short term vs long term

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Personal Loan: The Differences Explained


A bit behind on payments or have less money on hand than you’d like? You’re certainly not alone. Many Americans are scraping by financially at the moment, living paycheck to paycheck

During this time, personal loans have become a popular financial tool for those looking to meet their immediate financial needs. Planning a vacation, consolidating debt, or funding a home renovation project? Personal loans provide a quick and convenient solution.

However, when considering a personal loan, it’s important to understand the differences between short-term and long-term options. Depending on your situation, these two loan varieties can provide different advantages. 

What do you need to know about the distinction between short term vs long term? Read on and we’ll walk you through the basics. 

Loan Duration 

The primary difference between short-term and long-term personal loans? It lies in their repayment periods. As the name suggests, short-term loans usually have a shorter repayment duration, ranging from a few months to a year.

On the other hand, long-term loans offer an extended repayment period, usually spanning several years.

Why is this repayment period key when it comes to your cash advance loan? 

The loan duration affects the monthly payment amount and the total interest paid. These are two concerns we’ll go into more detail with below.

What’s important to note here is that it’s the length of a loan itself that affects how other factors come into play. 

Short repayment periods are designed for borrowers who require immediate funds and want to pay off the debt quickly. Short-term loans are commonly used for covering unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs.

These loans provide a sense of urgency. They require borrowers to make higher monthly payments to clear the debt within a shorter timeframe.

The duration for long-term loans, on the other hand, can vary depending on the lender and the borrower’s creditworthiness.

These loans are suitable for larger expenses that require more time to repay. That may be things such as home renovations, higher education, or debt consolidation.

Long-term loans provide borrowers with the convenience of lower monthly payments. 

Monthly Payments

As we’ve touched on above, loan duration directly impacts the monthly payment amount.

Short-term loans have a compressed repayment schedule. As such, borrowers need to make higher monthly payments to clear the debt within a shorter timeframe.

Long-term loans, on the other hand, offer lower monthly payments due to the extended repayment period. This can be beneficial for individuals with tight monthly budgets.

The idea of your monthly payment is likely going to be the main thing weighing on your mind when having to take care of a loan. Depending on your financial situation, you might need to work towards a monthly payment that you can handle.

Extending the length of a personal loan can help to make that possible.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are important to consider when comparing short-term and long-term personal loans. The interest rate is the cost of borrowing money from a lender. It is often expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR).

Short-term personal loans often come with higher interest rates.

The reason behind this is that lenders view short-term loans as riskier due to the compressed repayment period. The shorter timeframe increases the likelihood of default or late payments. This, in turn, increases the risk for the lender.

To compensate for this higher risk, lenders charge a higher interest rate on short-term loans.

On the other hand, long-term loans typically have lower interest rates. The extended repayment period allows lenders to spread the risk over time. This makes these loans less risky from the lender’s perspective. 

When considering loan interest rates, it’s crucial to understand the impact they have on the overall cost of borrowing. You need to factor in the cost of interest to understand how much you’ll actually be on the line for.

It’s worth noting that interest rates can vary depending on several factors. These include your credit score, income, loan amount, and the lender’s policies. Your creditworthiness plays a vital role in determining the interest rate you’ll get. 

Before choosing between short-term and long-term personal loans? It’s advisable to compare interest rates from many lenders. This allows you to find the most competitive rates available to you. 

Credit Impact

Both short-term and long-term personal loans can impact your credit score.

Making regular, timely payments on either type of loan can help improve your credit history and increase your credit score.

However, defaulting on payments or missing them altogether can have negative consequences. It’s crucial to carefully assess your financial situation before doing anything. Then choose a loan term that aligns with your ability to make consistent payments.

Responsible borrowing and timely repayments are key to maintaining a healthy credit profile.

Additionally, applying for multiple loans within a short period can also impact your credit score.

Each loan application typically triggers a hard inquiry on your credit report. This can have a temporary negative impact on your credit score. Therefore, it’s important to be selective and only apply for loans that you genuinely need.

To protect your credit score, it’s advisable to maintain a good payment history by making timely payments on all your debts, including personal loans.

Set up reminders or automatic payments to ensure you never miss a payment. Responsible borrowing and timely repayments are key to maintaining a healthy credit profile.

Understanding Short Term vs Long Term Loans

When choosing between a short-term vs long-term personal loan, several factors should be considered. The above are among the most important considerations you’ll need to work through when thinking about your loan.

Short-term loans offer quicker debt clearance but higher monthly payments and interest rates. Long-term loans provide more flexibility with lower monthly payments but result in higher overall interest payments.

Understanding these differences will enable you to make an informed decision and select the loan term that best suits your needs.

Have more questions, or looking to get started right away with a loan application? Give us a call anytime for more. 

Get money today with our instant loans