Integra Credit Blog

What Is An Installment Loan and What Are They Used for?

Whether you're looking to consolidate credit card debt or finance a large purchase, an installment loan may offer you the resources and flexibility you desire. It can be a real game changer, allowing you to receive a lump sum of cash and pay it back in smaller bits over time. Let's take a closer look at the installment loan.

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What is a Loan Origination Fee?

When first seeking a loan, you will likely encounter a lot of terminology that’s new to you: APR, amortization, deferment. And no phrase is more nerve wracking than one which contains that dreaded word: fee. So what is a loan origination fee? Does a loan origination fee come with every loan? Can you avoid paying a loan origination fee?

In this article, we’ll demystify the meaning of loan origination fees and explain the different types you will run into. We’ll also explore when to avoid them, when to pay them, and whether or not they’re negotiable.

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How to Cancel a Check

Sometimes, life doesn’t go to plan. If you realize there’s been a mistake, theft, or error when writing a check, you need to know how to cancel that check. You can’t rewind all of life’s blunders, and fortunately when it comes to your checking account, it often isn’t too late to stop the potential error in its tracks and save your money.

In this article, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about how to cancel a check that’s already been sent out, and what to expect during the cancellation process.

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How Does Debt Consolidation Work?

Being in debt isn’t easy. Repayment is challenging enough, but keeping track of multiple loans and lenders can feel downright overwhelming. So how can you simplify your financial situation and stay on top of what you owe?

One solution is debt consolidation. In this article, we’ll discuss debt consolidation, how it works, and how to figure out if a debt consolidation is the right fit for you.

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Credit Union vs Bank: What's the Difference?

When it comes to choosing a financial institution for your checking, savings, and financial needs, you have two primary options: a credit union vs a bank. Although banks and credit unions offer similar services and products, they are actually two different types of financial institutions. Let's take a closer look at the similarities and differences between banks and credit unions.

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How to get a Car Loan with Bad Credit

Finding and purchasing a vehicle can be intimidating and even nerve-wracking. However, the intimidation factor can increase exponentially if you have bad credit. Here's why — most banks, credit unions, and auto finance institutions are set up to serve the needs of customers with good to great credit scores.

If your credit score falls in the subprime range, or below, getting approved for a car loan can seem almost impossible. Fortunately, it's not. Let's take a closer look at what you can do to improve your chances of being approved for an auto loan with bad credit.

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How Does a Credit Card Work?

It’s becoming rare to see cash used as a method of payment. The inconvenience of carrying paper and coins has mostly been replaced by cards and digital forms of payment. The use of credit cards are now a prominent form of payment, but there are benefits and drawbacks associated with their use.

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Your Guide to Common Bank Account Types

Anyone with good sense knows that it’s wise to keep your money in a bank account. Whether for the security of your funds, the convenience, or the interest-earning potential, bank accounts offer many benefits.

However, it’s not quite so simple as just waltzing up to your local branch and depositing your money. There are several different types of bank accounts available to you, all of which serve different purposes. In this article, we’ll break down four types of bank accounts, and explore which one might be right for you.

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What Is an Unsecured Loan?

Many loans are tied to an asset you own. That’s often ideal when you need money to purchase a specific asset such as a home or car. But what about when you need money for a variety of uses or for something intangible like your education? In that case, you may want to consider an unsecured loan.

What is an unsecured loan? Unlike secured loans, which rely on a specific asset as collateral, unsecured loans are not collateralized by your property. Instead, they rely on factors such as your credit score and income.

Unsecured loans can be helpful for a variety of things — from tuition expenses to consolidating debt — but they are not for everyone or all situations. Let’s explore more about how these loans work, what types of options you’ll find, and how to know when they’re right for you.

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How to Save Money Despite Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Living paycheck to paycheck can be frustrating as you watch money go out as soon as your paycheck comes in. You're staying on top of bills and working hard but need help to look forward to a time when you can put money away.

An inability to save puts people in a tough spot when an emergency occurs. A surprise car repair or medical bill could become very problematic.

61% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck in June 2022, up 9% from an April 2021 low of 52%, making paycheck to paycheck living the most common financial lifestyle in the US. Some simple money management tips can bring you out of the paycheck to paycheck grind, put some cash away, and be prepared for when emergencies might come your way. You've got this.

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Best Budgeting Methods

Do you have a budget? Is this budget written down, updated, and referenced to ensure you're on track? If you answer no, you're not alone. In fact, only 32% of American households prepare a monthly budget. More so, 65% of Americans said they didn't know how much they spent last month. Together these two statistics can help explain why almost half of Americans (49%) wouldn't be able to cover a $400 emergency expense.

While budgeting isn't the end-all and be-all to your financial woes, it can certainly help improve your financial position. And budgeting is a lot easier than you think. Let's take a closer look at how to create a budget and critical budgeting methods you can use to improve your financial fitness.

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How Much Money Should You Have In an Emergency Fund?

Some expenses are hard to predict. Whether it’s a car breakdown or an unexpected illness, some things can’t be scheduled and planned into the budget.

Yet, just because you can’t plan for them doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. An emergency fund ensures that you’re ready when these unpredictable events happen. When you have surplus funds available, you can rest assured that an emergency won’t unsettle your financial stability.

There’s a big difference between knowing you need an emergency fund and building one, though. Let’s look at what these funds are, how to build them, and when to use them.

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How Much Money Should I Save Each Month?

Most people know that saving money is an essential part of building a secure financial future. It’s simple to acknowledge but the reality of saving money is quite a bit more complicated. How much money should you be saving each month? Is there a set dollar amount you should be putting away? What percentage of your income will be enough to save up for retirement?

With such an emotionally charged topic, you need clear and simple advice from the experts. So keep reading to figure out approximately how much money you should save each month, and why it’s important.

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Personal Line of Credit vs. Personal Loan

When a consumer’s vehicle breaks down, their house needs a costly repair, or other unforeseen expenses arise, they might not have the funds to cover the costs. A personal loan or line of credit can help them make ends meet.

There are many loan options available and trying to decide on which one is right for you can be overwhelming. Consumers should educate themselves on the differences between loan options to make the best choice.

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The Easiest Ways to Borrow Money

It’s common for people to need more money than they have saved to purchase a home, car, pay tuition, or repair their homes. They may also need an emergency loan if they are running short on funds until the next paycheck.

There are many options for borrowing money, and each one has its benefits and drawbacks. Understanding how to borrow money can help consumers make good decisions.

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What Is A NSF Fee?

While most people have heard of overdraft fees, they might not know what an NSF fee is. NSF stands for “non-sufficient funds”. NSF Fees and overdraft fees are different. We have compiled information to explain what the term ‘non-sufficient funds’ mean, how much NSF fees typically cost, the difference between non-sufficient funds and overdrafts, and how to avoid unnecessary bank fees.

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How Long Does Direct Deposit Take for Loans?

The days of paper checks, physically walking into a bank, and deposit slips are long gone — for most of us. Instead, we are living in the days of digital banking. And to save you time and money, lenders use direct deposit for funding for funding loans.

By leveraging direct deposit, they can shave days or even weeks off the process of you receiving your loan proceeds. While direct deposit is widely used throughout all industries, there is still a bit of confusion over how it works and its expectations.

To provide clarity, we've created a quick guide to direct deposit for loans. Let's take a closer look.

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What Is Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?

You know the letters and expect to see them when comparing personal loans, credit cards, secured loans, and lines of credit. When considering borrowing money, APR is one measure that allows you to compare the cost of different products.

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Why is Financial Literacy Important?

Financial literacy can impact a person’s daily life in many ways. Where they live, what vehicle they drive, and when they can retire all hinge on how a person manages their finances.

Everyone should take time to understand their situation and how they can work to improve their financial health. Where should they begin? We will discuss what financial literacy is, why it is important, and how to leverage this knowledge.

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How Title Loans Work

If a person owns a vehicle and needs access to funds, a title loan may be one of the options they consider. As with any financial decision, consumers should research how a loan works, its terms, and the requirements for paying back the debt. This article explains what title loans are, how they work, their advantages, the drawbacks, and the other options available for consumers seeking cash.

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What Is an Emergency Loan?

Your car breaks down. You have an unexpected medical bill. A storm causes damage to your house that is not covered by insurance. A beloved pet becomes ill. You have a serious toothache or other urgent personal needs. These are examples of things that may create the need for an emergency loan.

This guide will help you understand more about emergency loans, the types of emergency loans available, and how to get an emergency loan.

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Direct Deposit Loans: Is the Cash Worth the Cost?

A person can have the best budget in place, and then life happens. They get sick, their car breaks down, their hours get cut at work, or a kitchen appliance needs replacing.

In a perfect world, everyone would have a large savings they could pull from during emergencies. For most people though, that’s not the reality. Chances are good that an unexpected expense arises, most people won’t have the funds to cover it.

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Government Hardship Grants to Provide You with Fast Cash

The federal government offers a range of grants to help individuals and families. Many people may need extra help paying energy bills, such as electricity bills, college-related expenses, or healthcare. There are a number of government hardship grants that provide fast cash. These grants can provide you peace of mind that you are able to pay for food, utility bills, housing, and other daily expenses.

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