Project Description

Money Smart Main Topics

Return To Main Topics Page


Access to loans can be helpful for covering expenses, making a large purchase, starting a business, or for the cost of continuing education. Several types of loans are available and each can offer an avenue to purchase items that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

It is important to know the facts about the various types of loans and the true cost of borrowing.

What Loan Is Best For You?

Types of Loans

Auto Loans

Whether you’re buying your first automobile, or replacing an existing one, there are numerous ways you can be sure you’re not overpaying, and you’re getting an auto loan that fits within your budget.

Image to right found on

Compare Auto LoansAuto Loans

Check new and used automobile values

Choosing a Car

Choosing an Auto Loan

Auto Loan Calculator

Auto Service Contracts and Warranties

When to Refinance, and Refinance Calculator

For more information on credit, visit: MSKC Credit Topic and MSKC Credit Reports and Scores

Student Loans

Image on right found on (

Find information for student loans at www.studentloans.govStudent Loans

Resources for student loans

Related Topics

Home Loans / Mortgages

Home loans include first mortgages, 2nd mortgages, home equity lines of credit, reverse mortgages and are available in a variety of rates, terms and qualifying criteria.

Compare Mortgage LoansAuto Loans

Types of Home Loans:

Home Loan Calculators

Becoming Mortgage Ready

Down Payment Assistance Programs

Avoiding Mortgage and Home Loan Scams

Personal Loans

Personal loans are typically unsecured, meaning they don’t require something of value as collateral like a car or house to secure the loan. However, personal loans differ from short-term payday loans in that repayment can be structured over a much longer period of time, and include a significantly lower rate of interest. Additionally, lenders making personal loans will usually look at credit and ability to repay as criteria for approving a personal loan.

Comparing Personal Loans

Avoiding Loan Scams

What You Should Know Before Co-signing a Loan

Credit Insurance



For more information on credit, visit: MSKC Credit Topic and MSKC Credit Reports and Scores

Small Business Loans

Find Small Business Funding at KCSourceLink

  • Determine how much money you need to start a business.
  • Find free, confidential financial advice for your business.
  • Get access to business financial classes and events.
  • Learn about your business funding options.
  • Decide which funding options are best for you

Need Help? Call KCSourceLink: 816-235-6500 or 866-870-6500, visit KCSourceLink website or via email: Contact Us

Retirement Plan Loans

Retirement Plan LoansRetirement Borrowing

  • 401(k)
  • 403(b)
  • 457(b)

Ask your employer or review the summary plan description.

IRAs and IRA-based plans (SEP, SIMPLE IRA and SARSEP plans) cannot offer participant loans.

Loans must meet certain requirements. The employee should review information from the plan administrator outlining terms for obtaining a loan.

Retirement Plan Loans FAQ’s (IRS)

This section provides the user with information responsive to general inquiries. These answers do not apply to every situation.  Please contact a professional for more information.

Hardships, Early Withdrawals and Loans

Mostly, a retirement plan can distribute benefits only when certain events occur. Your plan should clearly state when a distribution can be recieved. The plan document and summary description will also state whether the plan permits hardship distributions, early withdrawals or loans from your account.

Types of Retirement Plans

Benefits distributed from a retirement plan are based on:

  • The distribution available under the plan
  • Elections choices by plan participants and their stated beneficiaries.

 Resources about retirement plan loans

Retirement Calculators

Payday & Title Loans

Payday loans are unsecured, short-term, “paycheck advance” loans, typically between $100 & $1,000 with full balance (plus interest) due dates, on average, of 14 days.  While some states regulate the maximum amount of interest short-term lenders may charge, the national average comes out to about 400% APR, compared to a typical credit card where the rate is between 12 and 30 percent. The combination of high interest and short repayment time create what is commonly known as the payday lending cycle, whereas a borrower must re-borrow at each due date, creating a long-term problem for what was intended to be a short-term fix.   Fortunately, there are a growing number of alternative lending resources developed to help borrowers avoid the cycle. Coming soon – we’ll list some local resources for alternative lending(some are through partners and employers).

Payday Lending

Graphic courtesy of

Get A Financial Coach

Although eight separate loan categories are presented to give information on multiple loan topics, we still suggest that you talk with a financial coach before making any borrowing decision.  Many non-profit organization concentrate efforts on financial coaching and credit counseling.  You can meet with a counselor in a free, initial counseling session that sets the foundation for identifying what you want to accomplish, including solutions to credit and debt concerns.

Understanding Credit

Before applying for any loan, you need to know your credit.  Money Smart KC has two topics on credit that can help you.

Encourage a banking relationship or the benefits of banking

Visit the following Money Smart Topics for helpful information and links.