With most retailers stretching the discounts over a week-long period, now could be a wise time to think about kicking off your Christmas present shopping to bag yourself some real deals.
The problem is, it’s been a long month, we’re coming to the end of it and for most, finances are looking a bit stretched. So what do you do if you want to grab some Black Friday holiday bargains but you’re relying on this months payday?
We believe Black Friday can be a viable way to bring the cost of Christmas down. So we’re taking a look at:
- If you really need a loan to cover your Black Friday Christmas purchases.
- If there are any alternatives and;
- If you are going to apply for one, how to do it safely and beat the scammers.
Do I need a Christmas loan?
We’re urging everyone not to get swept up in the commercial storm of the holiday season and to proceed with caution. We get it, it’s a special time of year, it’s all about family and it’s nice to put a smile on the faces of the ones you love, but before you take on extra debt, ask yourself “Do I really need to?
If you’re buying stuff just to give them something to open, take a moment to think. Do they really need it? Is it going to end up in landfill? Buying for the sake of it usually results in the present not being good for the recipient or the environment.
We’re not suggesting to be a scrooge but it might be worth assessing if the cost is really worth it. If you have children perhaps make an arrangement to only buy for them. Maybe suggest a small charity donation in your name rather than expecting that iPad. Or, why not be super savvy and put the gifting on hold until the sales and another payday kicks in?
There are plenty of options so you shouldn’t feel obligated to make the 25th special at the sake of your bank balance and ultimately, your stress levels.
What are the alternatives to a loan for Black Friday?
There are a few, they all have different terms & features so it’s not a one size fits all approach. Here are 3 suggestions to think about...
1. Credit Cards
Credit cards can be a great alternative to a loan as they provide a revolving line of credit. Meaning, if you pay the balance you’ve spent then your credit limit is still available when you need it. Compared to a loan where once it’s paid off the account is settled.
There’s a lot of choices so do your research before deciding which card is the best for you. The best deals are reserved for those with good credit but if your score is less than perfect you can still access credit cards through credit builder card options. These options usually start with a lower initial balance (around £400) but once you prove you can use the card responsibly the limit may increase.
Other options include 0% on purchases. Offering 0% interest on spending for an introductory period. At Christmas, a cashback card could also be considered a wise move for those looking to get a little kick-back on Christmas spending.
These cards typically offer around 0.5% cash back on anything purchased using the card. If you’re going for a more lavish Christmas this year then this is where you’ll make the most saving.
As always cards are subject to status, pending credit and affordability assessments.
2. Credit Unions
Credit unions are community organisations run by and for their members. You need to be a part of one to borrow through it. You will also need to find a suitable Union as you’re required to have a common bond to join one. This can be based on where you live or if you share the same employer or profession as the other members.
It’s a nice community-based way to borrow money at cheaper rates. Rates are capped at 3% per month in the UK (42.6% APR) and 1% in Northern Ireland (12.9% APR), while some may charge less.
Some require you to be a member for a set period of time or will require you to have contributed money in savings before you can borrow. If a quick fix for Black Friday Christmas shopping is your priority you may be safer looking elsewhere.
3. BNPL agreements
BNPL or ‘buy now pay later’ finance agreements are usually set up by shops and online retailers. They make Christmas presents more affordable by spreading their cost over of a number of repayments.
Some retailers offer a 6 or 12-month introductory period at 0% interest, meaning if you pay back the value of the item before the end of the period you won’t be charged any interest
If you’re looking at more expensive purchases like laptops, tv’s and other electricals then a BNPL agreement could be an affordable way for you to spread the cost. However, BNPL agreements are still a form of credit and therefore, are subject to status. Meaning you will need to meet credit checks and affordability assessments.
Of course, you will need to repay the price of the item as well as any interest you incur. Before you enter any agreement be sure you know how much exactly you will repay.
Our perfect Black Friday scenario.
If you do choose to borrow, our idea of a successful Black Friday would be using Choose Wisely’s Get Accepted application process to safely find some Christmas funding. It’s certainly a great place to start. There’s a few reasons why…
- It takes 2 mins to fill out the form and it’s totally safe.
- You’ll see exactly which lenders will accept your application.
- The funds could be paid into your account today, in time for the Black Friday festival.
- With the funds in your account, you choose whether to spend online or in-store.
The last point is crucial. Everyone remembers the Black Friday debacle of Asda 2013. People were literally fighting over TV’s that weekend. Although things have calmed down a bit since then we still think the best deals are to be had online.
The worlds largest online retailer Amazon consistently have perhaps the largest selection of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals every year. Meaning, you can beat the hustle and do some savvy Black Friday deal shopping from the comfort of your own home. You’d hate to rush all the way to your local store for that special deal you’ve been eyeing only to find they’re completely out of stock. Your goods will arrive before Christmas and you can kick back and feel like you’ve won Black Friday and Christmas, all with one swift blow.
A final word of warning about Xmas scams.
So a loan for Christmas and Black Friday shopping is a viable option which could save you money in the long run. But be careful. Firstly, beware of any fees and be absolutely positive you can afford the repayments before you apply. Secondly, At this time of year, scams are at an all-time high. People are thinking more emotionally and are, therefore, more vulnerable.
Please don’t allow yourself to fall foul of one of the nastier consumer finance brokers that will hit you with hidden charges later on or bounce you around from pillar to post without ever giving you a straight answer.
Find your loan safely here on Choose Wisely with our Smart Search. Search once, find out exactly which lenders will accept your application and get the right loan first time.At Choose Wisely, we’re all about making Money for the Many! We believe in a product for everyone and that finance shouldn't only be accessible to the few. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter or Facebook for latest tips, advice, news and offers for taking control of your money.
Mark joined Choose Wisely in 2015. He continues to work in close contact with the providers, brokers and journalists operating in the world of consumer credit.