Every year, personal loans help thousands of individuals achieve their dreams, whether it’s starting a business or pursuing a personal hobby. With interest rates having plummeted in recent years, and with the economy continuing to boom despite ongoing trade conflicts, many entrepreneurs and creative individuals view this as the perfect moment to pursue a personal loan.

Borrowers must always be wary if they want to avoid getting burned, however. Personal loans can be a godsend, but you must ensure you read the fine print if you want to come out on top. Here’s why you need to understand the perils of personal loans before you borrow.

Always read the fine print

If there’s on simple way to summarize how you should approach personal loans, it’s that you must always read the fine print. This may sound obvious, but countless individuals have gotten themselves ensnared in financial ruin because they rushed through the process of securing a personal loan. You may think that only lawyers can understand the finer details of a contract, but the truth of the matter is that anyone can do it once they know what to look out for.

When asking yourself if you understand the fine print of a loan agreement, you should consider whether there are any words, sentences, or clauses printed down that are alien to you. Never be afraid to ask for clarification – if you’re worried about “looking stupid,” just consider how foolish you’ll look when you end up signing a contract that you don’t totally understand. Anybody in the business of pursuing a personal loan should never be afraid to take things slowly, ask plenty of questions, and even hire a dedicated expert if the financial stakes are high enough.

Actually getting such a loan is often easier said than done, however. Many people apply for personal loans only to discover that they’ve been denied for often inscrutable reasons. Even if your prospective lender was upfront with you about the reasons you were denied, they may not always be telling the truth. That’s why it’s also of the upmost importance to read up ahead of time on how to avoid getting rejected when applying for such a loan. For some entrepreneurs, being rejected even temporarily can spell an end to your commercial ambitions, so don’t wait too long to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of securing a loan if you want to succeed.

Sneaky fees and unexpected charges can blindside even the most well-read of individuals, so never be afraid to consult legal experts when managing such huge sums of money. Exit fees can still be applied to fixed rate loans, and break fees can hurt you if you try to pay off your loan early, so having a lawyer or loan expert on hand to parse out such fine details could end up saving you a tremendous amount of cash.

Are personal loans worth pursuing? Under the right circumstances, certainly. Nevertheless, always read the fine print and consult expert help if you want to avoid getting burned.