Do your sums before committing your cash
The loans calculator you'll find on many lenders' sites doesn't tell the full story: other forms of borrowing may work out cheaper than a loan, and it's important to explore every option. Sites such as This Is Money (www.thisismoney.co.uk) can help.
The loans calculator you'll find on most lenders' sites gives you relevant information about that lender's products, but it won't tell you whether other forms of borrowing might work out cheaper. For example, at the time of writing the Natwest charges 19.7% APR on a personal loan of £1,000; if you were to borrow using a credit card instead, you could benefit from a 0% APR for several months or an interest rate of less than 10% APR.
By all means use a loans calculator to work out the cost of repayments on a loan, but explore other options too. Loan comparison services such as This Is Money (www.thisismoney.co.uk) can help you do this, but don't just limit your search to loans: check out the credit card deals too. Of course, if you decide to borrow using a credit card then it's important to resist the temptation to start spending: if you're borrowing by credit card to benefit from a low APR, then you shouldn't also use the card to buy luxuries.
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