What to consider when taking a personal loan

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Are you considering a personal loan to cover some upcoming or unexpected expenses, like a big graduation gift or a family trip? If so, there are ways to prevent taking on some debt that might tempt you during springtime celebrations and outdoor activities. We’ll look at those plus how people are using personal loans around the country right now.

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1. Using personal loans to throw a big birthday or graduation party

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Maybe you want to go above and beyond a backyard barbecue for this year’s celebration, especially if you’re getting together with newly vaccinated family members you haven’t seen before the pandemic. Or maybe you just want to throw a fun party — with the proper COVID-19 safety precautions, of course.

Whether it’s something special for your star student or a milestone birthday, it’s easy to rack up big bills when you’re hosting a major event. Renting a venue, hiring live musicians and catering can quickly add up to four figures. Because personal loans are unsecured — meaning they’re not tied to a specific piece of collateral, like a car or a home — you can use them for just about any purpose you desire, including throwing the party of the decade. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should go into debt for a one-and-done event.

While your memories of this single night will hang around for hopefully a lifetime, so will the interest you accumulate in paying the loan back. Plus, depending on the rate and term of your loan, you could be paying significantly more than the market value of the items and services you purchased. So unless it’s a truly life-changing occasion, like a wedding — and maybe even then — we recommend spending only what you can afford to pay in cash for a party.

Image Credit: Motortion / istockphoto.

2. Using personal loans to fix a leaky roof

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Maybe the rainstorms have picked up where you live — but you notice they’ve picked up indoors as well as out.

A leaky roof is no small matter: left unchecked, it could create ongoing problems and even threaten the structural integrity of your home.

The good news is, if caught early (and depending on the exact cause and your homeowners insurance policy) a rainy roof may only set you back a couple hundred dollars. On the other end of the spectrum, though, major roof repairs can run up to $6,000 or even more, per data from HomeAdvisor.

Home improvements and renovations are one of the most common uses of personal loans, and in this case, protecting the rest of your investment could be well worth this relatively benign form of debt. You could also choose to take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), but in this case, your home is used as collateral and you could face foreclosure if you can’t repay the balance.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

3. Using a personal loan for financial spring cleaning

What to consider when taking a personal loan

You may have already started spring cleaning your home, but now’s a great time to dust off your budget and check in on your account balances as well.

Personal loans are frequently used for financial cleanup projects, such as consolidating debt. But if you already have an existing personal loan, the loan itself is worth scouring, too. If your creditworthiness has changed since you first took your personal loan out, you may qualify for a new loan with a lower interest rate. Or, if you’re struggling to make your monthly payments, you might be able to find a loan with a longer repayment term.

Of course, refinancing a personal loan does come with costs of its own, such as origination fees and balance transfer fees, so be sure to do the math ahead of time and make sure the move would actually save you money. Keep in mind, too, that qualifying for a new loan can be challenging, especially if you’re already in a rough place money-wise. A balance transfer credit card is another option to look into, but make sure you can pay off the debt before the end of that promotional 0% interest rate period.

Image Credit: fizkes/istockphoto.

4. Using personal loans to upgrade your garden

What to consider when taking a personal loan

So about those May flowers…

Given many plants fare best when you wait until after your last chance of a freeze, now may be the right time to get your garden set up for the splendor warmer weather can bring.

But depending on the scale of the project, you could be spending a lot of money on getting your flowers (or grass, plants, vegetables, etc.) to grow. Fixr estimates a national average range of $8,000 to $15,000 for major landscaping, though if you’re adding in a patio or walkway, costs could easily be loftier still.

It’s true that well-done landscaping can augment your home’s value — in one HomeLight survey, more than 94% of real estate agents said that curb appeal can help homes attract more attention and sell for higher prices. So using a personal loan to prettify your yard may, indeed, be a good decision — especially if it’s the front yard we’re talking about.

Image Credit: istockphoto.

5. Using personal loans to get you moving on two wheels

What to consider when taking a personal loan

May is National Bike Month, so for riders itching to get those wheels spinning, now is the perfect time to dust off that seat, pump up those tires and check the brakes. While some repairs come in at under $20, serious bike maintenance could hit the hundreds. Unless it’s your only mode of transportation, however, going into debt for your bike isn’t a great idea. Instead, save up and shop around for the best prices. That will also give you a chance to explore what’s on the market and invest in long-lasting equipment.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Alabama

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 33%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 9%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 6%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: James Deitsch.

Alaska

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 37%

Major Purchase 8%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 4%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 25%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Arizona

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 21%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Arkansas

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 31%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 6%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 25%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

California

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 23%

Image Credit: mlauffen.

Colorado

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 21%

Image Credit: Postoak at English Wikipedia.

Connecticut

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 47%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 19%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Delaware

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 20%

Image Credit: mdgmorris.

Florida

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 6%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 21%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Georgia

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 37%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 7%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 21%

Image Credit: SeanPavonePhoto.

Hawaii

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 48%

Major Purchase 4%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 4%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 2%

Other 21%

Image Credit: Art Wager.

Idaho

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: knowlesgallery.

Illinois

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: venemama / istockphoto.

Indiana

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 35%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 23%

Image Credit: Pixabay.com.

Iowa

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 34%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 14%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 24%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Kansas

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto.

Kentucky

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 32%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 25%

Image Credit: Thomas Kelley.

Louisiana

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 31%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 7%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 24%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Maine

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 43%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 14%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 19%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Maryland

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 20%

Image Credit: James_Lane.

Massachusetts

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 44%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 20%

Image Credit: Rolf_52.

Michigan

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 36%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 6%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: csterken.

Minnesota

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 40%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 4%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: JoeChristensen/istockphoto.

Mississippi

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 31%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 7%

Home & Auto Financing 14%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: stevegeer.

Missouri

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 35%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 23%

Image Credit: eyecrave.

Montana

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 25%

Image Credit: David Butler.

Nebraska

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 38%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 24%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Nevada

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 5%

Other 21%

Image Credit: AlizadaStudios.

New Hampshire

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 44%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 20%

Image Credit: DenisTangneyJr.

New Jersey

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 45%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 19%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

New Mexico

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 34%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 24%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

New York

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 40%

Major Purchase 5%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 21%

Image Credit: istockphoto/Hsa_Htaw.

North Carolina

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 35%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: ” Darwin Brandis”.

North Dakota

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 45%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 20%

Image Credit: sequential5.

Ohio

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 36%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: istockphoto.

Oklahoma

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 35%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 12%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 25%

Image Credit: Tiago_Fernandez.

Oregon

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 44%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Pennsylvania

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 36%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 21%

Image Credit: AppalachianViews.

Rhode Island

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 48%

Major Purchase 4%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 3%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: istockphoto.

South Carolina

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 38%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 21%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

South Dakota

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 27%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Tennessee

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 38%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: NathanMerrill.

Texas

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 38%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Utah

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 43%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: AndreyKrav.

Vermont

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 8%

Home Improvement 8%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 14%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 18%

Image Credit: ” DonLand”.

Virginia

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 41%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 7%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: WilliamSherman.

Washington

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 42%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 10%

Medical Expenses 5%

Moving & Relocation 4%

Other 22%

Image Credit: 4nadia.

Washington, DC

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 39%

Major Purchase 4%

Home Improvement 5%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 4%

Business Expenses 6%

Home & Auto Financing 9%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 5%

Other 23%

Image Credit: Sean Pavone.

West Virginia

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 33%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 10%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 2%

Business Expenses 2%

Home & Auto Financing 15%

Medical Expenses 3%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 23%

Image Credit: ” Chayanisa Puttamata”.

Wisconsin

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 40%

Major Purchase 7%

Home Improvement 6%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 3%

Business Expenses 4%

Home & Auto Financing 11%

Medical Expenses 4%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 21%

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Wyoming

What to consider when taking a personal loan

Card Refinancing & Debt Consolidation 40%

Major Purchase 6%

Home Improvement 4%

Vacation & Wedding Expenses 1%

Business Expenses 5%

Home & Auto Financing 13%

Medical Expenses 6%

Moving & Relocation 3%

Other 22%

Image Credit: AnujSahaiPhotography.

Methodology

What to consider when taking a personal loan

The percentage of people seeking personal loans for selected purposes was calculated for each state for the current month and for the same month in 2020. The inquiries are limited to those received through organic search and offline advertising, as changes in online marketing strategies can alter the number and types of inquiries irrespective of organic interest in this product from the general public.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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