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Fixed vs Variable Rates in Personal Loans

Fixed rates remain the same over the whole life of the loan but tend to be higher than variable rates when both compared at any given time. Variable rates on the other side change according to market variations and though the rates are initially lower than fixed rate loans if both loans are taken at the same time, these market variations can increase the rate to higher rates and turn the loan significantly more onerous.

Short Term, Long Term

Depending on the length of the loan a fixed rate or a variable rate will be advisable. Short term loans are not as risky as long term loans if you decide to go for a variable interest rate. However, short term loans are not so easy to afford even though the variable rate implies less interests. Thus, you will need to ponder these two variables to see if you can take advantage of a short term loan with a variable interest rate.

Long term loans are more risky because market variations tend to occur sooner or later and though the rates may decrease, they may also increase significantly. Therefore, on long term loans, a fixed interest rate is advisable as it will protect you from market variations and inflation too.

Inflation Expectations

The inflation expectations are another important issue. Inflation is an increase of the overall level of prices due to a depreciation of the value of currency. Since the monetary note is worth less, more money is needed to purchase goods which implies price raises. Unless salaries increase too, the purchase power of salary decreases worsening people’s ability to purchase goods, repay debt, and save.

When it comes to debt, taking fixed rate loans protects you from inflation because the monthly payments remain the same over the whole life of the loan. Whereas, on variable rate loans, the interest rate would rise to compensate for inflation. Thus, if economy experts are predicting high inflation figures over the next years, you need to consider applying for a fixed rate loan rather than a variable rate loan even if the interest rate is higher.

Conclusion

For those who are adventurous and like to save as much money as possible even by taking risks, variable rates are undoubtedly the way to go. They provide lower monthly payments and an overall lower amount of interests over the whole life of the loan.

However, for those who have a more conservative nature and prefer to avoid risks, fixed interest rate personal loans are a wiser choice. These loans can provide the funds needed at a slightly higher cost but also protect customers from market variations and inflation which can be disastrous for those that count only with a fixed income.