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Think about early repayment charges It might seem unlikely at the time when you take out a personal loan – but don’t forget that it’s possible you will be able to pay off your debt early.

Many loan providers will apply a charge if you wish to do so, so it’s a good idea to check how much this might cost before you apply for a particular deal.

Although the Bank of England base rate has been at an all-time low of 0.5 per cent for three-and-a-half years now, loan rates have remained stubbornly high – until now.

Due to the way some providers price their loans, there are occasions where you can actually save money by borrowing slightly more.

Currently, a £7,000 loan over five years from the AA is advertised at 13.9 per cent APR with repayments of £159.58 a month.

Your bank may say it offers preferential rates to its current account customers but you might still find there are cheaper loans available elsewhere.

For example, existing Natwest customers are offered a rate of 7.9 per cent - 2.3 per cent above the rate offered by Derbyshire BS.2.

Rates vary but Moneyfacts lists a rate of 6.2 per cent on a £7,500 loan over three years.8.

Borrow more In general, the larger the loan the lower the interest rate.The site, “a marketplace for social lending”, links borrowers and lenders.Applicants are credit scored and you need a decent score to be accepted.Check the small print Before you apply for a loan, check the small print to see if you’re eligible. Sainsbury’s Bank offers a loan rate of 5.6 per cent, for example, but applicants must have a Nectar Card and have used it at Sainsbury’s in the past six months.Natwest and RBS only offer their best loan rates to current account customers.3.If you think there is a good chance you will want to settle your loan early, it may be worth searching for a deal that comes without any early repayment charges.4.

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