Ever wondered what it means to have multiple loans at the same time? Here’s what you need to know.
With the impact of COVID-19 on household incomes, more and more South Africans are in need of financial assistance. The rise in the unemployment rate to 32.6% has also led to increased pressure on pockets. With that, more people will consider applying for a loan. When managed responsibly, having multiple loans has certain advantages and disadvantages that are important to understand before deciding to take out another loan.
What to consider when taking out another loan
There are many things to consider when taking out a loan. If you have one already, you’ll know that loans have many factors that you need to keep in mind and plan for. Personal loans can seem like the best way to borrow money, due to lower interest rates and competitive loan terms. Before you think of taking out another loan, assess whether you are on track with payments for your existing loan. Keep in mind the following:
● Debt-to-income ratio
Your debt-to-income ratio is how much debt you currently have compared to how much income you receive each month. This ratio should always be below 30% so that you aren’t putting yourself under extra pressure by having more debt than you can afford to pay back.
● Additional debt
Taking out another loan will increase your responsibility to pay back debt, which could mean that you will need to add to your income revenue to accommodate this.
● Managing multiple loans
Although loans help when we need financial support, they should be managed properly to be a positive tool and not harmful towards credit scores. With multiple loans, you will need to be certain that you’re able to manage with payments.
Can you have multiple loans at the same time?
To answer this question, there’s no law stopping you from taking out multiple loans. So you can take out more than one loan. The question becomes, do you take out multiple loans from different lenders or from the same lender?
Taking out multiple loans from the same lender can be done, but make sure that your lender doesn’t have any restrictions towards doing so. There could be requirements like a waiting period, a mandate to make some on-time payments, or some lenders could have limitations on how many loans you can take out.
Alternatively, you could take out personal loans from different lenders at the same time. This would mean that you will need to qualify each time you apply, based on your creditworthiness. Whether you’re planning to take out a loan with one lender or a few different ones, you will need to meet certain requirements.
Even though you can take out multiple loans at a time, it’s not always a good idea. Struggling with existing debt plus additional monthly payments with a new loan, could take a large portion of your income and make it more difficult to fulfil your other monthly responsibilities. However, having multiple loans doesn’t automatically put you in a bad place financially. There are ways to manage multiple loans that will benefit you.
- Multiple lines of credit will give you more opportunities in terms of time and money to react to urgent financial events.
- More than one loan can help you build a good credit record by making timely repayments and paying off your loans in full.
- Having more access to funds will also assist you in providing continuous support if you have a business.
- You will need to set aside money to pay for multiple monthly payments from your income until your loan is paid back in full.
- Missing a month of payment towards your loan can negatively affect your credit score.
- To cater to your increased loan payment responsibilities, you will need to relook at your budget and consider cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
- Each time you apply for a new loan, the lender issues a hard credit check that lowers your credit score for a few months. This can affect your future decisions to take out other loans.
How do you manage multiple loans?
- Prioritise your personal loan payments over monthly credit card payments. This is because missing payments and defaulting on personal loans impacts your credit score more than late payments on credit cards.
- Avoid additional credit card debt as higher interest rates will force you into making higher minimum payments, which could be unplanned and have you dipping into savings or being unable to make payments.
- Try to pre-close one loan at a time so that you’re not overwhelmed with having to pay many maximum payments at once. Pay off your loans with the highest interest rates in full first.
- If you’re trying to reduce debt on multiple loans at once, consider debt consolidation. This will move all your debt to one source and therefore will need only one monthly repayment. Check with your bank if they provide debt consolidation loans if you need help managing multiple payments.
- Avoid taking out a loan to pay other loan instalments. This will decrease your credit score due to the hard enquiry and set you further back in terms of the money you owe.
Having multiple loans can work in your favour if you’re responsible enough to meet payments and use them for the right reason. However, if you need additional funds and don’t want to take out another loan, there are alternatives. Save up if you can push the expense back to avoid taking out a loan. Overdrafts are also financial tools that provide additional assistance when we need it, although in a quicker time frame than a loan. Secured or co-signed loans are an option if you’re able to put up collateral for a secured loan or co-sign with a friend or family member. No matter your decision, make sure that you’re geared to lend responsibly.
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