Is Gulf Street Advisors the right or wrong way to take out a loan?
If you have been thinking about it and you just received a “too good to be true” loan offer in the mail from Gulf Street Advisors – listen to your gut instinct.
Companies like Gulf Street Advisors, Sooner Partners, Old Dominion Associates, Memphis Associates, Brice Capital, Johnson Funding, Harrison Funding, Tate Advisors, Plymouth Associates, Tiffany Funding, White Mountain Partners, Americor Funding, or Titan Consulting Group, Credit9, and Simple Path Financial, have been flooding the market for years with questionable loan offers.
Before you take out a loan, you must know that you are taking on financial responsibility. It doesn’t just end with you buying what you need or investing in an opportunity after getting the loan. It only ends once you pay off the debt completely.
1. Why Do You Need to Take Out a Loan?
You need to be clear on why you need a loan in the first place. It should be a concrete reason that you need the money for.
Taking out a loan to ease cash flow or purchase a car is not considered financially savvy anymore. If you want to weather an emergency, get a house, or get a medical loan, that’s another story. Before you fill out a loan application or take out a loan, know what the reasons are.
2. How Much Do You Need?
When you’re taking out a loan, you need to know how much you really need. Consider the offers that are made to you. They can be tempting with very little interest and a high loan amount, but they may add up to a lot of monthly payments. It’s often the case that the bigger the loan, the more expensive it gets. Hence, the harder it is to repay.
So get what you need and the lowest interest rate you can. Remember that as long as you have good credit, you will be able to get additional loans. Still, it’s important to not get greedy and take out a loan for only what is necessary.
3. What is Your Credit Score?
Your credit score is a total picture of your financial responsibility, your spending habits, and your debt. It doesn’t show how rich or poor you are, but just how committed or focused you are when it comes to money. You need to have a baseline credit score to take out a loan from most companies or banks in the first place. However, the better your credit score, the better interest rates you can get for it. The better your credit score, the better benefits and the larger the loan you can take out.
You can check your credit report to find out what your credit score is from three agencies. These are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They will compare the reports and look through them for any errors and discrepancies that there might be. Sometimes, checking your credit report can even improve your score in case of an error. Take up any errors with rating agencies immediately to improve your score.
4. What is the Cost of Taking a Loan?
The total cost of a loan isn’t the total loan amount. To calculate it, you should add up the loan and the total of the interest that you will pay. This should also include any fees you have to pay.
Common fees that apply to loan include late penalty fees, loan origination, repayment penalties, and failed payment fees.
In addition, look out for the debt consolidation scams that have been taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers.
5. What are the Requirements to Take Out a Loan?
Before applying for a loan, you should look up the major requirements for taking out a loan.
- Your Credit Score: This basically determines if you can take out a loan or not. It confirms your spending habits, how many loans you’ve taken out, and how responsible you are with money. In order to keep your credit score high, you should keep credit card balances low, unused credit cards open, etc. You should also pay all your bills on time and not apply for new credit accounts. It will severely impact your ability to get approved for a credit card refinancing.
- Debt-to-Income Ratio: This is your monthly debt obligation compared to your monthly gross income. In addition to the personal loans you have, these can include any other obligations like credit card payments, student loans, etc. This reveals how much of the income you have is going to debt. It determines the likelihood that you will be able to keep up with your loan payments.
- Employer/Income Verification: This isn’t necessary for secured loans. It comes in handy when getting an unsecured loan that isn’t backed up by collateral like a home or a car. Hence, for unsecured loans, they ask for your employer and income information. This is a riskier loan that can be paid back by money from your employer.
- Proof of Residence: Your lender will have to verify that you have an actual home address. This is for various reasons. The first is that you need to confirm whether you actually are trustworthy and your information checks out. The second is that homeownership or some kind of residence shows that you’re a responsible adult. It also shows that you’re stable. Documents needed to verify this include utility bills, lease or rental agreement, voter registration card, or proof of ownership/renter’s insurance.
- Payment History: 35% of your FICO score is made up of your payment history. If you pay your utility bills and other loans on time, your payment history will show responsibility. If you are late on your payments, it will definitely affect your credit score. This includes payments that you have to make regularly like mortgage loan payments, credit card payments, store card payments, etc. To take out a loan in the first place, you need to prove a great payment history.
6. How to Shop Around for the Best Offers?
Before taking out a bank loan, you need to shop around for the best loan offers. The best place to start with this endeavor is online. You can compare different offers within a small span of time that way. Also, you can look at various different types of loan that are pertinent to your needs. Looking in the market physically by going from bank to bank is a waste of time today. You can zero in on some great choices online and then follow up on them online or through phone calls.
However, when checking online, you should look at the potential solution provider’s reviews as well. It doesn’t matter if they offer great services on paper. What matters is whether they have satisfied customers or not. A single bad review here or there doesn’t prove much. However, a barrage of bad reviews should be a pretty recognizable red flag. Don’t take out a loan from a company that doesn’t deliver. Also, look for reviews that are repeatedly outlining the same issues as billing problems and hidden costs. Even good reviews that are bringing up certain problems should be a red flag to you.