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A wise guide to…

Cheap loans.

When looking to apply for a personal loan you have a number of different options. However, with each lender having their own specific acceptance criteria how do you know what’s your cheapest option? Complete a Choose Wisely loan search and compare your personalised options in one place.

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Representative 99.8% APR. Representative Example: If you borrow £500 over 52 weeks at a Representative rate of 99.8% APR and an annual interest rate of 99.8% (fixed), you would pay 52 monthly instalments of £13.41. The total charge for credit would be £197.32 and the total amount payable would be £697.32.
Choose Wisely is a trading style of Choose Wisely Limited and is a free to use price comparison website. Choose Wisely Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a credit broker not a lender, firm reference number 730574 and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office number Z3106681.

A quick, easy way to get a cheap loan today.

  • Borrow from £300 to £10000.

  • Choose between lenders who have accepted your application.

  • Absolutely no fees, ever.

Representative 99.8% APR.

How to get a cheap loan in 3 simple steps.

Affordability assessment.

1 form - takes 2 minutes to complete and your data is 100% secure.

Compare products.

Choose from lenders that have accepted your application.

Speedy finance.

If approved, the cash can be in your account in as little as 15 minutes.[†]

Table of contents

Written by Andrew Freelander
Read time: ~5 mins
Published: 4th April 2016 Updated: 15th October 2020

What is the cheapest way to borrow money?

The cheapest way to borrow money will all depend on your personal circumstances. Although not suitable for everyone, below are some of the cheapest options available:

  • Credit cards: There are a number of 0% interest deals available on credit cards. These are usually offered as an incentive to transfer for your balance from another card or on purchases for an introductory period.
  • Bank loans: If you have a good credit history then a personal loan from the bank could be the cheapest loan option for you.
  • Secured loans: These loans are secured against high value assets such as your home. Secured loans can be a cheaper option but remember that your property will be at risk if you don’t keep up with the repayments so think about things carefully before you proceed.
  • Family and friends: You may be able to borrow from those closest to you and often there will be little to no interest involved.

Do I need a good credit rating to get a low cost loan?

The cheapest unsecured personal loans are those provided by the highstreet banks and supermarkets. These loans are typically reserved for those who have a spotless credit history with no debt or black marks on their credit report. If your credit history isn’t fantastic and you’re looking to apply for a loan you still have options, some of which are cheaper than others. It therefore pays to complete a Choose Wisely loan search and compare your options

What is a cheap loan for bad credit?

In the eyes of a lender, the worse your credit history, the greater the risk in lending to you. To combat this increased risk, lenders will likely charge more in interest. If you do have bad credit but can reduce the perceived level of the risk in lending to you, then the likelihood is you’ll be able to access cheaper rates. One way of doing this is by considering a guarantor loan and asking a guarantor to support your application.

What is a low interest loan?

Whenever you take out a loan the lender will charge you interest. This is how they cover their operating costs and ultimately make money. Interest rates are advertised as percentages based on the amount that has been lent. The amount of interest you will be charged by lenders is often related to the level of risk involved in lending to you. The lowest interest loans will typically only be offered to those with a proven track record of successfully repaying credit.

What are the cheapest options to borrow more than £5000?

The cheapest options will all depend on your credit history as well as personal factors such as your income and expenditure. By using the Choose Wisely loan search you will be presented with a panel of lenders to compare who have already accepted your application in principle. This won’t impact your credit file.

What’s the quickest way to find a cheap loan online?

There are a lot of options available online for cheap and low interest loans. The best place to start is to use an online comparison site such as Choose Wisely. By completing our quick online form we can match you with a panel of lenders who have accepted your application in principle. This has no impact on your credit file. If you do decide to visit a lender and complete your application directly with them, you will be credit checked. If approved, depending on the lender and who you bank with, money could be paid out the same day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on employment across the UK. This has made lending decisions tricky for lenders and as a result many have reduced the amount they are lending. If your income levels have changed during the outbreak, what was once a viable option for you may have also changed. Use our loan search to find the cheapest options from a panel of lenders who have accepted your application today.

FAQs around cheap loans

How do I know what is my cheapest loan option?

The best way to find a cheap loan option is to use a comparison site or loan search tool like the one here at Choose Wisely.

Can I get a cheap loan from my bank?

If you have a poor credit history it is unlikely that you will be able to get a cheap loan from your bank. However, by visiting your local branch and discussing the idea with a member of their team you may be able to get an indication before you apply and are credit checked.

Where can I find the best deals on borrowing money cheaply?

The best place to start when looking for your cheapest loan option is to use a comparison site like Choose Wisely. The Choose Wisely loan search tool can help you compare, personalised, suitable options as well as giving you access to a huge range of customer reviews and product information to help you make a decision.

Written by
Andrew Freelander
Brand & Content Manager at Choose Wisely

Andrew joined Choose Wisely 5 years ago, originally working in a design capacity to make sure the website was simple to use. Most notably he worked with the Consumer Finance Association to design the comparison table of choice for High-Cost Short Term Finance products.

The quickest way to find the best cheap loan for you.

No obligation. 100% secure.

Important Information.

All of the information in this guide is correct at the time of writing.

Rates shown are quotes based on your personal circumstances, are subject to status and are available to those aged 18 and over. Rates available range from a minimum of 3.9%APR to a maximum of 1575%APR Representative and loan repayment periods range from 3 to 60 months.

[*][†] Once accepted, your loan can be transferred to you in as little as 15 minutes. The time that it takes for the loan to show in your bank account will depend on your lender and your bank.

If you need financial advice you can visit stepchange, speak to citizens advice, call the national debtline or speak to moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

If you've been declined, please refer to your credit report to gain an understanding of why before making further applications.
Your score can be accessed for free via any of the main credit reference agencies such as Credit Karma, Clearscore or Experian.