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: Oct 24, 2012

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Once again the weather is getting colder, people are wearing jackets and coats, and wallets are getting lighter. Clearly, winter is here. Aside from a drop in temperature, winter also means a drop in savings account balances. A look at the costly factors in winter can answer the questions of some borrowers who expect their wallets and purses to lighten.

The Costly Factors

First, and perhaps most costly depending on where someone lives, is energy. Colder weather calls for more heat. Due to temperature changes, household funds must go to heating—a vital necessity.

Similarly, cars can also prove costly in winter. In snow-laden areas of the country, cars require heaters and chains to simply operate safely and effectively in freezing temperatures. On top of that, added snowfall and the much-dreaded “black ice” can lead to increases in car accidents. As many a driver has experienced, a car accident can lead to an increase in insurance payments—not to mention the need to pay for repairs or a replacement car. Pouring salt on this wound is the ongoing trend of rising oil prices, which painfully gouge customers at the pump.

On top of this, winter and its holidays means increased food costs brought about by the ongoing drought, which has caused food prices to rise.

Winter means the coming of Christmas and other religious holidays that involve gift-giving. Unfortunately, high unemployment and a weak economy mean that purchasing gifts can be a struggle for many families.

Amid such high winter costs and expenses, some people turn to personal loans to help them out in this time of need.

The flexibility and versatility of personal loans allows them to be used for a myriad of purchases, such as buying gifts or supplying a bountiful Christmas dinner.

A personal loan can help wise borrowers purchase a more energy efficient car. Likewise, borrowers can insulate their home or improve its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning capabilities.

Borrowers must remember that lenders have requirements for personal loans. If applicants don’t match these requirements then they will be rejected. Lenders conduct credit checks to view the credit history of applicants. This, along with a debt-to-income ratio analysis, allows lenders to see how likely a borrower is to repay the loan.

Applicants should remember that like all forms of debt, personal loans must be repaid with interest. Hopefully though, personal financing can be enough of a helping hand to carry a borrower through an expensive winter.

Fortunately, winter doesn’t last forever, just as bad economies do not last forever. As many families have experienced since the recession, the Christmas tree is not always surrounded by presents and the Christmas dinner is not always bountiful. The frigid and expensive winter will give way in time to a far more affordable spring.