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Good news for borrowers as personal loan rates fall

Good news for borrowers as personal loan rates fall

Category: Loans

Updated: 31/10/2008
First Published: 15/01/2008

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

For most of 2007 we reported rising personal loan rates, with the demise of sub six percent personal loans and the market finally settling at the end of the year with the best personal loan deals around 6.5% to 7%. But as 2008 starts, there is good news for borrowers as personal loan rates begin to fall.

Only 14 days into January, and five personal loan providers have reduced personal loan rates by as much as 3%. With NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland implementing a cut for existing customer personal loans just before the New Year.

It's the season of debt consolidation, so perhaps these personal loan providers are looking to maximise their opportunities within this limited window. The drop could be a seasonal fluctuation or a limited marketing drive rather than the start of a more widespread trend, but only time will tell.

Personal loan rates don't typically move in line with base rate, and are certainly not proportional to the 0.25% bank base rate change.

Shopping around for a personal loan is a must when refinancing or using the funds to buy something. Get it wrong and you could be throwing your money away on unnecessary interest, or face having to repay your personal loan over a longer period.

Moneyfacts.co.uk top 5 tips when looking for a personal loan:

1. Check out the interest rate – but beware that in 89% of cases the personal loan rates quoted are typical. So if accepted, you might be offered a higher or lower personal loan rate than that advertised, depending on your credit status.
2. Avoid the personal loan provider's own payment protection insurance; buying from an independent provider such as paymentcare.co.uk will save you a packet.
3. Check how the personal loan rates are tiered. Sometimes borrowing a little more could save you interest if the personal loan rate is substantially lower.
4. Be aware that payment holidays will increase the total interest bill you repay, so only take them if you really need to.
5. Choose a term that suits the item you are financing and which is truly affordable. For example there is nothing worse than repaying a personal loan for a car, which was sent to the scrap yard two years before. And with personal loan repayments fixed, if your circumstances change and you need to change your monthly repayment, this may mean completing a new personal loan agreement at the rate offered at that time and you will often incur a redemption charge.

Personal Loan Best Buys - £10000 over 5 years
Personal Loan Best Buys - £5000 over 3 years

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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