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Become A Smarter Borrower

With a nation that has in the region of a Trillion pounds of debt one could say we are serial borrowers. Before you consider borrowing money it is wise to consider a few important points.

· Shop around for the best deal

This may sound like a no brainer but many people still use their high street bank to borrow money. These are usually the most expensive and with the Internet you can spend 30 minutes in your home finding the best deal.

· Make sure you understand the APR

Although the lender will outline the APR charges this may not be the actual amount you will be paying. Make sure you get the true cost of your loan.

· Keep the repayment period as short as possible

The longer you take to pay off your loan the more expensive it gets. Try and limit the repayment period to less than 5 years. For example, a £5,000 loan borrowed over five years at an interest rate of 9% will cost you £103 each month, this may sound affordable. But overall, it will cost you £6,176 - £1,176 in interest. If you borrowed it over three years, your monthly payments would be £158 an increase of 53% in payments however you would only be paying back £5,694, which is substantially less.

· Make sure you read the fine print

Lenders make a fortune in charging their customers payment protection. There are usually several conditions attached to this kind of protection so make ensure that you get the protection you want should you not be able to keep up the payments. There are usually redemption penalties if you pay your loan off early so make sure you are aware of these charges before hand.

· Avoid Secured loans if possible.

Loans of this type are commonplace in the UK are commonplace following the increased equity value arising from the house price boom of recent years. It is only advisable to release equity if you are going to be adding value to you home. If you fail to keep up payments you can be at risk of losing your home. This again will be mentioned in the fine print, although you should be aware of this.

There are hundreds of loan companies in the UK at the moment. With our low interest rates it has been quite affordable to borrow money. This is one of the reasons we are a nation in the grip of a debt epidemic at the moment. If you can reduce your interest payments then take action now.

If you have between 6 - 9 months left to pay on your loan you could transfer this balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card. You can then pay this balance off from your new credit card at no cost over the 6 or 9 month period depending on what the introductory rate is.

Do your homework there is more than enough information and loan comparison websites to make sure you make the right choice when it comes to taking out that loan.

Grant Marwick is a freelance writer and owner of where you will find advice and more articles on personal loans

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