This guidebook was created with the kind support of the colleagues of our project kredite-vergleich.de.
The supply of credit was rarely as great as it is now. It is all the more important for consumers to compare the terms exactly. Depending on the loan amount can be saved by a comparison several hundred euros. A comparison of credit on the Internet makes it possible to compare a large number of offers at a glance. At the same time, consumers should pay attention to a number of other points in addition to the lowest possible interest rate.
1. Term and purpose of the loan
Most banks offer different types of loans. In order to find the suitable variant, it should be clear what the credit is intended for and what term is to be used. A framework loan is suitable, for example, for bridging short-term financial bottlenecks. Anyone who wants to buy a new car, often finds the cheapest conditions with a car loan. For a renovation or modernization of their own real estate also special loans are offered. Then of course there is the classic installment loan which is paid for free use and therefore available for all purposes.
2. Individual requirements of the borrower
When making a comparison, it should be noted that there is not one cheap loan. The evaluation of whether a loan pays always depends on the personal requirements of the borrower. Thus, consumers with a high income have much better chances of getting a low interest rate. The Schufa score and the job situation also affect the possible conditions.
3. First ask the house bank
It is advisable to first check with your own bank for the terms of a loan. The offer can then be used as a guide for a credit comparison. Long-term customers are often treated preferentially. So the loan is possible even if not all acceptance criteria are met.
4. Effective interest vs. nominal interest rate
In a comparison should be paid primarily to the APR. This already includes all important costs and is therefore much more meaningful than the nominal interest rate. Banks are obliged to quote the APR for all credit offers.
5. Additional costs
It should be noted that the effective interest rate does not cover all costs. These include, inter alia, commitment interest, if the loan is not paid immediately. Costs for a residual debt insurance are also not included in the annual percentage rate. This is because such protection is not mandatory. However, it often happens that banks only approve the loan when a residual debt insurance is taken out. Such offers should be better avoided.
6. Representative example as a guide
The majority of the loans are offered with a credit-based interest rate. The banks then only give an interest margin. The actual effective interest rate is only apparent after the credit check. As a guide, the representative example, which must be given in each loan offer. The conditions specified in the example must be available to at least two-thirds of the customers.
7. Request personal information from Schufa
It is advisable to inquire about the data stored at the Schufa before the comparison. Consumers can request a free personal information once a year. Due to the large number of data records, errors in the Schufa data are not uncommon. These can then be corrected before the application. In addition, the Schufa score also emerges from the own information, which is taken into account in the annual percentage rate. Borrowers thus know exactly how their credit rating is assessed by the banks.
8. Credit-independent interest rates are easier to compare
With interest-independent interest rates, the comparison is easier at first glance. All borrowers receive the same interest rate regardless of income. It should be noted, however, that this variant does not always have to be the cheapest. Consumers with a very high income and flawless Schufa tend to benefit more from credit-based interest rates.
9. Free special repayments are important
In principle, loans can also be repaid early. However, in this case, the banks are entitled to a prepayment penalty of a maximum of 1.0 percent of the outstanding loan amount. Meanwhile, however, many banks waive such a fee and allow free special repayments. This keeps borrowers flexible and allows them to invest unforeseen revenues in the loan. For early repayments, interest already paid will be reimbursed.
10 additional services provided by the banks
There is a lot of competition in the credit market. Therefore, some banks still offer various additional benefits. This includes, for example, a deferred payment for the first installment. In addition, it is practical if, in the case of financial bottlenecks, it can be suspended for free at a rate. The residual debt insurance is another additional benefit, which, however, makes sense only in the rarest of cases. On the one hand, such policies are very expensive and, on the other, there are a large number of exclusions in the conditions.
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