Four tips on how to secure a personal loan in 2017
Need a loan for a pressing need or that thing you've always wanted? Do your homework first. (AFP/File)
If you tried to secure a personal loan in 2016 and struggled, you weren't alone. We recently ran the numbers on our personal loan comparison platform for 2016, and found that, despite fewer people applying for personal finance throughout the year, the number of applications had actually gone up.
Basically, those who did apply for personal loans had to apply for several products before they found an approval.
This has a lot to do with the liquidity crunch caused by low oil prices. The long and short of it is that banks have less liquidity, meaning there's less money to lend out. That, in turn, meant banks were pickier about who they leant to in 2016. On average, users on our site had to make 2.97 applications each before finding a loan in 2016 - up 11.74 per cent on 2015's number of 2.62 applications per user.
And I'm afraid things aren't looking much better for easy credit when it comes to 2017, either. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're more likely to get an approval for your personal loan if you need one. Here are my top tips on securing personal finance in 2017.
Keep an eye on your debt-burden ratio
I've written plenty about the debt-burden ratio before. Essentially, it's the percentage of your monthly salary that you have to pay out on debts. So if you're earning Dh10,000 per month, but you have to pay out Dh5,000 per month on credit card and loan payments, your debt-burden ratio is 50 per cent - the legal limit in the UAE. When it comes to securing personal finance in 2017, the lower your debt-burden ratio is, the better.
Stay on top of your existing payments
It may not be enough to have a low debt-burden ratio. If you're consistently late paying what you do owe, that'll be noted down in your credit report, which prospective lenders can pull from the Al Etihad Credit Bureau. The good news is, if you've got a clean repayment history, that'll be noted down in the report, too, meaning you'll be more likely to be approved for a personal loan in the future.
Work for a reputable firm
I know this isn't always an option for everyone, but if you're trying to secure finance, the majority of banks really would prefer it if you worked for a company known for staying on top of its own finances. Banks will have a list of preferred companies they like to provide finance to, so if your employer isn't on that list, you'll have to shop around a little bit more to find a loan.
Compare, compare and compare
Don't just sign on the dotted line as soon as a bank grants you an approval for a personal loan. Use a financial comparison site to compare rates, features and fees. You'll be astonished at some of the differences between products. Once you have compared loans, you'll know that the one you're applying for is the best fit for you.
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