Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 3, 2012

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In an effort to educate the more than 30 million underbanked households in the United States about personal loans, the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF) released a pamphlet titled “Understanding Personal Loans.”

The pamphlet is the first publication is a four-part series called “Personal Loans 101”. The series is aimed at informing potential borrowers about the benefits and risks of borrowing short-term, small-dollar loans.

“Individuals and families need financial literacy skills to make sound financial decisions,” said Susie Irvine, President and CEO of AFSAEF, in a release. “As we emerge from the economic downturn, people are looking for ways to protect their finances and access credit. ‘Personal Loans 101’ will be a comprehensive resource to help the underbanked fully understand small-dollar loans.”

This first installment offers potential borrowers with a means to self assess their borrowing capability by answering a series of frequently asked questions, including:

  • Is a personal loan right for me?
  • How do I know if I can afford a loan?
  • What happens when I apply for a loan?
  • What happens if I am late with a payment?
  • What terms of financing should I understand before taking out a loan?
  • Which laws exist to protect me?

The brochures offered by the ASFAEF are free-of-charge and can be downloaded online. “Understanding Personal Loans” is currently the only booklet available in the “Personal Loans 101” series. Other titles including “Understanding Credit Risk,” “The True Meaning of APR” and “Identifying Safe Personal Loan Options” are scheduled to be released later this year.

The AFSAEF is an organization dedicated to helping consumers learn responsible financial practices, and provides a variety of helpful consumer resources on their website.

Printed versions of the brochures are available from the AFSAEF as well, and can be ordered by calling 888-400-7577, or by emailing [email protected]