When you want to buy a home, upgrade your car, or send your child to college, it’s helpful to look at all of your financing choices. Choosing the right loan or line of credit could mean lower your interest rates and reduce your expenses over time. Here are a few credit options that can help you finance life’s big expenses:

Buying a car

When buying a car, you might consider an auto loan, where the car is used as collateral to secure the loan. Auto loans can be available through banks when you purchase from a dealer or a private party. If you’re buying the car at a dealership, they may have their own financing unit there as well. You could consider using other financing types, such as a personal loan, or home equity loan, to access funds to purchase the car, although those loans would not be secured by the vehicle.

Going to college

As the cost of college tuition and other school expenses continues to rise, many students and their parents turn to federal and/or private student loans to help fund higher education. When it comes to financing your education, be sure to look at all of your options - including grants, scholarships, and loans from all sources - and make careful comparisons among all your choices. If you determine a student loan is right for you, you might consider the following:

  • Federal loans: As of July 1, 2010, private lenders no longer offer federal student loans. Federal loans offer a variety of low interest rate options for both the parent and the student. Depending on your financial need, you may qualify for subsidized or unsubsidized loans. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will determine your eligibility for federal student loans and other aid. You can complete the FAFSA online.
  • Private loans: Offer flexible student loan options at competitive rates for both the parent and student to help cover tuition or other eligible education expenses. Parent loans require immediate repayment while student loans require no payment while the student is in school.

For graduates with student loans, student loan consolidation options are available. A consolidation loan allows you to combine your existing private student loans into one new loan and may help reduce your monthly student loan payment.

From buying a car to funding a college education, there are a number of credit options available to help meet your financial goals.

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