In Finland, a personal loan in called joustoluotto. To get one, borrowers have to prove they have not failed to repay their previous debt. There is an official registry for that. Applications can be made online, by phone or personally in banks.
Interest rates fluctuate notably but one can avoid unexpected high expenses by securing the repayment with a hedge. It does not always last as long as the loan itself but still prevents much inconvenience. As long as it is valid, interest rates cannot exceed a so-called collar that has been arranged with the contract (made when taking a loan or later but at least ten years before the end of the credit). There is no additional fee for this; the catch is, you also have to arrange the minimum interest rate with it and it cannot get lowered even if would decrease otherwise because of the market situation. This disadvantage is not present if you secure an interest rate cap. To compensate this for the lender’s benefit, the cap requires a fee. It lasts fot three, five or seven years. One can also bargain for a fixed interest rate
There are different forms of refinancing. Borrowers can choose between paying the same amount each month and paying different amounts until a certain deadline. Those who decide for equal payments know when their repayment will end but risk increased interest rates. With fixed equal payments, the main advantage is that they know te ammount they will repay each month but duration is unsure.
Loans are often given for homes, vehicles, travel or study in Finland. Student loan for full-time students is secured by the government. Another form of helping borrowers is decreasing taxes for those who take loans to repair their homes.