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How to borrow at 0%, ie, no cost (or as close to it as possible) – Martin Lewis's cards, loans, buy-now pay-later and overdrafts masterclass

Borrowing is dirt cheap right now, with the cheapest ever loan rates, the longest 0% spending card we've seen since mid 2020, and many more best buys.

This article was originally written by (MSE) founder Martin Lewis for our weekly email on Wednesday 17 November 2021. It has today (Tuesday 30 November 2021) been updated by the MSE team.

Yet a UK interest rate rise is still on the cards - and while that wouldn't hit these products as directly as mortgages (for help on that, see my recent 8 urgent mortgage need-to-knows), it will still have an impact.

So this is a timely note, though writing about new borrowing is always tricky. For some it is necessary and needed, so I want to help you do it the cheapest and safest way. Yet my worry is that may encourage others to borrow who shouldn't. So let me start by saying...

Don't borrow unless you NEED to. Ensure it's a planned purchase, with budgeted for, affordable repayments. Borrow the minimum needed and repay as fast as you can. If in doubt... don't! Debt is like fire. It's a useful tool, but get it wrong and it burns. 

The key to borrowing is, of course, to get the lowest interest rate possible. This means more of your repayments clear the actual debt rather than cover the interest, so you're debt-free quicker (though if your existing debt panics you, don't borrow more, instead jump to the debt help section). Now on to the practicals.

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