Personal loans 101: How to get the money you need

Lita Epstein
how to get a personal loan
how to get a personal loan

With credit card interest rates soaring as high as 30%, people continue to look for alternatives to credit cards, especially when an emergency comes up. Personal loans can be a good option, but only if you have a good credit score; otherwise, the rates can be even higher than credit cards.

Just what can you use a personal loan for? Essentially any cash needed, including credit card payoff, debt consolidation, education, training, home improvement, car financing, business needs, vacation expenses, major purchases, wedding expenses, moving costs and medical expenses.

But be careful out there: If you're not absolutely sure about what you're getting yourself into, personal loans can cost you big time. Interest rates, especially from places like the ones that offer payday loans, can be as high as 300%, so be certain you understand the terms before you sign on the dotted line.