A long-term personal loan is one that has a term of between five to seven years (Although some can even be ten years). As this is a longer time, you can use them for big purchases such as a car, boat, cosmetic and other surgery, or a wedding.
Something to be mindful of if taking out a long-term personal loan is the repayments. As you are extending the loan for a longer period, your ongoing repayments are lower, but you will pay more interest overall. This can be good for your short-term finances as it is easier on your cash flow, but you are in debt for longer.
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Long term personal loan comparison
How does a long term personal loan work?
Most personal loans offer terms of between one and seven years, but a long-term personal loan has a term between five and seven years. These loans are usually taken out by people borrowing a large sum of money, eg upwards of $30,000, but they may also be taken out by people borrowing a smaller amount who are unable to afford high repayments.
Borrowers have a choice of a fixed or variable interest rate with a long-term personal loan. A fixed rate loan means regular repayments, but a variable rate loan gives you more flexibility with repayments, this includes being able to make additional repayments and paying back the loan early.
Which is better: long term or short term?
Ultimately, a shorter loan term is better. Your repayments may be higher with a short-term personal loan but you will pay less interest overall. For example, a $20,000 loan repaid over four years, at a rate of 12.5% p.a., will see you repay $532 each month and pay $5,517 in interest over the course of the loan. If that term is extended to seven years, you will repay $358 per month, but the interest you pay essentially doubles to $10,108 over the life of the loan.
How you can compare personal loans that have a longer loan term
- What is the interest rate of the loan?
This defines what your repayments are over the course of the loan and it is important to take this into account. Use a repayment calculator to determine whether you can afford the repayments.
- Is the loan secured or unsecured?
Secured loans require you to provide collateral, and tend to attract lower interest rates in comparison to unsecured loans. If you’re buying a car, the car can serve as collateral, or you can use an asset you already own, such as your car or equity in your home, as collateral for the loan.
- What is the loan amount you’ll be borrowing?
How much you can borrow depends on various factors like what the loan is for; your ability to provide suitable security; your annual earnings and monthly expenditure.
- Do you have multiple repayment options? Repayment flexibility comes in the form of being able to choose between weekly, fortnightly, and monthly repayments. If you want to take out a variable rate loan, look for one that allows you to make extra repayments without incurring penalties, as this allows you to pay off your loan earlier. In this case, you may also want to look at loans that offers a redraw facility.
- What are the other fees and charges on the loan? Other fees may apply. You can check out these fees on the individual lender’s site.
- Do you have a range of loan terms available? As the name suggests, long-term personal loans usually take 5-7 years to pay off.
Read more: Unsecured personal loan comparisons
The good and not-so-good
- Lower repayments. A loan with a longer term means lower repayments, giving you more cash flow throughout the loan term.
- You could hack the loan. By choosing a longer loan term and making additional repayments you can pay back the loan sooner, and take advantage of lower repayments.
- You could use the finance for a huge expenses. Long-term personal loans allow you to finance more expensive purchases such as cars or boats.
- You will pay more in interest. A longer loan term, as demonstrated in the example above, will see you pay more interest over the course of the loan.
- Keep you in debt longer. Having a longer repayment period means it takes far longer to repay your debt.
- Tendency to incur another debt. Since consolidating your debt frees you from higher payments, you may be inclined to apply for other sources of credit.
Things to avoid about long term personal loans
- Excessive debt. While taking out a long-term personal loan may seem like a good idea at the time, it can leave you in debt that you find difficult to repay. Make a repayment plan ahead of time and be sure to account for unexpected expenses in your budget.
- Fees and charges. Make sure you go through the fine print and find out exactly what you have to pay regarding fees. These can come in the form of application fees, insurance costs, arrangement fees, early repayment fees, settlement charges, and late charges.
- Tendency to splurge. Long-term personal loans usually set a minimum loan amount, so you can receive more money than you need. You may then be tempted to use it all and be in more debt than you anticipated.
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How to apply for long term personal loans
Applying for a long-term personal loan is straightforward, and you can start by comparing your options. Go through the various loan providers on this page and once you find a suitable product, click on it to go to their website. As part of the application process, most lenders require you to meet some basic eligibility criteria, which usually include you being a New Zealand citizen or resident, and being over the age of 18.
You may also be asked to provide details about your employment and your earnings. If you want to take out a secured loan you have to provide documents to prove ownership of the collateral you use to secure the loan.