When you are choosing a lender it is likely that you will mainly be comparing on price. Although this is a really good idea, as you could end up paying a lot more for a loan if you go with an expensive lender, there are other factors that you should look into too.
It is good to look for a lender that has fair charges, for example. Most lenders will charge fees for setting up the loan, fees if you miss a payment and fees if you want to pay the loan off early. It is worth comparing these anyway as you will have to pay the set up fee if you go with them and it is hard to know whether you might miss a repayment or want to pay the loan off early. It also gives you an idea of how flexible they might be too.
It can be good to find out whether they might be flexible if you are in the situation where you cannot make a repayment. Try to find out what their procedure is and whether they can delay payments or allow you to repay less if you get into financial difficulties. It can be worth telephoning their customer services or look at reviews of the lender to get an idea about this. It can take time to do this research but it could be really important. By talking to their customer services, you will also get an idea about the general feel of the company. You can ask questions and find out how helpful they are and find out all about things which may not be so obvious in the basic details of their paperwork. Find out what happens if you are unwell and cannot work, miss a payment or are struggling and want to pay less each month and increase the term of the loan. Knowing if they are flexible or not can be really important, it can give you peace of mind when you are choosing a lender to know whether they have your best interests at heart or not.
It can also be good to know how fair they are on interest rates. When rates go up, lenders are usually in a big hurry to put their rates up as well. However, when rates go down, they tend not to put theirs down so quickly. Therefore it can be good to try to find out what the lender that you are considering is likely to do. You could try asking them, but it is unlikely that the customer services team will know, however you may find out more online. This could be information that you may be able to find out if you look online though. If you look at reviews of lenders, perhaps on money message boards or even ask in chat rooms to find out peoples experiences. You may even be able to find some statistics on this sort of thing if you look hard enough. It could also be a good question for a financial advisor if you choose to use one.
It can be best to compare places on price first and then take a look at all of their details in more detail and find out a bit more about them. You may already know the lender, but you may find that you know nothing about them. As well as reading their website and online reviews it can be a good idea to find out from your friends and family what they think about the lender that you are considering as well. They may have used them and know what they are like to deal with on a personal basis and this can be really useful information. It is great to ask family and friends as they have no reason to be biased when they tell you things. They will let you know about any of their dealings with various lenders and make recommendations perhaps and tell you who to avoid.
It is worth gathering a lot of information, particularly if you are getting a long term loan. It could save you a lot of money and stress if you make the right choice. You will want to make sure that you make the right choice after doing a lot of research and then even if it turns out that there were better options, at least you know that you worked your best to make the correct decision. It may seem like a lot of hard work, but if you are taking out a long term loan, it will be expensive and you will want to make sure that you are getting good value for money. If you struggle with it at all, you want the peace of mind that your lender will look after you and help you to manage those repayments.