It might be difficult at first glance to understand why someone might need a loan to go shopping. That’s a fair question. It’s not usually a good idea to take on debt in order to purchase designer bags or to replace your 120” HD flat-screen TV from last year with the 135” flat-screen that just came out this year. Sure, it’s your money and you can do what you like with it – but those sorts of things aren’t the primary reason for shopping loans. Most borrowers only take out a loan for things which are a bit more essential to modern American life.
So what can you buy with a shopping loan? Well, anything you like. As a personal loan, there are no limits on how you spend the money. Most shopping loans are unsecured, meaning you’re not generally going to be expected to put up your house or automobile as collateral to secure the loan. Personal loans rely on your credit history and current income information to determine whether or you’re a good credit risk, and what sort of interest rates lenders are willing to offer.
These are typically installment loans, set up with fixed interest rates. This means your payments will be due at the same time every month for a preset number of months and the amount of each payment will be the same throughout the life of the loan. On the day you sign, you’ll know your payoff date.
You can use a personal loan for computer financing or to purchase new furniture. You can use your loan for major appliances like a new refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher, or you can use your loan to finance a washer and dryer to make keeping up with the laundry much less stressful. And yes, you can finance a TV if that’s something you need and it’s important to you – even a big one.
Many stores which sell big-ticket items like these offer their own financing, which you should certainly consider. If you’re offered zero interest for the life of the loan or other special terms which appeal to you, make sure you’ve read the small print and go for it if you see fit. On the other hand, these stores aren’t primarily in the finance business and you may not get the best terms that way, despite how convenient it may seem at the time. It pays to shop around for the lowest interest rates available to you and other terms which fit your needs.
Maybe you need multiple items from different stores in order to fill up your new home or replace losses from a fire or other disaster. Maybe it’s just time to upgrade across the board. You could go to an electronics store and take out a loan for a computer you like, then go to the furniture store and take out another loan for a sofa and loveseat. After a quick lunch, it’s time to finance a washer and dryer then back to a big chain store where you finance electronic items from a new cell phone to a video game console to another TV for the bedroom. Now you’ve added three or four new monthly bills you’ll have to keep up with each month when you could have accomplished the same thing on better terms and had a single installment due every 30 days.
Don’t borrow just to borrow, but there are some things worth spending money on and not all of them can wait until you have more money in savings. When you need a good mattress or a functioning kitchen, it’s OK to strategically borrow as long as you have a realistic plan for making the resulting payments over time. A loan for a computer is a perfectly reasonable option if your primary connection to loved ones is through email or social media, or if the kids need to use it for school. A loan for major appliances is a much more practical decision than eating out every night.
And in our modern world, it might make more sense to finance a TV than try to keep everyone entertained every night and weekend without it at least being an option. Even if you find it too depressing to keep up with the news, you should have something you can turn to when bad weather or other disasters strike. Whether or not you need a 120” flat-screen to do that is, of course, another issue.