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Personal Loans


With credit cards canceled and limits cut, consumers may be looking for new ways to get through the holiday shopping season, cover an emergency expenditure or consolidate their high-interest credit card debts. One alternative might be personal loans, offered by finance companies, credit unions or even community banks.

Most of these loans are secured with collateral; some are unsecured, meaning that no collateral, such as a car or a house, is required for approval. These loans usually come with a fixed interest rate and a fixed term. That's the biggest advantage to borrowers over credit cards: Personal loan terms don't have some of the "tricks and traps" federal regulators have associated with credit cards, so you won't face a ballooning monthly payment or skyrocketing interest rate. And, in most cases, they can be used for whatever purpose the borrower desires.

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