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By choosing to pay off your loan early, you can often save a good chunk of money that would’ve been wasted on interest. However, some lenders charge steep prepayment penalties that may make early payoff an expensive prospect.
What are the benefits of paying off a personal loan early?
- Save on interest. Beyond no longer having to budget for monthly payments, paying your loan off early will save you hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars in interest over the long run.
- Access more cash. Without having to budget for your monthly repayments, you’ll have more money available each time your paycheck comes in.
- Qualify for another loan.If you need to take out another loan, paying off your current loan early lowers your debt-to-income ratio, helping you qualify for more favorable rates and terms. Many lenders don’t allow you to have multiple loans at once.
Watch out for prepayment penalties
Choosing to pay your loan early will result in paying less interest over the life of the loan, but you may face steep prepayment penalties or exit fees if you aren’t careful when picking your loan terms.
Paying these charges may be worth it if your monthly payments are high and you can afford to pay the whole balance back at once. If you can’t, there are steps you can take to reduce the total amount you owe.
3 lenders that offer personal loans with no prepayment penalty
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8 tips to pay off a personal loan faster
Personal loan payments can hang like a weight over your head. Choosing to tackle repayments head-on can save you time, money and stress – without having to sacrifice a huge part of your monthly income.
- Stash away the change. Find an app that allows you to round up the change from your purchases and put it toward savings. Once you’ve built up some capital, make an extra payment toward your loan. You may also want to consider opening an extra savings account so you won’t have to worry about not having enough in your checking account.
- Pay every two weeks. Making biweekly payments might feel like you’re just paying twice a month, but it actually adds up to 26 payments rather than the 24 you would have made paying twice a month. You’ll end up paying off your loan earlier without even realizing it.
- Round up payments. Round up your payments to the nearest $50 or even $100 to pay off more of your loan amount. And even if you can only manage a to throw $5 or $10 more each month, those few extra dollars can quickly add up – as long as you don’t have prepayment penalties.
- Look for discounts. Depending on your lender, you may be able to take advantage of discounts off your APR, even for something easy like enrolling in autopay or going paperless.
- Make more money without exhausting yourself. Sell your unwanted items through LetGo, eBay or even your local consignment shop. This can be a great way to make a little cash to put toward your loan.