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How to Get the Best Kind of Personal Loan

By: Jason Markum

Finding a loan is hard! Since the recession of late 2008 began, it’s become very hard to find a loan! In these difficult financial days with unemployment reaching record highs and fears of inflation running rampant, finding the *right* loan becomes almost as important as finding any loan at all.

Most people don’t even realize that there are different types of loans available depending on; what you need a loan for, your financial situation at the moment, possibly the type of job you have, and your income levels. In this article I will be discussing several places to find a loan that you may not have thought of before. So let’s get started…

One kind of loan is called a broker loan. These loans are not often advertised, but brokerage houses sometimes have some of the best loan deals anywhere. If you open a margin account at a brokerage house or with your investment firm, you can often borrow up to 50% of the value of the stocks or bonds that you hold in your account. What you’re doing here basically is using the equity in your own portfolio as collateral. One drawback of a brokerage loan is that if your investment portfolio declines in value, that is if the stocks in your portfolio decline, you may be required to add more money to your account. This is what is called a margin call and tends to get a lot of people into trouble very quickly if you’re not careful.

Another kind of loan is a credit union loan. If the company you work for has a credit union it might make sense for you to join the credit union in order to take advantage of low-cost credit. A lot of credit unions will let you borrow at interest rates that are sometimes 2 to 4 percentage points lower than regular commercial rates. And sometimes it’s easy to repay the loans if the credit union is a part of the company you work for, as you can set up payroll deductions that will automatically make loan payments each month. This can make things very easy for you if you’re somebody who doesn’t like paying bills every month.

Another kind of loan is a home equity loan. Now with the housing market meltdown that we’re seeing in this recession of 2008 to 2010 it has become harder for many people to get home equity loans. But if you have a lot of equity built up in your house, much more than the average house owner, then a home equity loan may still be feasible for you. And one upside of the recession is that interest rates for housing loans have continued to remain at record lows, which means that if you can take advantage of a home equity loan now is the time to do it since you will pay less interest than almost any time in the history of the housing market.

Another kind of loan is a loan against your pension plan. Now with pension plan loans there are often very stringent limitations, but many come with longer loan repayment possibilities especially if your loan is used to make a down payment on the purchase of a new house, as long as it’s not a vacation house but is your primary residency. Interest rates will usually be set by the pension plan trustee and are usually set at around the normal prime rate at the time.

Another kind of loan is a credit card balance transfer loan or check. Often credit cards allow you to make advances on your account in exchange for a 3% fee or more. The downside is that these loans are often very short term, and after the initial term wears off – usually within 6 to 9 months, your interest rate could skyrocket to 20 or 30% before you realize it. New credit card legislation passed by Congress last year 2009 is set to go into effect in the middle of February 2010 that may have an effect on credit card balance transfer offers. So be on the lookout for changes in terms and conditions as well as interest rates and fees for balance transfer checks.

And there you have it! These are several ways that you can find loans even in a down economy.

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