|"Traditionally, when signing a finance contract for a new purchase or personal loan, most of us just accept the contract and sign! And why wouldn't we? The salesperson appeared friendly, or the broker is from my 'birth country' and hey...they are the professionals right? Then the contract is picked up and read a few days later only to realise that the 'balance payable' is is enough to fly all the girls first class (twice!) to Paris and still have change! Simply follow these eight top tips and you can't go wrong!
Think carefully before taking out a loan. Could the loan stretch you financially? Do you really need this item? You might not even need a loan: can you wait and save a bit more first?
Select your broker/loan provider with care as not everyone has their customers' best interests in mind! Warning signs include the following:
- Pressuring or rushing you in any way.
- Deliberately putting false information on your application form.
- Minimising 'surprise' fee's and Income Insurances.
- Not taking the time to make sure you can understand income insurances and how they work. (they actually are fantastic products!)
Take time to understand the loan contract. Ask questions if you don't understand something and make sure the explanation is in 'plain English' and not legal or financial jargon. It is a good idea to get your lawyer to check the contract before you sign it. Other useful questions to ask your broker or moneylender are:
- Who do you use as moneylenders?
- What will my interest rate be?
- What is the brokerage fee?
- Will I have to pay any other fees?
Know your rights and never, ever sign a contract until you are sure that you understand what is expected of you. Did you know that you may change your mind after signing a contract? This is known as a 'stand down period'. This must usually be done within three working days of signing, but this timeframe may vary so be sure to check your lender's stand down period.
Shop around for the best deal. Did you know that filling in an application form is a good way of finding out what you will have to pay without actually being obliged to take out a loan? Only when a contract has been signed is the loan in place.
Be honest about all of your financial commitments. This is important because knowing about your finances enables your broker or moneylender to give you the right deal for your personal situation and, if necessary, to help you with budgeting. It is important to understand that being dishonest about your finances could put you at legal risk.
Pre-approved loans are a great way of letting you know the maximum amount you can spend, and giving you a 'cash buyer' advantage at the same time. Note that, should your purchase cost less than you first thought, you can take out a smaller loan than the pre-approved amount.
Take out insurance, particularly if you are getting a large loan. In some cases you will be required to get certain types of insurance before taking out a loan. Note that insurance products are packaged to protect the consumer and his/her assets. We at Vizion can discuss insurance options with you.
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