Are You Loan Ready?

Deciding when to take out your first loan is an important decision. How can you tell you're ready for a loan?

Is it when:

The answer isn't as simple as you think.


...You qualify for a $5,000 loan immediately. Just fill in the enclosed card by…

Wait! Proceed with caution!

Offers congratulating you on qualifying for a loan will start to fill up your email inbox and your mailbox. They're often not in your best interest.

Start with your credit union. You already have your accounts there, have a history based on those accounts, and they have the authority to approve or deny your loan application.

Happy Birthday!

Age is important. You must be 18 or older to be legally liable for signing a contract. What if you are not 18 yet?

You can ask your credit union if they will allow you to borrow money with a co-signer.

Not many financial institutions will allow you to take out a loan before age 18. Ask anyway—they may have some other, better ideas to help you get the money you need.

How much do you make?

Many people have problems repaying first loans. Not having enough income to handle the payments is the first reason. Failing to account for rising expenses is another.

Look critically at your expenses over the time you plan to borrow the money.

If your answers are no, regardless of your age, don't borrow the money. If your answers are yes, ask yoursel more questions:

How do you get approval?

Your credit union will approve your loan based on what is commonly known as the four "Cs" of credit. They are:

The bottom line

For your first loan, learn as much as you can about what kinds of loans are available to you. The most popular loans for high-school students are student loans for college, and smaller loans for cars. Your credit union's web site can be a great resource for loan information.

Call your credit union and make an appointment to talk with a loan officer. For a first loan, face-to-face is the best way to go about getting the money you want or need.

When you borrow money, do it with the intent to repay the loan in a prompt and punctual manner. Borrowing money is a privilege, not a right.

Once you earn that right, protect it by protecting your credit rating. Your credit history and a good credit report give you the ability to borrow in the future.

True or False: Ben Franklin publicly criticized the way women were treated in America. Click Ben's head for the answer.
FALSE. He made up the character of "Silence Dogood," a widow, and secretly wrote articles for his older brother's paper. The letters became very popular.
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"If you want to get a loan, click your credit union's logo in the space below and search for its contact info. "
girlfriday, 21, Palm Bay, FL

"If you want to get a loan, click your credit union's logo in the space below and search for its contact info. "
Tania, 15, Callahan, MO

"How can I start by getting a loan with u guys"
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Planning for college? Find out more about the CEFCU Private Student Loan at cefcu.com/student.