I SEE nothing wrong with availing cash loans especially for personal financial security and business purposes. I also did it many times when I was just starting out living solo, buying this and that for a more comfortable yet minimalist lifestyle.
But of course, I didn’t and still don’t get personal loans just for splurges and plain wants, even though I already have good credit scores with some online loan providers. Borrowing for such, with or without an interest, is but a mortal sin.
Getting straight to the point, here are six questions you should ask and answer yourself before applying for your first, or even your next, personal loan online with your smartphone. Financial technologies, or simply fintechs, have truly revolutionized and modernized the way we run our financial lives.
 Do I badly need it? It is the foremost and biggest question you should ask and answer yourself. It is also the basis for the rest of the questions on our list. As you seriously think about it, make sure you understand that there is always a thick line drawn between your ‘wants’ and ‘needs.’
You cannot afford ruining your household budget or your personal finances just for that one big purchase or your spending on something that you’ll soon regret. But if it’s really needed, say for a small business or living expenses amidst the coronavirus crisis, then there must be nothing wrong with it. Go on then.
 Is it the only option left? Sometimes, although not at all times, it’s better to get a loan from your siblings or friends. That is if you have a good credit history with them. You might also want to consider those salary or multipurpose loans offered by government agencies such as SSS or PAG-IBIG.
The point here is that if you could find other loan alternatives that come with less pressure and lower or no interest at all (plus almost the same convenience) than those offered online, better consider them first. Getting online personal loans should be your last resort if ever.
 What’s the best online loan provider out there? Yes, you badly need that money. And yes, getting an online loan is your last resort. Now start comparing various personal loan apps and other providers.
Upon doing such comparisons, dive as well into customer feedback and reviews. Do your research. Check their Facebook pages and skim through comments. Of course, you don’t want to end up getting harassed by their loan collectors or paying unreasonable interest and penalties.
 How much interest do I have to pay, plus the penalty if ever I get behind on my repayment? Speaking of loan interest, most online personal loans come with unexpectedly high rates and some other ‘hidden’ penalties. That’s the cost of convenience and zero collateral. Other borrowers even get dismayed after realizing that they end up paying double, or even higher, the amount of their loans.
As you check for the loanable amount, calculate as well the interest rates across different payment terms. Do the math. Normally, you can make savings if you avail bigger loans on shorter terms, but of course, paying the whole sums off within a month or two seems a bit impossible and impractical.
 Do I have a solid plan to pay it off? If you’re planning to get an online personal loan for your living expenses after getting laid off or furloughed from work, it’s a big psychological stress thinking about how to pay it off. Think about it again.
Getting another just to pay off an existing one simply results in a bigger personal financial problem. It’s a trap that you should avoid. That explains why you should consider drafting a concrete and feasible plan to pay off your loan.
 What can I do to ease the burden of my loan repayment? Start with your discretionary expenses, or those that you can still get by without them. Observe some frugal practices and do most of the cutting down on this and that as much as possible.
Your goal is to make loan repayments on time to avoid penalties and others that may bring you additional stress. You can even settle them ahead of the schedule as soon as you secure funds and ditch the psychological burden.
Getting a personal loan whether online or offline comes with such a big responsibility. Period.
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