Looking for a loan? The right deal on one can completely transform your life when used right, and it’s a great tool for getting out of difficult financial situations too. That said, there are tons of loan deals on the market today, and not all of them are the same. In some cases, you’re better off just tightening your belt and grinding through the next few months instead of dealing with a specific lender.

But in most cases, as long as you play your cards right and pick the right product on the market, you should find loans to be a fantastic financial instrument. You just need to know how to compare the deals available for them, and there are plenty of ways to go about that.

Don’t Rush

The most important rule for getting a good payday loan is to avoid rushing. Unless you’re in a critical situation where you need the money urgently, it’s better to wait a little longer and keep comparing the available deals. Sometimes, the one you’re looking for will be right around the corner. It could be time-exclusive though, or limited in other regards, meaning that you would miss it by rushing.

Some lenders might also try to get you to rush your decision and sign on a loan with them. You should be wary of those people, and avoid working with them if you feel that the conversation is moving in that direction. You often have nothing to gain from submitting to a lender’s persuasion to make your decision faster.

Use the Internet

It might sound like a cliché, but it’s amazing how many people out there are completely clueless about using the internet to its full potential to compare loan rates and other factors. You have everything at your fingertips with just a few clicks, and it takes very little time to collect the information that you’re looking for in most cases.

That said, you should also have a cautious approach to this. The internet can sometimes be a misleading place, as certain lenders try to take advantage of people’s ignorance about the way the Web works. Be wary of deals that promise you more than the average product on the market, and do extra research on those. It’s not rare for lenders to overrepresent what they have available.

Gather Leverage

Try to collect as much information that you could use as leverage before talking to a lender. Leverage in this case can mean many things, but it mostly boils down to being able to show the lender that you can get a better deal elsewhere. Most lenders would still rather have you as a client instead of letting you to go one of their competitors – after all, they are still the ones getting your money that way.

But don’t expect every lender to bow down when you tell them that you have better alternatives. Sometimes, the lender themselves might not have too much room for negotiation, in which case they will not budge from their initial offer.

Talk to Multiple Lenders

On that note, try to talk to as many lenders as you can before signing on any specific loan. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get the details of a lender’s most attractive loan deals, and you can easily organize that information in spreadsheets that you can then use to figure out who truly has the best offers available.

Try to keep track of any verbal promises that lenders have made in those discussions. Even if you can’t prove that these things were said, you can still use them as negotiating cards when talking to other lenders. They won’t need official proof that a competitor has promised you certain features. Of course, don’t go overboard with this, and certainly don’t try to make things up. It’s a small world, and lenders know each other – so lender A would know with a good degree of certainty whether it’s plausible that lender B has made a specific statement.

Understand Your Own Situation

Be aware of what kind of situation you’re dealing with on your end too. Sometimes, going for a loan with slightly higher monthly installments can actually make more sense. If you can afford to make those payments without taking a hit financially, it’s better to go for a deal like that. It will allow you to get the loan out of your hair much sooner, and as a result, you’ll feel a much weaker impact on your overall finances.

It’s not always possible to deal with higher installments though, especially if you need the loan to cover some urgent expenses to begin with. But the important thing is that you’re realistic about your current financial situation, and don’t try to stretch it beyond what you can afford. If you aren’t absolutely sure that you’ll be able to repay that loan on time without missing a payment, don’t go for it. The long-term repercussions will be much more severe than whatever situation you might be dealing with now.