Home Reviews 5 Types of Personal Loans and When You Can Use Them

5 Types of Personal Loans and When You Can Use Them

5 Types of Personal Loans and When You Can Use Them

Financial surprises are inevitable. Maybe your car breaks down, or you have a dream vacation you can’t afford with savings alone. In those situations, a personal loan can be a helpful tool. These loans are a versatile solution offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders for any financial need, from overcoming an economic setback to consolidating debt.

But with so many types of personal loans out there, you want to choose the right one for you. When considering a personal loan, you need to have a clear picture of your credit score and financial needs to get the most out of your loan. Here are five personal loans and when to use each.

  1. Signature Loans

Personal signature loans, or unsecured loans, are for borrowers who don’t want to put up collateral like a car or house. Instead, lenders approve you based on your creditworthiness and income. It makes them suitable for anything from consolidating high-interest debt to covering unexpected medical bills or home repairs.

When should you get a personal signature loan?

These loans are ideal for borrowers with solid credit and a low debt-to-income ratio. It means your income is higher than your existing debt to repay the loan comfortably. With a strong credit profile, you’ll qualify for the best interest rates and terms.

  1. Secured Personal Loans

Secured personal loans can get you money at lower interest rates than unsecured options. They work like car loans or mortgages, but instead of using your car or house as collateral, you put up another asset as collateral. It could be a certificate of deposit, a savings account with a big balance, or even specific securities.

When to use a secured loan:

It is for borrowers with lower credit scores who may not qualify for the best rates on unsecured loans. But remember, if you default on the loan, the lender has the right to seize your collateral to recover their money.

  1. Debt Consolidation Loans

Debt consolidation loans can significantly improve the management of multiple high-interest debts. They combine existing debts like medical bills, credit card balances, auto loans, and other loans into a single loan with a lower interest rate. This simplifies the payment process, with one monthly payment instead of multiple bills.

When to consolidate your debt:

A consolidation loan can be a lifesaver if you’re struggling to manage multiple high-interest debts, but you must choose a loan with a much lower interest rate than your existing debts. Consolidation loans often have origination fees, so factor those in to ensure you’ll save money.

  1. Co-signed and Joint Loans

Co-signed and joint loans can enhance your loan terms or increase your chances of loan approval.

  • Co-signed loans: A co-signer is a safety net for the lender. They guarantee repayment if you can’t make your payments, but they don’t get access to the loan funds.
  • Joint loans: Both borrowers are responsible for the loan and have access to the funds.

When to consider these loans:

A co-signer with good credit can get you approved and lower your interest rate. Co-borrowers with good income can get you approved for a bigger loan than you could on your own. Joint loans are for expenses you’ll share, like home renovations or a wedding.

  1. Personal Line of Credit

Personal lines of credit are a flexible way to get cash when needed. You have a pre-approved borrowing limit. You only pay interest on what you borrow.

When is it a good option?

A line of credit allows you to borrow as you go for projects with variable costs, like home renovations. This option is perfect for those who appreciate having quick access to funds for unforeseen circumstances or emergencies where you might not know the exact amount you’ll need upfront.


With some planning and responsible borrowing, a personal loan can be an intelligent way to overcome financial hurdles and move forward. Consider your credit score, the purpose of the loan, and your desired repayment flexibility. Whatever your situation, there’s a personal loan out there to help you achieve your goals. Do your research, compare, and choose the loan that suits you.