Is a Comparison Website the Best Way to Find a Personal Loan?

There are lots of ways to find a loan and a comparison website tends to be the one that is popular at the moment. There are advantages and disadvantages of using this sort of site though and it is a good idea to think through them both before deciding whether you feel that this method will be the best for you. A few points to consider are discussed below.

Quick and Convenient

It is really quick to find a loan this way. You just find a comparison website and then you can see the loans that they have listed and choose the one that looks the best for you. Generally, they will be compared based on price and so you will be able to find the cheapest and choose that one. You may find that there are several different comparison websites that you choose to use and you will be able to decide which of the loans that they recommend looks the best. This will not take up much of your time and you will soon have a loan in mind and be able to start your application for it.

Needs Little Understanding

You also do not need to have that much of understanding about how the loan works or the terms and conditions as someone has done the comparison for you. You will not have to calculate the cost even and so it will be really easy to be able to decide which to use and you will not have to do this research for yourself. It might seem complex to calculate which will be the cheapest, for example, but actually you can just ask the lenders how much the loans will cost and they will tell you. In fact, this can be a better way to compare them rather than looking at interest rates, which is what most comparison sites use as there may be additional costs as well which are not mentioned on the website.

Limited Amount of Lenders

When you use a comparison website, then they will not compare all lenders. This might be because there are some lenders which do not appear on comparison websites as some will only deal with customers directly. This means that you could be missing out on good deals from these companies that you will never see even if you look at all of the comparison websites that are available.

Commission Based

It is well worth being aware that comparison websites make money from commission. So, if you take out a loan using the link on their site then they will get some commission for that lead. This means that they could potentially be very biased. They might want to make the loans which make them the most money look the best. This could mean that they will purposely not include lenders which do not pay much or do not pay at all and they might try to encourage people to take out the ones that pay them the most money. So, make sure that you are really careful if you are using these sites as you want to make sure you are choosing the best loan for you rather than for them.

So, it can seem like a really easy solution to find the perfect loan using a comparison website but there are limitations and you could find that if you do the research yourself you could end up with a much cheaper loan which will give you better value for money. So, think hard about whether you should be doing some research yourself perhaps alongside using a website like this.

Should I Switch to a Zero Interest Credit Card?

There are some credit cards which will allow the users to borrow money without having to pay any interest on what they have borrowed These can seem like a really great idea, but it is worth making sure that you are aware of the risks. Obviously being able to borrow for free is a big advantage and it can feel like there will be nothing that could better this, but you need to be really careful with this. There are some risks that you need to bear in mind.

  • Free Credit Will Not Last Forever – it is worth noting that a zero interest credit card will not last forever. The zero interest period tends to only be for a short amount of time – normally not even as long as a month, which means that you will soon have to start paying interest again. You also need to think about the interest rate, as you could find that once you card starts charging interest you will have to pay a lot more than you would on a standard card. This means that you might need to make sure that you repay what you owe before the interest rate comes in or switch to a different card, if you can.  
  • Could be Tempted to Overspend – having access to what will seem like free money could mean that you will be tempted to overspend. It can feel like you can have a fantastic shopping spree and not worry about the consequences. However, if you spend all of the money available on the card, you could end up finding it difficult to repay it. Then when you have to start paying interest on it, you could end up having to pay a great deal of money out. So, think about whether this might be a risk for you and whether you are the type of person that might just spend more money than they can really afford.
  • Will Need to Repay it at Some Point – even if you are happy paying the interest once it kicks in, you will need to repay the card eventually. The money is not free and is not yours, you are just borrowing it and will need to give it back. It could take a long time and you could end up paying a lot of money for the privilege of having the money. It is worth thinking about whether you feel it is worth it. It is good to find out what the interest rate will be and working out how much that will be a year and considering whether it will be worth paying that much just to buy the items that you bought on the card.

So, although a zero interest credit card will be advantageous in the sense that you will be able to buy things that you cannot otherwise afford and not pay extra for them, you need to make sure that you repay it before you start having to pay interest. Otherwise you will have to pay more interest than you would on a standard card and you will end up paying a higher cost for the borrowing if you take you a while to repay the card. It could also tempt you to buy things that you would not normally buy and you need to think about whether this is something that you are likely to do. Some people will not be tempted but others will and this is just depending on your personality and how you tend to be with money. It is good to think about whether you feel that this is a risk for you or not.

Is a Fixed or Variable Rate Mortgage Better?

The main types of mortgages that we tend to choose between are fixed and variable rate ones. These differ in a significant way and it is good to understand what the differences are so that we are able to make sure that when we are choosing a mortgage, that we make the right choice for us.

Features of a Fixed Rate Mortgage

A fixed rate mortgage will have an interest rate that remains the same for a certain period of time. This amount of time will vary depending on the lender but it is normally several years, perhaps up to five or maybe even ten years. During this period of time the borrower will always make the same repayments and the amount will not vary. It is likely though, that they will be tied in to this rate, meaning that they will not be able to switch to a different mortgage with the same lender or to a different lender or if they can, they will have to pay a penalty to be able to do so.

Features of a Variable Rate Mortgage

A variable rate mortgage has an interest rate that can change. The lender can generally change it as they please, although they will tend to only change it on occasion. Often, they will change it in line with the Bank of England changes to the base rate of interest, but they may choose to not follow that lead and change it at other times. This means that you do not know exactly how much you will be paying month to month and that could lead to you not having that stability of knowing exactly how much you will need to pay.

Who Should Pick Which?

If you have a very tight budget and know that if your interest payments go up you would not be able to afford them, then a fixed rate could be a good idea. You will be protected against rate increases and this means that you would be much more likely to be able to afford your repayments. However, you will be tied in and so if rates fall, then you will not be able to take advantage of this and therefore if rates are high and likely to fall, you might want to think hard about this. Consider whether there are things that you might be able to do if you had to pay more and if you feel you could cope, then it could be worth going with the variable. It is worth remembering that you can swap from a variable rate mortgage and so if you find it too expensive you might be able to get a cheaper one or switch to a fixed. Switching does cost money though, so bear that in mind too.

If you can afford to pay a bit more, then it will be less of risk to take out a variable rate. If you do end up having to pay more, you will have the money available to do so but if the rate goes down then you will benefit from that. Do calculate how much it might go up though and then you can work out whether you think that you will be able to afford those increases. It is hard to guess but if you try different levels of interest and work out what you would be paying each month, you will be able to have an idea of what you might expect to have to pay. Check your household accounts carefully to make sure that you will be able to afford larger repayments and also think about whether there might be changes that you could make that could help you to be able to afford them even if you have other expenses that increase at the same time. Remember, if you have any loans or ca credit card or overdraft those will go up as well.

What is a Tracker Mortgage?

There are lots of differences between mortgages and it can be a good idea to have a good understanding of them if you have a mortgage already or if you are thinking of getting one. Then when you choose a mortgage or if you are thinking of changing your mortgage, you will have a good idea of what the different mortgage types are so that you can make a good choice when you are picking your mortgage. You may have heard of some of the differences, particularly if you have a mortgage already, but there are lot of people that do not know what a tracker mortgage is. It can be a really important thing to know as it could be just the right type of mortgage for you.

What is a Tracker?

A tracker is a mortgage which has a variable interest rate but also with a fixed part. This sounds confusing but basically the lender will charge you a fixed amount during the course of the loan. They will also add on the Bank of England base rate to that which is the variable part. This will ‘track’ the base rate, meaning that it will change when the base rate changes. The base rate if the Bank of England interest rate and they assess this each month. It can potentially change monthly, but generally it does not change every month. At the moment the government have set the Bank of England a task to keep inflation at around 2% and using various methods including altering the base rate to do that. If inflation goes too high, they will bring up interest rates so that people can’t afford to borrow as much and will therefore spend less and bring prices down due to a lowered demand for goods and services and if inflation grow too slowly they will reduce interest rates to encourage borrowing and spending. Lower interest rates also discourage saving as people will not bother to save their money if they do not get much interest but will save if they can get lots of interest.

When is it Useful?

So a tracker is useful in several ways. When the interest rate goes down, the interest you pay will fall when you have a tracker – that is guaranteed. However, if you have other types of mortgage then this will not be guaranteed. It is possible that if you have a variable rate then the lender will bring it down but they do not have so they may not do it. If you have a fixed rate then the rate will never change as it is always fixed at the same level.

If you predict that rates will fall, then this is a great time to get a tracker mortgage. However, predicting rates is not easy. Even expert economists get it wrong and this is because the economy is not always predictable. If England was in a bubble then it would be easier, but our economy gets impacted by world events as well events happening in England and so this can make it harder to know what might happen. No one tends to predict when market crashes will occur and we have had problems with banks, leaving the EU, a pandemic and lots of other things over the years that have had an impact on the economy which has an effect on spending which them impacts interest rates. It can be very difficult to guess what might happen.

If rates are low, then you might guess that they can only go up and perhaps a tracker will not be the best to get and if rates are high you might think they are more likely to drop and so it might be a better time for a tracker. This seems sensible but lately we have had historically low rates for a very long time and then they dropped even lower, so it just shows that even if things seem predictable it is not that easy.

Are Payday Loans Just for Emergencies?

Many people have certain fixed ideas about certain types of loans and might think that they are for very specific things. This could be the case with a payday loan, for example. These tend to have more people that have incorrect ideas about them because they are less well known and have been around for less time. It is important though, to make sure that you have a good understanding of the loans and what they are for. This is because you never know when you might need to borrow money and if you are looking for a loan then you need to know more about them so that you can choose the right one.

Do Payday Loans Work for Emergencies

Payday loans from payday lenders like Emu were designed to help people out in emergencies and so they are suitable for use in this situation. They can often be arranged very quickly and this means that you can get the money fast which will help in an emergency. The time it takes to arrange the loan will vary though depending on the lender. So, you will be wise to check this out if you do need the money really fast as you will be able to find a lender that will be able to provide you with a really quick loan. Some may get you the money that you need within a few hours but others could take significantly longer.

Are They Good for Other Situations?

It is also worth bearing in mind that they are not just for emergencies. Although they can be arranged quickly they can be good for other things as well. For example, you will find that you will be able to use them even if you cannot borrow elsewhere. This is because most lenders will look at persons credit report and see whether they feel that they will be capable of repaying a loan. They will reject people that have had financial problems in the past. However, a payday lender will not reject those people and therefore it means that people can get a loan even if they have had trouble borrowing before. It is therefore good for this sort of situation.

A payday loan is also for a small amount of money up to £1,000 and this means that you will not borrow much. Some people do not need to borrow much but it is not always easy to find a lender that will only give a small amount of money and so a payday lender could be useful for this.

Payday lenders also only lend for a small amount of time. You will only be able to borrow money until you next get paid and so it will just be a few weeks or even days that you have the loan for. This is great for people that do not like being in debt and do not want to owe money for very long. Some people feel stressed the whole time they owe money so knowing that it will not last for long can be a really positive thing for them.

So, you can see that payday loans have a bit more to them than just being for emergencies. Although they are useful for getting money in an emergency, they could also be useful for anyone that has a poor credit record and needs to borrow money or someone that does not want to borrow much or not for very long. So, remember that they have a selection of different features which are worth considering when you are deciding which loan will be the best to suit your needs.