“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” — but how many of us heed that advice? The fact of the matter is that borrowing money and paying back loans is a major part of modern life. There are several expenses we have that are simply not affordable out of pocket for most people without taking out a loan. Whether you opt for traditional loans, title loans, or anything in between, let’s look at four key types of loans that people take out and how to make those loans and expenditures work for you without breaking the bank.

1. Home Loans

When taking out a loan in order to afford a house, you’ll want to consider several key aspects.

For one, you’ll want to know how much interest you can expect to pay on the loan and the amount of time you believe that it will take to pay back the bank. From their end, the bank will need certain information from you before they can clear you for a loan, including:

  • Your income before taxes
  • Your expenses, including everyday necessities such as utilities
  • Any outstanding debts
  • The amount that you wish to borrow
  • Your credit score along with a full report

30-year fixed mortgages have long been a fixture of the process in the States, meaning that you have a fixed APR for the duration of your 30-year repayment plan. You could always refinance later if you think you’re able to qualify for a lower interest rate.

2. Car Loans

If you are looking to get a loan in order to buy a car, you’ll first want to decide how much you are willing to pay back in interest. What’s more, you’ll need to decide how much you can afford to pay monthly. Take the time to get quotes from different car loan companies and choose according to your short-term as well as long-term financial needs.

3. Business Loans

The key to keep in mind when searching for business loans is to know exactly what your needs are and take out a loan that matches those needs. Don’t try and stretch a short-term loan to fix a long-term problem and don’t expect a long-term loan to be able to give you the up-front cash that you might need to fix a major cash flow problem in the short term.

4. Emergency Loans

If you have an emergency and need a loan more quickly than traditional banks can grant it to you, title loans and similar methods can be a great way to get that money quickly. That said, these loans can be safe so long as you know what you’re getting into; however, since you are putting up your car as collateral, you do always want to make sure to read the terms carefully and be absolutely sure that you can pay back the loan before accepting.

Whatever the impetus behind your choice to borrow money, doing so smartly and carefully can help fund your future.