Personal loans aren’t cheap but when you do your home work, you can find great rates for your needs. As with any financial product, when it comes to taking out a personal loan it pays to shop around and compare APRs.

The APR (annual percentage rate) tells the true cost of a loan taking into account the interest payable, any other charges, and when the payments fall due.

And the loan, can be used for an almost unlimited list of needs, wants, goals and dreams. Personal loans can be a viable option in a variety of circumstances.

Personal loan often has no collateral – it is “unsecured” – hence the interest rate will probably be higher than a mortgage or auto loan. But there are also secured personal loans if you want to lower your costs.

If you think there is a good chance you will want to settle your loan early, it may be worth searching for a deal that comes without any early repayment charges.

Don’t apply for too many loans. When you apply for a loan online, most applicants will leave a “footprint” on your credit record which lenders check before approving a loan.

These are some of the circumstances in which a personal loan might be a good idea for you.

Debt consolidation

The most popular use of a personal loan is to combine other debts, such as car loans, credit cards and payday loans, into just 1 loan with a fixed rate, fixed monthly payment and closed-end term. The objectives are to save money, restructure the financing or both.

If you have one or more credit cards that are charged to the max, you could get a personal loan to consolidate all the charges into one monthly payment.

Improve your credit

A personal loan might help your credit score in two ways. First, if your credit report shows mostly credit card debt, a personal loan might help your “account mix.” Having different types of loans is often favorable to your score.

Personal loans can be useful, given the right circumstances. For example, most people can’t afford to pay cash for a home, making a mortgage loan a necessity. Be sure to consult with a trustworthy financial institution and weigh your options.

Wedding finance

Weddings are expensive. Many people can’t save enough for it. A personal loan for a large expense like a wedding might save you a considerable amount on interest charges, provided it has a lower rate than your credit card.

Engagements, weddings and honeymoons are other popular uses of this type of financing. The most important thing to remember is to keep on track of your budget and avoid cost overruns.

The team at Check Into Cash, which offers payday loans in Los Angeles California says:

“If you have already looked at a variety of wedding financing options and are out of ideas, then you have the option of taking out a personal loan. Personal loans are a great option to take the stress out of your wedding planning. You get a reasonable interest rate, the amount that you need, and a payment plan so that you can repay the loan over several years once you are settled into married life.”

A personal loan can be a “great option” to pay for home remodeling or relocation

Whether you want to put on a new roof, install solar panels, remodel your kitchen or add a swimming pool, hot tub, landscaping or hardscaping, a personal loan can be a good option.

Local moves generally aren’t costly. But a major long-distance relocation, perhaps for a job opportunity, can be expensive enough to warrant a personal loan.

The funds can pay for moving household belongings, buying furniture for a new residence, transporting a car across the country and more.