Cheap Personal Loans

Borrow at 2.7% for £7.5k+

For those who need to borrow, a price war between providers means you can now get a loan for as little as 2.7% a year. But be careful before picking one – even the best deals have more tricks than Dynamo's sleeve.

Borrowing should always be budgeted for, and carefully planned, so you know whether you can afford the repayments. This is a step-by-step guide, with daily-updated best buys, a unique calculator to pare your costs to the bone and an eligibility calculator that'll tell you which loans you've the best chance of getting before you apply. 

What is a personal loan?

Personal loans, also known as unsecured loans, are where you borrow a sum of money from a lender, and agree to pay it back over a set time period in fixed monthly repayments.

The lender will charge you interest as its fee to lend money to you, so you repay the amount you borrowed plus interest. The advantage is you get cash upfront, but can spread the cost of a purchase over several months or years.

This guide details the cheapest personal loans, but also addresses whether other finance options, like credit cards, might be cheaper for you. Plus, we've our clever Loans Eligibility Calculator, which can tell you which lenders are likely to accept you before you apply.

The 7 need-to-knows

  • The formula's simple: borrow as little as possible, repay as quickly as possible. To avoid complications, always base your borrowing on what you can comfortably afford to repay (preferably after doing a budget), as borrowing too much can cause debts to spiral out of control.

    And beware – while borrowing over a longer period spreads the debt and decreases monthly repayments, it massively increases the interest you'll repay. Borrow £10,000 at 7% over three years and the interest cost is £1,100. Borrow the same over 10 years, and you'll pay a massive £3,900 in interest.

  • Before jumping straight into a loan, first consider if you could get a credit card for a smaller amount. The most important factor here, however, is your credit limit. Unless you've a large income and a good credit score, credit cards won't usually give you more than £5,000. So if what you need to buy's more expensive than this, you're probably better off looking for a £5,000+ loan.

    But if you can buy whatever it is for £5,000 or less, you have several other options. See if any of these scenarios fit you...

    • I can use a credit card and can clear it in 29 months. You can get up to 29 months at 0% interest on a credit card – only useful if you can budget to pay off your debt in that time, or you're super-organised and can balance-transfer the debt to another card before the 0% period ends.

      This technique's also only useful if the retailer takes credit cards. And some – most notably car dealerships – often don't. But there's still a way to use a card to beat a loan...
    • I can't pay directly on a credit card or I need longer than 29 months. Don't worry, even if you can't pay the retailer directly on a credit card, you can still pay by card, it's just slightly more complex.

      You'll need a specialist money transfer card. These work by transferring cash from the new card to your bank account, so instead you owe the card (though there is a fee). Once there, you can spend it as you would a loan.

      The longest deal at the moment is a card which gives you a 0% period of 36 months (with a 3.94% fee). If you can pay the debt off in that time, or balance-transfer it once the 0% is over, this could be a good replacement for a loan.

    • I'm trying to make existing debts cheaper. In most cases, a loan won't be cheapest. Credit-card balance-transfer deals are designed to allow you to shift other cards' debts to them at a special cheap rate, usually much cheaper than the best loan rates.

      This doesn't mean you need to keep shifting debts between short-term 0% deals. Some cheap deals (about 6.4% APR) last until ALL the debt is repaid – and beyond (see Best Balance Transfers guide).

    With all these techniques, make sure you recreate the rigidity of paying off a loan. Work out how much you need to pay off each month to clear the card within the 0% period, then set up a direct debit for that amount each month. This way you're not tempted to skip months and end up owing debt at the end of the 0% (unless you're happy to keep rolling the debt on to new balance transfer cards each time).

  • Usually, the only way to know if you'll be accepted is to apply, but each application marks your credit report for up to a year. This could make it harder for you to get credit in future. To help you minimise applications, our Loans Eligibility Calculator quickly shows your odds of getting almost every top loan listed below (plus many more) so you can find the ones most likely to accept you before applying.

    How does the eligibility calculator work?

    It uses a 'soft search', which is one you'll see on your credit report but lenders usually don't (and where they do they can't use the info), to give us an indication of your creditworthiness. We then match this against lenders' criteria for acceptance so we can show you the odds of getting each loan.

    Knowing where you're more likely to be accepted, you'll be able to make a smarter application. Rejection's therefore much less likely, minimising the need to apply elsewhere, which would add another mark on your credit report.

    Or join our Credit Club for a full credit health check

    The MSE Credit Club is a game-changer. It shows your free Experian Credit Report and Credit Score, your Affordability Score, which helps you work out how much you can afford to borrow and is broken out for loans in particular, your Credit Hit Rate – which shows your chances of success, as a percentage, of grabbing top cards and loans – and much more.

  • The ideal loan customer for a lender is someone with a good credit history (a proven track record of paying credit back on time) and a high level of disposable income.

    Yet your credit history and your income are doing two different jobs in the lender's scorecard. We break it down here...

    • Credit history. Your credit record counts towards whether the lender will be willing to lend to you in the first place. But crucially it also contributes to the rate it's likely to offer you. A good credit record will make it more likely you'll get the advertised rate; if your credit history's poorer, it's likely you'll still get the loan, but you'll be repriced to a higher rate, as you're a bigger risk for the lender.

    • Income. Your disposable income dictates how much a lender will be willing to lend. This is worked out based on your income, minus rent or mortgage payments (and other outgoings that the lender estimates 'someone like you' would have, based on where you live and your number of dependants). And while you may have a perfect credit record, if your disposable income's not high enough (or not estimated to be high enough), you won't get the loan.

    Our Loans Eligibility Calculator and Credit Club mimic these criteria when they're working out your loan chances. Credit Club also drills in to your affordability for loans and gives you a score ranging from 'poor' to 'very good' based on this.

  • There's a catch to watch out for. Some loan firms give those with lesser credit histories a higher APR than the one they advertise. You could, say, apply for a 3.2% loan, be accepted, but be given a 6.9% APR. This is because advertised loan APRs are 'representative' – meaning only 51% of successful applicants have to get them. So up to 49% may end up with a more expensive loan than they applied for (if they get accepted at all).

    Sadly, the only real way to find out whether you'll get the advertised rate is to apply. We're working on being able to show you the APR you're likely to get in our eligibility calculator, though it's a while away.

  • While generally you should try to minimise borrowing, a peculiar quirk means with loans sometimes you pay less by getting a slightly bigger loan. This happens because rates decrease at set thresholds.

    For example, if you wanted to borrow £4,900 over 5yrs, the cheapest loan is 6.7%, so in total you repay £5,780. Yet borrow £5,000 and as the rate drops to 3.4%, the total repayment is £5,444 – that's £336 LESS repaid even though you borrowed £100 more.

    So if you're borrowing close to a threshold (£2,000, £3,000, £5,000 or £7,500) use our Loan Cost Calc to see if you're better off borrowing a tad more (assuming you're accepted for the advertised rate). You could even use the 'extra' cash towards your first loan repayment(s).

  • Loan providers must allow you to pay off your loan in full. This is usually subject to a penalty which is usually between one and two months' interest. Check your individual agreement to see what your lender will charge you.

    If your loan was taken out on or after 1 February 2011, you can make partial overpayments on your loan. If your extra repayments total under £8,000 in a year, banks are not allowed to charge you a fee for making an overpayment. But if your overpayments total over £8,000 in a year then the bank is allowed to charge you so long as it has incurred a cost itself from you paying back the loan early.

Best Buy Personal loans

If you're looking for a loan, check out the best buy rates below. We list loans by 'bands' as the rate you could get differs depending on how much you want to borrow. Plus, if you want to find out which loans you'll get, without applying, use our eligibility calculator to see your chances.

The best buys are below, but there's the chance to undercut some of these rates by 0.5 percentage points if you're an Nationwide current account customer (or you successfully apply for one of their accounts). Read a full Nationwide how-to.

Cheapest loans under £5,000

CHEAPEST STANDARD RATE LENDER AND REPRESENTATIVE APRS (ALL RATES OVER 1-5 YEARS UNLESS STATED)
SEE ALL OFFICIAL APR EXAMPLES
Check which loan you can get before you apply

Usually the only way to know if you'll get a loan is to apply, which marks your credit file. Our Eligibility Calculator does a soft search to find which loans you'll get without harming your creditworthiness.

Cheapest loans for 
£1,000 - £1,999
 

Want to find out if you'll get these loans? Use the Eligibility Calculator.

A few specialist credit cards can approximate loans and are far cheaper than the loans below, full step-by-step in Money Transfers.
Zopa* 9.5% rep APR (1 year term)
Zopa* 9.9% rep APR (2-5 years)
Asda Money 9.9% rep APR (will search various lenders and tell you the rate you'll get before you apply, not in eligibility calc)
RateSetter* 10.9% rep APR
Cheapest loans for 
£2,000 - £2,999

Want to find out if you'll get these loans? Use the Eligibility Calculator.
A few specialist credit cards can approximate loans and are far cheaper than the loans below, full step-by-step in Money Transfers.
Zopa* 6.9% to 7.9% rep APR (depending on amount & term)
Ikano Bank 7.8% rep APR (not in eligibility calc)
RateSetter* 10.9% rep APR

Cheapest loans for 
£3,000 - £4,999
 

Want to find out if you'll get these loans? Use the Eligibility Calculator.

Zopa* 5% to 6.9% rep APR (depending on amount & term)

Admiral* 6.7% rep APR

Ikano Bank 7.7% rep APR (not in eligibility calc)
Post Office* 8.9% rep APR 

Cheapest loans from £5,000 to £15,000

CHEAPEST STANDARD RATE LENDER AND REPRESENTATIVE APRS (ALL RATES OVER 1-5 YEARS UNLESS STATED)
SEE ALL OFFICIAL APR EXAMPLES
Check which loan you can get before you apply
Usually the only way to know if you'll get a loan is to apply, which marks your credit file. Our Eligibility Calculator does a soft search to find which loans you'll get without harming your creditworthiness.

Cheapest loans for 
£5,000 - £7,499
 

Want to find out if you'll get these loans? Use the Eligibility Calculator.

Admiral* 3.4% rep APR
Yorkshire* / Clydesdale* 3.4% rep APR
Zopa* 3.5% rep APR
Hitachi* 3.5% rep APR (2-5 years)
Sainsbury's Bank* 3.5% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 1-3 years)
Sainsbury's Bank* 3.6% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 3.5-5 years)
M&S Bank* 3.6% rep APR (1-7 years)

Cheapest loans for 
£7,500 - £15,000
 

Want to find out if you'll get these loans? Use the Eligibility Calculator.

New. Admiral*  2.7% rep APR
Sainsbury's Bank* 2.7% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 1-3 years)
Sainsbury's Bank* 2.8% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 3.5-5 years)
Cahoot* 2.8% rep APR
John Lewis Finance* 2.8% rep APR

M&S Bank* 2.8% rep APR (1-3 years) 
M&S Bank* 2.9% rep APR (4-7 years)

Yorkshire* / Clydesdale* 2.9% rep APR (1-7 years)

Cheapest loans over £15,000

CHEAPEST STANDARD RATE LENDER AND REPRESENTATIVE APRS (ALL RATES OVER 1-5 YEARS UNLESS STATED)
SEE ALL OFFICIAL APR EXAMPLES
Check which loan you can get before you apply
Usually the only way to know if you'll get a loan is to apply, which marks your credit file. Our Eligibility Calculator does a soft search to find which loans you'll get without harming your creditworthiness.

Cheapest loans for 
£15,001 - £19,999
 

Want to find out if you'll get these loans? Use the Eligibility Calculator.

Cahoot* 2.8% rep APR
Sainsbury's Bank* 2.8% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 2-3 years)
Sainsbury's Bank* 2.9% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 3.5-7 years)
M&S Bank* 2.8% rep APR (1-3 years)
M&S Bank* 2.9% rep APR (4-7 years)
Yorkshire* / Clydesdale* 3% rep APR (1-7 years)
Tesco Bank* 3% rep APR
The AA* 3% rep APR (AA members only, 1-7 years) 
The AA* 3.1% rep APR (1-7 years)

Cheapest loans for 
£20,000 - £25,000
 

Want to find out if you'll get these loans? Use the Eligibility Calculator.

Sainsbury's Bank* 2.8% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 2-3 years)
Sainsbury's Bank* 2.9% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 3.5-7 years)
Yorkshire* / Clydesdale* 3% rep APR (1-7 years) 
Tesco Bank* 3% rep APR
The AA* 3% rep APR (AA members only, 1-7 years) 
The AA* 3.1% rep APR (1-7 years)
Post Office* 3.1% rep APR (1-7 years)
Hitachi* 3.3% rep APR (2-5 years)

Cheapest loans
over £25,000
 

Want to find out if you'll get these loans?

 

Use the Eligibility Calculator.

Must have a First Direct current account First Direct 3.3% rep APR (loans between £25,000 and £30,000, 1-7 years, not in eligibility calc)

Must have a First Direct current account First Direct 6.7% rep APR (loans between £30,001 and £50,000, 1-7 years, not in eligibility calc)
Tesco Bank* 6.8% rep APR

Yorkshire* / Clydesdale* 6.9% rep APR

Sainsbury's Bank* 6.9% rep APR (Nectar cardholders only, 2-3 years)
RateSetter* 10.9% rep APR

First Direct now offers personal loans to its current account customers up to £50,000 and Sainsbury's Bank offers loans up to £40,000. RateSetter, Tesco Bank, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale offer up to £35,000. Though be very careful in getting a personal loan for such a large amount as it's a huge commitment.

If you can't get this, you could combine loans, or remortgage, though that often means extending the term, more interest and securing the debt on your house.

Special trick for Nationwide customers – 2.2% loans?

If you hold a current account (or successfully apply for one) with Nationwide, it promises to undercut the best loan offer you get by 0.5 percentage points – as long as you're accepted for its own loan. This means, for example, a 2.7% loan (the current best buy) could become 2.2%...

  • This trick's a little bit complex, so we've done a short Q&A here on how to do this in practice...

    What loans do I need to apply for to do this?

    To get the deal, you must first apply and get accepted for a standard loan – one that doesn't have fees as well as interest – through any bank or building society. This includes providers like Hitachi and Ikano Bank, but excludes some loans from peer-to-peer lenders such as Zopa and RateSetter.

    Then, apply for a Nationwide loan within 30 days – but you'll need proof of acceptance for the other loan. If Nationwide accepts you, it will then offer you a rate which is 0.5 percentage points lower than your initial offer (it says it won't accept you for the loan, then offer a higher rate).

    It's easiest to apply in branch for this, as you'll need to show or send your proof of acceptance for the other loan to qualify.

    You can apply by phone, though you'll need to send your proof of the other offer by post before the loan is issued.

    Which Nationwide current account do I need to do this deal?

    There's a few that allow you to do this.

    You can get the loan if you have (or successfully apply for) a FlexDirectFlexPlusFlexStudent or FlexOne account. The FlexDirect gives 5% AER interest for the first year on amounts in the account up to £2,500, though you'll need to pay in £1,000/month to get this. The FlexPlus has a £13/month fee, but comes with free travel insurance, mobile insurance and breakdown cover.

    You can also get it if you have a FlexAccount, though with this account you need to have either been paying in £750+ a month for the last three months, or have completed an account switch in the last four months.

    Most of the linked accounts are best buys in their own right, and are among our top bank account picks. Read full details and eligibility criteria for Best Bank Accounts.

    I'm not a Nationwide customer, can I still take advantage?

    You can open (or switch to) a current account with Nationwide at the same time as applying for the loan. But be prepared for the credit score hit you'll take. How much of a hit that is depends on whether you're already a Nationwide customer.

    • New customers. To switch banks, as well as apply for two loans, you'll have done three credit applications within a short space of time (one for the initial loan, one for the new current account, and one for the Nationwide loan)

    • Existing customers. You may only have one application for the original loan on your credit file, though this will depend on whether Nationwide has already 'pre-approved' you for a loan with it. Main current account customers may already be pre-approved for a certain amount, and if the amount you're borrowing is under this, Nationwide says it won't do a hard search (though it may still do a soft search). Your one application will come from the non-Nationwide loan you applied for.

    If you're applying for a mortgage, or other big credit, soon, for safety it's best to leave a year between big applications, as this is how long applications stay on your file. See Credit Scores for more information.

    Sounds like a bit of a faff. Is it worth it?

    You need to decide whether the added hassle of making the extra credit application's worth it. On a three-year, £10,000 loan, you'd pay around £422 in interest over the term of the loan with a best buy 2.7% loan. If Nationwide then offered you a 2.2% rate, it'd cut £80 off the interest cost of your loan over those three years.

    Use the loans calculator to see how much you could save.

The Loan Calculator

We've designed a unique calculator to help you work out the cost of a loan, plus whether you can save by switching.

Want to complain about your loan provider?

If your loan provider has charged you the wrong amount, taken the wrong amount in payment, or its service has been atrocious, then you don't have to suffer in silence. It's always worth trying to call your lender first to see if it can help, but if not...

Free tool if you're having problems

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It's totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver, which we like so much we work with it to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, you can use Resolver to escalate it to the free Financial Ombudsman Service.

Personal Loans Q&A

  • They sound funky and different. But for borrowers, getting a peer-to-peer loan is pretty similar to a bank loan. Loans from the two biggies, Zopa* and Ratesetter*, tend to be especially competitive if you have a reasonable credit score.

    Peer-to-peer lenders match borrowers and lenders (savers), cutting banks out of the equation. People with spare cash can usually get higher returns lending this money than from saving. Similarly, people looking to borrow can usually get lower APRs than from standard loans. The lending sites do all the organising though, so as a borrower, your relationship and repayments are through them.

    • They tend to be cheap at all borrowing levels. While rates depend on how good a risk you are, at the time of writing, the cheapest £2,000 standard loan is 6.9% APR – and it's from a peer-to-peer lender.

    • Initial applications don't hit your credit score. With normal loans, often the only way to find out the rate you'll get is to apply – which leaves a mark on your credit report. Peer-to-peer lenders 'soft search' your credit history – which lenders won't see on your credit report in future. So it has no effect – and it tells you your rate and the lending fee.

    • If you do actually get the loan, though, it'll go on your credit report and your repayment history will be recorded.

    • They have flexible repayments. To be fair, this is now a feature of a lot of personal loans. In basic terms, it means you can repay early in part or in full without penalty (though you will still have a monthly direct debit repayment for the loan).

    • It's as safe as borrowing a standard loan. Peer-to-peer sites are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, just like standard lenders. However, regulation's more to protect savers (the peer-to-peer lenders), not borrowers (as if it went bust and didn't collect your cash, you wouldn't be that upset). However, all major sites have their own safeguards in place to make sure you pay the money back, and that lenders don't lose out.

  • Credit unions are independently run co-operative organisations which aim to assist people who may not have access to financial products and services elsewhere. There are about 500 in the UK providing loans, savings and current accounts. Each has its own services and rules on who can join.

    Recently several credit unions have got together to offer an online portal for their loans. CU Loans* will take some details on you and the loan you want and then find if there's a credit union you're eligible for, and your loan will be processed through that credit union. 

    You can borrow between £1,500 and £15,000 for between one and five years. The representative APR is 8.9%, but credit union loan rates are capped, and the maximum you can be charged on a loan is 42.6% APR (equivalent to 3% a month).

    For full details on how they work and how to find out if there's one near you, read our Credit Unions guide.

  • Some employers offer loans to employees, usually for buying travel season tickets so they can get to and from work. Usually these are limited to £10,000 (though your employer can choose how much it wants to offer). You pay it back over the year from your salary, usually in 10 or 12 instalments.

    They're not always for travel costs, so see if your employer provides these loans and if it's flexible on the purpose – at 0% interest, these will be the cheapest loans you can get.

  • Payment protection insurance (PPI) is supposed to cover you in the event of accident, sickness or unemployment for 12 or 24 months. 

    If you have no other funds, wouldn't be covered by work-based benefits, and don't have any other insurance policies that would cover your repayments, it's worth considering.

    Let's start by saying this as loud as we can…

    Get PPI from the loan company and you'll almost always pay many times more than needed, often wasting £1,000s.

    If you already have PPI on a loan, you may want to take a look at our PPI Reclaiming guide.

    How to get the cheapest insured loan

    1. Apply for the cheapest uninsured loan.

    Simply use the uninsured loan list above to find the right lender.

    2. Analyse your PPI requirements.

    While most PPI cover is similar, it's not identical. It's worth working out what you need before you start. For example, if you're not working, you only want to get accident and sickness, not unemployment cover. 

    If you're self-employed, some policies won't cover you, so choose one that does or just opt for accident and sickness. 

    3. Use the cheapest standalone insurer.
     

    There's a growing industry of small insurers looking to provide reasonable cover that vastly undercuts the banks' own. These include JustClick4CoverPaymentcare* and iProtect.

    If you're really set on getting the loan and insurance together for convenience, never compare using the interest rate, but ask "what's the total cost, including insurance?"

  • This is one of the most common question about loans. You should never aim just to consolidate – it's often a disaster waiting to happen. If you've a lot of small loans or credit card debts, the primary aim should be to pay them as quickly as you can at the lowest possible rate.

    Don't be suckered in by the promise that a consolidation loan can save you money by reducing your outgoings to a "manageable" level using just "one single monthly payment".

    They can – but the way they do this is by stretching your borrowing over a longer period, maybe 15, 20 or even 25 years. That means the amount you pay back is going to be huge, as you're paying interest for much longer.

    A £10,000 loan on a high street credit card at a horrid 18% APR costs £5,240 in interest if paid off within five years. Many think shifting it to a consolidation loan at 9% APR would be cheaper – but as it's spread over 25 years, the actual interest cost is £15,200, nearly three times more.

    Worse still, many consolidation loans are actually secured loans and thus you pay more, for longer, and are risking your home. The key aim is to cut the interest costs of your debt, whether that's on one loan or 22 of them, and pay it off as quickly as possible.

  • Most high street personal loans are 'un-secured'. Annoyingly, that sounds like a bad thing, but it isn't. The alternative, and the kind you more often see advertised on TV as consolidation loans, are 'secured loans'. These can be risky for the following reasons:

    • Your home could be taken away

      A secured loan literally means the debt is secured on your home (or something else you own), meaning if you can't repay, the lender can repossess your home. With unsecured loans, it's much, much less likely this will happen.

    • Personal loan rates are fixed, secured are sometimes variable

      Almost every unsecured personal loan is at a fixed rate. You know exactly what you'll pay from the start, and it won't change if the UK's interest rates do, or on a lender's whim.

      Yet secured loans sometimes have variable rates, meaning lenders can up your payments when they like.

    • Secured loan repayments are stretched over many years

      Secured lenders often promise "one easy low monthly repayment". While it may sound good, it's done to stretch the debt over many years, so you pay more and more and more interest, costing you a fortune.

    As this is so important, here it is writ large…

    Secured loans give the lender security, not you. It's far, far, better to take a normal unsecured personal loan than one secured on your home.

    Secured loans are rarely a good move, and should be considered lending of last resort. They're only applicable in very limited circumstances (see our Secured Loans guide). Those with reasonable credit scores should consider a personal loan, cheap credit card deals or even extending their mortgage instead.

    Those with a poor credit history looking at secured loans as a way out should read the Guide To Problem Debts guide as an alternative.

  • Put simply, a homeowner loan is when a company requires you to own or have a mortgage on your home before it'll lend. These are usually, but not always, secured loans, where if you can't repay, it can take your home. 

    However, some unsecured personal loan companies do require customers to be homeowners, because those who do own homes are less likely to go bankrupt or default as the risk for them is bigger.

  • Before going for commercial debt, it's worth seeing if there are any Government loans available to you. There are two types you might be eligible for:

    Local help: Since April 2013, each local authority has been responsible for providing help to residents struggling with an emergency. This can include you or your family's health being at risk, not being able to afford to buy food, needing help to stay in your own home and coming out of care, hospital or prison.

    Sadly, this is a postcode lottery. Each council can choose whether to offer financial help or not, and councils can decide who is eligible. Some may give furniture or food grants, others may give cash.

    National help: The next type are budgeting loans and advances. These are only for those receiving benefits and with no or low savings. They allow for a wide range of borrowing, to pay for items including school uniform or furnishings.

    For more information, read our Debt Help guide.

  • Once you've applied for the loan, it's already on your credit report. So assuming you applied for the cheapest loan for you, there's no point in not accepting that cash because it's not the amount you need. 

    You may be able to apply for another loan elsewhere to fill the gap, though the new lender will take your loan into account when deciding, and may decide that you can't afford the extra borrowing.

    Have a look whether any of the credit card solutions above could work for you.

  • Almost every personal loan is at a fixed rate, so the rate and repayments you are given at the outset are fixed over the life of the loan, regardless of what happens to the base rate, the Bank of England's official borrowing rate, which influences what savers earn and borrowers pay. Thus there's no impact whatsoever, whether rates rise or fall. 

    The two recent base rate changes in 2017 and 2018 haven't affected loan rates, as these tend to be based more on competition than on external economic pressures (provided all lenders are still able to make a profit).

  • This depends on the lender. If it's an online application, which you can sign digitally, you could have the cash within a couple of hours. 

    If you need to wait for the lender to send documents in the post, it could take up to a week.

  • They can be – especially if you can get a 0% deal (though this is more likely if you've a decent deposit). But if you can't, check that the interest rate is an annual percentage rate (APR). Car dealerships sometimes quote a 'flat interest rate' rather than the APR. If it doesn't say APR, check. 

    Flat rate loans make expensive loans look cheap. Double the flat rate to get a rough APR, eg, a 6% flat rate is around 12% APR. The easy way round this is to always ask "what is the total amount I will repay including all charges?" and compare like this.

    Our Car Finance section has much more help on the different types of car finance and what to look out for.

SPOTTED OUT OF DATE INFO/BROKEN LINKS? EMAIL: BROKENLINK@MONEYSAVINGEXPERT.COM