How shopping around can save you a fortune
Cheap loans are everywhere – if you know where to look. Widespread competition means that lenders are fighting each other for your business, and canny borrowers can get exceptional deals with just a few minutes' work. If you don't check out the cheap loans on offer, you could end up paying through the nose.
A few years ago, cheap loans didn't exist: to borrow cash, you'd have to prostrate yourself at the feet of your bank manager, who would lend you a fiver in exchange for the deeds to your house and possession of your first born. These days things are different, and the Internet in particular has given things a good shake. Cheap loans are everywhere, and because lenders are all competing for the same customers there are some incredibly cheap loans on offer.
Sadly cheap doesn't mean free – you'll pay interest no matter who you borrow from – but there are huge differences between different lenders. Some firms charge interest rates of around 20% APR, but others lend at rates below 7%. In some cases, you can get an APR of just 5.1%.
Some of the best cheap loans are offered by big names such as Direct Line and the new generation of supermarket banks such as Tesco and Sainsbury's. Rock-bottom rates are widely available and the high street banks are trying to catch up, which means that rates are falling everywhere. Don't assume that your bank offers cheap loans, though: spend ten minutes online and you'll almost certainly discover a company offering a better deal.
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