount and repayment plan that meets your needs. Choose a loan that's tailored to your needs with a realistic monthly payment you can afford.
- Save money with a lower interest rate. If your goal is consolidating debt and you're paying high interest rates, a long-term loan with a lower interest rate could help you save money.
- Improve your credit score. Adding a long-term loan to your credit report can help beef up your credit history and improve your score over time.
How to Secure a Long-Term Loan
If a long-term loan is in your near future, it's smart to shop around and compare more than one offer. That's why LendingTree's loan process is so rewarding; once you complete it, you'll receive multiple loan offers from different lenders.
Comparing offers is easy, but also important. With multiple loan offers to choose from, it's crucial to study and compare each loan's details. As you compare loan options, make sure to compare the interest rate, or APR, your estimated monthly payment, and the repayment timeline. Ideally, you'll want to choose a loan that offers the best interest rate along with a monthly payment you can afford. The best part is, you can compare loans online and from the comfort of your own home.
Long-Term Loans: How Long Is Too Long?
If you need plenty of time to repay your loan, you'll find many options that could work for your needs. Whether you need two years or 10 years to repay your loan, lenders are ready and waiting to make your loan possible.
While a loan with a longer term does take more time to pay off, it may offer a lower monthly payment that works well with your existing budget. And if the amount of your loan is rather large, you may need the extra time to repay while still enjoying a payment you can afford.
Like all loans, however, you should check to see whether your long-term loan comes with a prepayment penalty. With a long-term loan especially, it's important to know you can repay your loan early without paying a fee for the privilege.
No matter why you need the money, a long-term loan could be the answer you're looking for. With a few clicks of a mouse, you could be on your way to having several long-term loans to choose from.
Just remember to read the fine print and understand your new loan's terms before you sign on the dotted line. With enough research – and the right loan – you could get the cash you need with a monthly payment that works with your budget and lifestyle.