MSE News

How to borrow at NO COST (0% interest) and maximise your protection

How to borrow at NO COST (0% interest) and maximise your protection

Lockdown's easing, retail's opening, and spending's likely to restart. Some will be able to draw on savings but others will be thinking about taking on new debt. So if you're going to borrow, we want to ensure you do it the cheapest and safest way.

It's worth being aware that the lending landscape has changed during the pandemic. Buy now, pay later options from Klarna, Clearpay and others have exploded - pushing many, sometimes inadvertently, into debt when they pay online. That's dangerous. Borrowing should always be conscious, via the right method, and never done willy-nilly...

Don't borrow unless you NEED to. If you do need to, ensure it's a planned purchase, you can afford repayments and you'll repay as quickly as possible. If you can't afford it, don't do it.

So let's take you through the pros, cons and cheapest options product-by-product.

In debt crisis? Don't borrow - get free debt help

The options above are for new, planned borrowing. Yet some try to borrow their way out of debt. It doesn't work, so don't try it. Martin has three questions that are worth asking about your debts...

  • Do you struggle to meet minimum monthly payments?
  • Does your total debt (excl mortgage and student loan) exceed a year's salary?
  • Do you have sleepless nights or depression/anxiety over debt?

If you've said yes to any of these, don't borrow more - instead get free, one-to-one debt counselling help from Citizens AdviceStepChange or National Debtline. And if you need emotional support, try CAP.

They're there to help, not judge. The most common thing we hear after is: "I finally got a good night's sleep." Read inspiring stories in our Debt-Free Wannabe forum and see our Mental Health & Debt and Debt Crisis Help guides.

This article first appeared in the MSE weekly email on Wednesday 28 April 2021.

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