Does searching for personal loans online leave you scratching your head in confusion? There are so many technical terms, sometimes it’s difficult to know which products are right for you. Fortunately, it’s not as confusing as it first appears once you know more about common loan types.

If you’ve got debt, you’re not alone. As student loans, medical costs, and overall cost of living continues to rise in America, consumer debt has soared to more than $12 trillion. Hard-working folks turn to credit cards and other means to try to pay off what they owe, but often the high interest rates just make things worse. Thankfully, there are alternatives. A debt relief program is designed to improve financial health over time. Let’s take a look at how these programs can lead to debt relief and even freedom.

When you take out a new mortgage or refinance an existing one, you may need private mortgage insurance (PMI). Such insurance provides greater security for your lender, and may help you to qualify for a mortgage. However, it also increases the total cost of your mortgage.

Most mortgages have terms of 15 or 30 years, but some spread payments across 40 years. These longer-term mortgages make it easier to borrow larger sums than you might otherwise be eligible to borrow, but these loans also have a few disadvantages. Consider the pros and cons of a 40-year mortgage carefully before making this serious long-term commitment.

Everybody has a credit score—several, in fact. These scores derive from your credit history, which is the full account of your borrowing habits. In most cases, the score is a three-digit number between 300 and 850. But what does that number mean? If you’re considering borrowing money or refinancing, it’s important to learn more about credit scores before you compare loans.

Some financial experts say an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM for short, is nothing more than a bait and switch: You take the loan at a low interest rate, only to discover the rate rising a few years down the line. And yet homeowners will find many of these offers when they’re looking to refinance. As it turns out, an ARM isn’t just something to benefit shady mortgage brokers. For some homeowners in certain situations, this kind of refi makes a lot of sense.

Traditionally, taking out a new mortgage or trying to refinance (“refi”) an existing loan involved a trip to the bank. Fortunately, the rise of online mortgage lenders has made the process much simpler. There are now more products available, and more opportunities to find products you qualify for. Here are the top three ways using online lenders makes it easier to refinance your mortgage.

Hiding from your mailbox because of the piles of bills that keep showing up? Hate looking at your phone because of the collection agencies that keep calling? Mounting debt is more than a financial problem: It can wear on you emotionally. It’s worth the effort to take control of your financial future, and debt consolidation is a great option. Today, there are many online options that compete against the more traditional methods. Let’s compare the two

Your monthly mortgage payment has the potential to become a serious financial burden, especially if your circumstances change suddenly. Knowing how to lower your mortgage payment each month helps you keep control of your cash flow. Here are five simple ways to make a big change.

The last thing homeowners want is to spend more on their homes. When researching cash-out refinance rates, it’s important to determine whether the refi will actually cost more than other kinds of refinancing. There are many factors to consider when answering this question. Here are some things to keep in mind: