Paying Your Loan Back Early
By Peter J Kenny
Paying your loan back early is one of the best ways to save yourself money, but there can be hidden charges as well. If you are taking out a loan and think that you might want to pay it back early, then there are certain things you should take into consideration before signing up. Here is some advice to help you to get the most out of paying back your loan early.
Why pay back early?
Paying back your loan early might seem like an impossible target at the moment, but if you have a long-term long then it is possible you will be in a position to pay the loan back earlier than the agreed term. Paying back your loan earlier will obviously benefit you because it will reduce the amount of interest that you are paying. If you can possibly afford to pay back your loan early then you should try to do so, providing that the penalties are not too high.
Different names, same penalty
Although paying back your loan before the end of its term can be a great idea, there is a chance you will have to pay a fee in order to do so. These fees can vary in price, and also in what they are called. The same early payment fee can be called an early repayment penalty, an early redemption fee, a redemption charge or even a financial penalty. It is important to check your loan policy to see if there is a charge for paying early. If you are not sure, then contact your lender for help.
How much will it cost?
Paying back early does not carry a set penalty fee, but in general the amount is around one or two month’s interest. This means you need to work out when the best time to pay back the loan is. Usually, it is easier to pay back the loan early when you can afford to pay back the entire amount outstanding. However, you should avoid this if you are near the end of the loan term, because the charges may be as much as you save. However, some loans will allow you to pay back a certain amount early before you have to incur a charge. If you can afford to then pay back these amounts, as you will not get charged.
If you really think you will want to pay back your loan early, then you might want to think about getting a flexible loan. These loans have higher interest rates, but they allow you overpay. This means you can pay back your loan
much more quickly when you can afford it without having to incur any penalty charges. However, you should only consider one of these loans if you are really serious about paying the loan back early due to the higher interest rates.
No penalty fees
Another alternative is to find a fixed rate loan that has no penalty charge for early repayment. Although many people think only more expensive loans have this benefit, these days some of the cheapest loans have no charge for early repayment. If you want to pay your loan back early, then make sure you get one with no penalty charge.