Exploring How to Best Make Loans Work for You

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated December 12, 2017

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December 12, 2017

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

If you want to build your credit while taking care of the more expensive purchases in your life, loans can help you out — but only if you take a smart approach to their acquisition and payoff. When you use loans in the correct manner, you can manage your finances in extraordinary ways that will benefit your economic status well into the future. Utilize the following tactics to make loans work for you.

When you acquire a loan from an established lender, you will need to pay off the borrowed amount, plus interest, by the given deadline. The payoff period is usually referred to as the loan term. Most lenders will break down the loan and interest into manageable monthly payments for your convenience. In the beginning, you may pay off more interest than the principal balance, making it seem like you are not making a dent in the total amount owed. Be patient, however, as the payoff amounts will shift over time, allowing you to whittle down the balance back to zero.


Lenders typically base their interest rates on the loan term, the total amount borrowed and your credit history. If you have a low credit score, lenders will usually offset their risk by increasing the interest rate on your loan offer. When you maintain a high credit score, however, you will likely be rewarded with low interest rates. You do not need to settle for a high interest rate loan, as you are free to shop around to find lenders that offer a better deal than the others.


Even if you are given manageable monthly payments by your lender, you will need to create an even more beneficial plan to pay off your loan fast and minimize your interest payments. As you pay back more than suggested by the lender, you decrease the total amount paid in interest over the life of your loan. Any extra you add to your loan payment will usually go straight to the principal balance, allowing you to pay off your loan faster than ever.


Once you fully pay back the loan, you will likely see a nice jump in your overall credit score in the next few months. The next time you need to acquire a loan, you will be able to use the credit score to secure a bigger loan at a lower interest rate. Make sure you are ready to pay back the total amount in the given term limit to make the next loan work for you as well.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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