Ways to borrow
What’s your best borrowing option?
There are lots of reasons why you might want to borrow money, but choosing the right option can seem tricky – that’s why it’s a good idea to explore what’s available.
Choosing the right option for you
Should you go for a loan over a credit card? When might an overdraft be a good idea? Have you thought about borrowing more on your mortgage? Choose an option below to discover more about it.
An authorised overdraft can be helpful in the short term, but straying beyond the agreed limit could mean higher fees and interest charges.
They're attached to your current account, and can be used for those day-to-day expenses, or to cover unexpected bills.
If you bank with us, you can calculate how much an overdraft could cost.
What's good about overdrafts
- Your bank should make it clear exactly how much an overdraft could cost, so you'll be clear up front. Some banks offer fee-free limits of free buffers where you're not charged – but you should always check to make sure you understand when and how you'll be charged. Your bank can help if you're stuck
- Depending on the lender, they're usually straightforward to apply for, and if approved, you shouldn't have to wait too long to access your overdraft
- They’re typically available from £100 to £5,000 – but again, this depends on your bank
What to consider
- Always check the costs that will apply for using your overdraft and if you go over your agreed limit. Different banks charge different fees, so it's a good idea to contact your bank to find out the exact costs
- They can help in the short term, rather than being a long-term solution. If you're struggling financially, it's better to speak to your bank than to rely on your overdraft
Credit cards are another way of borrowing. They can be used for everyday spending, balance transfers or to help build your credit rating.
Aside from a minimum monthly repayment, borrowing on credit cards allows you to pay off the debt in your own time. However, interest is typically charged if the balance isn’t paid in full and on time each month.
There are numerous credit cards available out there. See if we have a card to suit your needs.
What's good about credit cards
- They can be a medium-term borrowing option, meaning you can buy upfront and spread the cost. You won't pay any interest on what you spend for around 30 days – depending on the lender
- You can transfer balances (which can save you money), plus credit cards may help build lenders' confidence in you if you have a limited credit history
- There’s a huge variety of credit cards available. It’s a good idea to explore the market, and the different features, to find a card to suit you
What to consider
- It's important to be aware of the potential costs before you get a credit card – and ensure that you only borrow what you can afford to pay back. This is because late or missed payments could mean late payment charges – or it could impact your credit score, and therefore any future borrowing you apply for
- Most credit cards can be handy for medium-term or emergency borrowing but they're usually an expensive way to fund larger or longer-term financial needs
- With credit available, it can be tempting to spend more than you can repay. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your spending habits
- To get the best out of your credit card, it’s better to pay off the balance quickly or in full each month
People tend to take out personal loans to cover large, one-off purchases – like buying a car or making home improvements.
Loans are usually repayable in fixed monthly instalments by Direct Debit over an agreed period, and they often have fixed interest rates. People typically borrow between £1,000 and £25,000, but you could borrow less or more – depending on your needs and your lender.
If you’re thinking of getting a loan, why not explore your loan options with us?
What's good about loans
- You can use your loan for almost anything, but different lenders will have different restrictions1
- They can help you budget or consolidate existing debt into structured, manageable payments
- They are a longer-term borrowing option – you can often choose a loan term to suit you
What to consider
- If you miss the repayments, you may be charged a fee
- Getting a price quote from some lenders could impact your credit score
- If you want to pay your loan off early, you may be charged early settlement fees
Borrowing more on your mortgage
If you already have a mortgage, you could speak to your lender about additional borrowing – you could then use this extra money for home improvements or a special purchase.
There's lots of things to think about with this option. If you have a mortgage with us, we'd recommend reading our guide to additional mortgage borrowing.
What’s good about borrowing more on your mortgage
- Some lenders may let you pay off the additional borrowing sooner than your original mortgage amount
- You may be able to borrow the additional amount over a longer period than with a personal loan
What to consider
- You need to work out the total cost carefully – you may get a lower rate than a loan but it could cost you more if you repay over a longer period
- Many lenders have a minimum limit for extra borrowing – and that might not suit your needs
- Your home could be at risk if you become unable to afford the new payments
We offer a fully advised mortgage service and will help you find the right option to suit your individual circumstances.
If you're still unsure about which borrowing option is best for you, visit us in branch.
You may also be interested in:
- For example, if you take out a Barclayloan, you won’t be able to use it for business reasons, investments (including buying stocks and shares), timeshares, purchasing property, gambling-related expenses or repaying CCJs (county court judgments).