One of the disadvantages of borrowing to fund your lifestyle or pay for a one-off purchase is that it is normally an expensive process. When you take out a personal loan or a credit card, there will normally be an interest rate attached and you will have to pay back the original capital amount and in additional pay interest over the term of the loan or credit card. Of course, an ideal solution might be to be able to borrow money without paying interest but is such a thing possible? And is it really the ideal solution?
There are a couple of ways in which it is possible to borrow money without the necessity of paying interest. However, their appeal has to be heavily caveated by pointing out that there are downsides and risks associated with them.
1. A 0% credit card offer:
Some credit cards entice people in with an introductory offer of 0% interest for x months. Therefore, if you are confident that you will be able to repay the full amount within six months, then this may be a suitable option. However, please bear in mind that after the introductory period ends the credit card is likely to default to the lender’s standard credit card rate which may be quite high. The availability of credit has been criticised in the past as being too easy to obtain. However, in this credit crunch era, we are starting to see a tightening of lending criteria which may mean that the era of easy credit is slowly coming to an end. It may also mean that 0% offers may become far scarcer, restricting your ability to borrow without paying interest.
2. Borrow from a friend or relative:
There may be occasions where a friend or family member will agree to lend you the money that you need to make a purchase. However, this is fraught with danger in terms of its potential to damage your relationship and should generally only be considered as a last resort. Where you do agree to borrow money from a friend or family member, then you should at least agree when you’re going to pay the money back by and you need to be confident that you will have the ability to repay their kindness and trust.
In most cases, where you need to borrow money, it will be necessary to bite the bullet and accept that you will have to pay interest on the amount borrowed. Of course, you can minimise the amount of interest by shopping around for a competitive loan, mortgage or credit card. Where a 0% credit card offer is available, then this may be an attractive option but you need to factor in how long that 0% element lasts for and how long you think it will take to repay the full amount. Borrowing money from a friend or relative should usually only be contemplated as a last resort and, where utilised, you should ensure that you have agreed how quickly they expect you to repay the amount and that you are confident of your ability to repay.