NEW YORK, May 26, 2023 (Newswire.com)
Credello: Thanks to the Federal Reserve’s raising interest rates, many loan borrowers are getting sticker shock looking at their loan terms. But which loans are getting the highest rate increases? Here’s what you should know.
The loans with the highest interest rates
Borrowers are seeing the biggest interest rate spikes on short-term loans, particularly those that run for three to five years. A report by Credible found that rates in April 2023 on 3-year, fixed-rate loans increased by 10.63%, while 5-year, fixed-rate loans averaged an increase of 9.41%.
What’s most interesting is that it seems credit scores weren’t a significant factor in determining rates. Credible found that these rate increases were happening for borrowers with credit scores of 720 or more, a score that’s traditionally seen as worthy of the most competitive (i.e., lowest) rates possible.
Why are these loans getting such drastic rate increases?
Three- to five-year loans are typically categorized as “short-term” personal loans. There are a few differences between long-term and short-term loans, but the most significant difference is the interest rate attached.
Short-term loans usually have more aggressive terms and conditions because the lender makes less money on them over time than on a longer loan, like a mortgage. The risks of short-term personal loans are also a factor lenders consider, as these loans are easier to get for those with lower credit scores.
How to get the best interest rate possible on your personal loan
Getting the best interest rate on your personal loan is important to ensure you are paying the lowest amount of money over the life of the loan.
Improve your credit score.
Improving your credit score is the simplest way to ensure you get the most competitive interest rates possible. While interest rates have risen dramatically for all credit scores, the better scores will always have more options available and the best rates possible. The reason for this is, again, due to risk. Generally speaking, lenders will see those with lower scores (~625 or lower) as less responsible with their finances than someone with a higher score. Some lenders have realized this could be an unfair practice, particularly to minorities or those previously underserved by banks, and have begun adding new criteria to their decision-making algorithms. However, for the most part, improving your credit score is the easiest way to get a better offer.
Credit scores are a mix of factors weighted based on their importance determined by credit reporting bureaus. The two most significant factors are the number of late payments on your record and the amount of credit you have available (known as the “Credit Utilization Ratio”).
To increase your credit score quickly, focus on these two factors. Try to make the minimum payment on time every month on any outstanding credit card balances or loans. Next, try to get your credit card balances below 20% of your available credit. Focusing your effort on these two factors will cause the fastest changes to your score.
Shop around for the best rates.
If you’re not seeing rates you like, shop around! Many lenders will offer promotional rates for both new and returning customers, so start with the lenders you already have an established relationship with, as they’ll typically be the ones to approve your application the fastest.
However, if they’re not willing to give you the terms you want, check out loan comparison sites with the most up-to-date information with interest rates lenders offer to those with similar credit scores. They’ll also typically have reviews from other borrowers and ratings that give you insight into your chances of getting approved and details on what your experience could be working with them.
The bottom line
While interest rates on personal loans have slowly been creeping up for the past few years, there’s been a drastic spike in rates caused by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes to combat inflation. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great personal loan rates out there still for those with good credit scores. By improving your credit score and shopping around for the most competitive interest rates available, you should get the best possible terms for your loan.
Credello is a financial tech company offering a personal finance tool that simplifies financial decisions through personalized, on-demand recommendations — so users can borrow, save, or invest with confidence. Credello believes that finding the right financial product should be as easy and interactive as online shopping, and we are on a mission to make that possible. For more information, please visit https://www.credello.com.