When you are looking to borrow money, whether taking out a loan, credit card, mortgage, overdraft or any other sort of lending, it is important to pick a good lender. They vary a lot and you need to be confident that you are choosing the best one.
It is easy to think that you will just need the cheapest lender. The one that will provide what you need at the best possible price. Of course, this is really important and you want to make sure that you are not overpaying or what you need. However, there is more to borrowing than just the cost of it.
If you are borrowing at a variable rate then you may find that the competitive price that you signed up with will change. This means that suddenly you will find that you are paying over the odds. The does not happen with all lenders though and so you will need to do some research and think about who you can trust. Ask other people about who they use for lending and read online reviews as well. People are not afraid to give their opinions about things like this these days and so it should be easy enough to find out more about different lenders and what people feel about them. Finding more out about the lenders is a wise thing to do anyway. You will be able to find out all sorts of information about them which will help you know whether they are right for you. You will need to be aware that some people may find fault with things that would not be a concern to you and that everyone makes mistakes so there will be negative comments for all lenders. However, some may have a lot more than others and some may deal with their mistakes more professionally than others as well. So take this into consideration as you will need to remain open minded.
Another thing to consider are the fees and costs. You are likely to just start by comparing the interest rates, but you need to consider how much they charge for other things as well. There may be administration charges, for example, fees for paying off early, fees for extra statements and definitely fees if you miss a repayment. It is worth finding out all about these fees and using them to compare lenders as well. You may think that you will always be able to pay on time, but it is always wise to know how much the charges are if you do not, just in case. You need to consider that they need to make money somewhere and if they have a competitive interest rate then they may have higher fees to make up for that. This is why it is important to read the terms and conditions first as you will be able to find out this information.
Customer service is really important as well. You want a lender that will be able to answer your questions and queries if you need to talk to them. You may like there to be a branch nearby so that you can talk to someone face to face or you may be happy with online banking or telephone banking. Think about which will suit you and your lifestyle the best and what sort of service you would expect to get. You can always enquire with questions about the loan before you take it out and you will then be able to test whether you think that they are up to scratch by your standards. It is worth trying different methods of contacting them as well, so that you can see if they are as good online and on the telephone as they are face to face, for example.
For some people branding is important. You may only want to borrow from a lender that you have heard of or that you know has a good reputation. There are many smaller lenders as well as the well-known ones available and you will need to decide which you prefer. You may feel that a well-known brand will give you a better service because they have a reputation but a smaller lender cannot afford to make too many mistakes as it is more vulnerable. It is worth having a think about whether this is something that is important to you.
So there is a lot to think about when choosing a lender. It is worth thinking beyond the cost so that you make sure that you really do choose the right lender. There is a lot to think about and It can be a big decision, particularly if you are borrowing a big sun of money and so you need to be sure that you are using the right company to help you.