Before you borrow

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Working out a repayment plan for your borrowing

It’s crucial to work out the total cost of the credit you’re taking out, including interest payments, and not just the amount you’re borrowing or how much you can afford to pay every month. Taking the time to work out the full cost of any borrowing lets you plan your finances and ensure that you really can afford it.

Can you afford to borrow money?

If you think you want to borrow some money, be sure you can afford any new monthly repayments on top of your current outgoings. Knowing exactly what money is coming in and going out each month will help you work out whether or not you can afford extra credit.

How much can you afford to borrow for a mortgage?

Before applying for a mortgage, you need to think about more than just whether you can afford the monthly repayments. Mortgage providers will look at your income and outgoings to see if you can keep up with repayments if interest rates rise or your circumstances change. Learn more about how lenders assess how much you can borrow.

Borrowing and credit basics

Most of us will need to borrow money at some point in our lives, whether it’s for a student loan, a car, or to pay for a first home. Find out about the range of borrowing products available and explain how to use them best.

Building a credit history as a young consumer

Before accepting you for a loan or credit card, providers need to assess your level of risk. We take a look at what information banks and building societies consider when checking your financial history and how to build and protect your credit report.

Compare the cost of borrowing £1,000

If you need to borrow money, it’s important to understand how much the different options cost, how they work and whether you can afford the repayments. Look at these examples of three common types of credit and read our guides to borrowing money.

Compare the cost of borrowing £5,000

If you need to borrow money to buy a new car or to pay for home improvements, it’s essential to identify the cheapest credit option and repay the loan as quickly as you can. Generally this means finding a loan that charges the lowest interest rate (APR), but it’s also important to factor in any penalty fees if you suspect that you might encounter problems repaying on time.

Good debt versus bad debt

Before you borrow money, it’s worth knowing the difference between good debt and bad debt. Some things are worth going into debt for, others can leave you in a big financial mess. Here’s how to tell the difference.

Do you need to borrow money?

Before you sign up for a credit card, bank loan or store card, or add to an existing card or loan it makes sense to think about whether you really need to borrow money. At times like this – with economic uncertainty and rising bills – many people are now choosing to pay back money they’ve already borrowed rather than borrow more.

Secured and unsecured borrowing explained

A secured loan is money you borrow that is secured against an asset you own, usually your home. The interest rates tend to be cheaper than with unsecured loans, but it can be a much riskier option so it’s important to understand how secured loans work and what could happen if you can’t make the payments.

Find an adviser

If you decide you want financial advice, you can begin your search for the most appropriate regulated financial adviser for you by simply entering your postcode below: