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Personal Loans for Christmas
Need some extra money to get through the holidays? Here's how to find a loan that's right for you and your family.
It’s often said that Christmas feels like it comes earlier and earlier every year, and much of this has to do with the financial strain the holiday causes. If you are looking to spread your Christmas expenses over an extended period, or you want to consolidate debt leftover after New Year, this guide will help you sort through your options.
Loan options to see you through the holiday period
What options do I have for a Christmas loan?
There are a few options available for Christmas spending. The right option for you depends on your income; whether you are looking to consolidate Christmas debt; applying for a loan, and how much money you want.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of your options:
- Short term loans. If you need a small loan of less than $2,000 and can repay it in a few months, you could consider a short-term cash loan.
- Unsecured personal loan. If you have good credit and are looking for a larger loan, you can consider a personal loan where no security is required.
How do these loans work?
A Christmas loan provides you with much-needed funds to help you get through the holiday period or helps you consolidate your debt after Christmas. As with any loan, you have to repay the loan amount along with any interest and fees it attracts within a given period. Typical Christmas loans are unsecured, so you don’t have to worry about providing collateral.
You can use proceeds from such a loan for all Christmas-related expenses, from buying presents; decorating your home to simply buying products you have wanted for a while. A good way to establish how much you should borrow is to work on a budget ahead of time and take into account that repayment periods can vary between one and seven years.
What features should you look for in a Christmas loan?
Making sure you compare loans for the holiday season is an important task. You should make sure you know the rates, fees and repayment information before applying. Consider the information below:
- Does the loan offer repayment flexibility? Lenders usually line up your repayments according to when you get paid and some allow you to make extra repayments without charging a penalty. You might be able to pay off the entire loan ahead of time without paying a penalty, so check this before you apply.
- When will you receive the loan? Given that most lenders rely on technology to verify personal and financial details, you can expect a reply to your Christmas loan application in less than 24 hours. Funds are distributed soon after.
- Remember to compare interest rates and fees. Make sure you compare lenders as you may find a more competitive offering.
Tips to keep your Christmas costs down
If each Christmas is getting more expensive than the last, it is time to take back control of your holiday budget. Here are some tips to spend less next year:
- Pay down your debt before the holidays. A lot of stress comes from debt piling up, so getting on top of your existing debt well before the holidays can help ease this. Pay off your credit card debt and make extra repayments on your loan so you can redraw (although, fees may apply).
- Consider a 0% purchase credit card. These cards let you spend interest-free for a certain period, helping you to keep costs down during the holiday period. Compare your options here.
- Utilise your rewards. If you are part of a rewards scheme, Christmas could be the ideal time to spend your hard-earned rewards points on shopping items. If you’ are looking for ways to earn rewards, various credit cards come with rewards programmes, letting you earn points for every dollar you spend.
- Don’t have a budget, but have a plan. If you organise the presents you’ are going to buy beforehand you limit the chance of overspending. You can also find the places to buy your items the cheapest.
- Shop online and save. You can save time and money by shopping online thanks to coupon codes, which you can get here at finder.com/nz, along with shopping guides for everyone in your life.
- Have a repayment plan. If you do overspend, work out how you’ are going to pay it back. Choose your debt consolidation method, whether it be personal loans, balance transfer credit cards or both, and then make payments within a specific timeframe to get out of debt as soon as possible.
Is there anything to avoid with Christmas loans?
- High interest. Make sure you compare interest rates between competing loans. It makes sense to avoid loans with high-interest rates, but you might not have this luxury if you have a poor credit history.
- Hidden fees. An easy way to avoid paying hidden fees is to read through the entire loan documentation carefully before accepting its terms and conditions. The law requires lenders in New Zealand to inform borrowers of all associated fees, so by going through the related paperwork, you will know exactly what to expect.
Christmas is a joyous occasion for friends and family. Ensure you can afford the repayments on any loans you take out by comparing your options.
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