Loans can help people achieve a variety of life goals. Some people take out loans so they can buy their first home, pay for their wedding or buy a car. However, these are not the only things you can use a loan for. There are Australian-based small loans lenders available so people can pay their debts, medical bills, holiday trips or simply pay for their credit card bills.
Loans can indeed help you afford items, services, and other things that you normally would not be able to pay for. However, keep in mind that a loan—no matter what kind—is still borrowed money. You will have to repay it, so think before you apply for a loan. If you do end up with one, make sure that you have a plan for paying it off.
Small Loans Australia – Tips on Managing Your Personal Loans
1. Sort and organise the basics.
The first thing you should do is to organise all your loan related information. This is especially helpful if you have multiple loans. You should know how much money you owe and to which providers you owe that to. It is also important to know what the interest rates and fees are— sorting this information will help you track your loans and plan effectively how to pay it off.
2. Create a budget.
Once you have sorted out the basic information about your loan, you can now create a budget that you can follow. You should weigh the amount of money you owe against the amount that you are earning and the amount you are spending monthly. Having a budget will help you make sure that the small loans, which Australian-based lenders have given you, would be paid back.
Here are the things you need to write down:
- The total amount of your income, plus any money that you have coming in
- The amount that you need for your fixed expenses and essential items; this includes your rent, groceries, utility bills, etc.
- The amount that you are expecting to spend on non-essential items or services; this includes hobbies, dining out, subscriptions, etc.
Your budget does not have to be the same every month, but you should consider possible situations or scenarios for the month and adjust accordingly. For example, you cannot expect your budget for regular months to work for the expenses that you may incur during the holiday season.
Bonus Tip: You should add 10% to your final budget for unexpected expenses or emergency repairs.
3. Avoid paying for non-essential items or services with a credit card.
Since you already have existing loans to pay, the last thing you want to do is pile up more debt. The whole point of having a budget is to be able to develop better spending habits and start saving money. Now that you have a budget to follow, you have a rough idea of how much you can withdraw for spending on non-essentials.
Using cash instead of your credit card can discourage you from spending on trivial things—you have to admit that it is a lot harder to part with cash than it is to swipe your credit card. Try to reduce the amount of money you withdraw each week and stay within your budget. This ensures that you can pay back the small loans that Australian-based lenders have provided you.
4. Identify where you can cut some costs.
Once you have created a spending plan or a budget, you will have a rough idea of how much money you still have left to spare. This allows you to review and identify what you can reduce, cut down or remove completely from your expenses. Believe it or not, removing a few small expenses can make a significant difference.
After cutting costs on some expenses, reassess your budget to include the new amount of your extra money. You can use some of that money for paying the small loans Australian-based lenders provided you. Keep in mind that the longer you owe money, the more interest you are paying. Depending on your loan agreement, you can consider your loans as fixed expenses until you have fully paid them off.
5. Do not throw away your receipts.
Recording your purchases and transactions helps you to track your expenses and keep your spending habits in check. Other than writing down your transactions, keeping your receipts can help you to further reconsider your spending. It also backs up the records that you have written down or saved on your money management app.
6. Make a shopping list.
Whether you are heading to the supermarket or a shopping centre, make it a habit to have a shopping list. Having a shopping list helps you avoid buying items impulsively. Keep in mind that you have a budget to follow and you should avoid getting items that you do not need.
You can opt to shop online if you feel like you will be able to follow your shopping list better this way.
7. Make sure that you pay your debts and loans on time.
You should be mindful of the payment schedule for your debts and loans. Failing to pay on time will add additional expenses from penalties and interest charges. Working on your time management should be one of your focuses when you are managing multiple loans or debts.
One of the things that you can do is set up a reminder for when payments are due. This way, you will not forget to make the payment for the small loans that Australian-based lenders provided you. Another way to avoid missing a due date is to set up an automatic payment for your loans.
8. Opt to pay more than the minimum.
Generally, lenders will give you two options when repaying debt. You can pay the full amount you owe or make the minimum repayments. Paying less monthly may sound tempting, however, this also means that you can still incur interest on the remaining balance. This is why you should pay more than the minimum as much as possible.
9. Make advance repayments whenever possible.
Keep in mind that the longer you owe money, the more interest you need to pay. Making advance repayments whenever possible can help you save money in the long run. However, you should read the fine print of your loan agreement with your Australian-based small loans provider, because some lenders will actually charge you for paying the debt off early.
In case your loan does have a prepayment penalty, check how much the charge is, then weigh it against the long-term benefits of paying the debt off early. Make your decision based on that.
10. Be one payment ahead.
This is different from making an advanced payment whenever possible. This tip is saying that you should, at least, be prepared one payment ahead. This gives you a layer of protection in the unfortunate event that you are unable to make a payment or your direct debit fails to push through. The future is unpredictable and, even if you are careful, you are not sure when mistakes can happen.
Loans can help you afford many things, however, remember to use them wisely. You should manage your repayments and make sure that you are making some lifestyle changes to avoid any pressure on your finances.