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Understanding Loan Products

Taking out a loan is a big decision, regardless of the amount. Borrowing money can help you get the things you want when you want them, but it is also a commitment that can have long-term effects on your financial life.

With so many lending options out there, it's vital that you understand the pros and cons of each. In this section of the Consumer Lending Resource Center, you'll find practical and helpful information on several of the most common types of lending products.

Credit cards
One of the most popular ways to temporarily borrow money for the things you want to buy, a credit card can be a useful tool when used responsibly. Find out what to look for when considering a card.

Installment loans and personal lines of credit
There are a variety of loan types to meet your individual need, which can range from a loan secured by an automobile to an unsecured line of credit.  The key is to understand these loan types, their terms, and how they may impact your budget and credit.  

Mortgages
Used specifically to purchase your home, a mortgage can help you begin to build equity and a solid financial foundation. Many options give you a variety of ways to choose to become a homeowner.

Home equity loans and lines of credit
Home Equity Lines of Credit and Home Equity Loans are commonly used pay for major expenses, such as home improvements or college educations.  With this type of loan, many consumers are able take advantage of low interest rates and potential tax benefits.