Compare the cost of borrowing £5,000

If you need to borrow money to buy a new car or to pay for home improvements it’s essential to identify the cheapest credit option and repay the loan as quickly as you can. Generally this means finding a loan that charges the lowest interest rate (APR), but it’s also important to factor in any penalty fees if you suspect that you may encounter problems repaying on time.

Compare the cost of borrowing £5,000 across three common types of finance

It’s best that you understand how the different options work, shop around and check the total cost of borrowing. Look at these typical examples and read our guides to borrowing money.

Interest free credit card for balance transfers and new purchases for first 15 months*

Good for:

  • Interest free borrowing
  • Planned purchases e.g. new car, home improvements, and transferring existing credit and store card debt
  • Spreading the cost of borrowing if you can transfer the remaining balance at the end of the promotional period to a new 0% interest free deal.

Top tip

Some people take out two separate cards – one for balance transfers and one for purchases. Compare credit cards to get the best deal.

Be aware:

  • You need to have a good credit rating to be accepted for the best deals and some have minimum income level requirements.
  • *The APR, promotional period offer and the amount that can be transferred is dependent on your personal circumstances.
  • Read the terms and conditions carefully as most cards do not offer the same interest-free period on both balance transfers and purchases.
  • You will revert to the standard APR (17.7% on average but can be higher) once the introductory period finishes, so make a note of when your introductory deal ends and look to switch in advance.
  • Although you won’t have to pay any interest on the amount you transfer/spend during the introductory period, you will still need to pay a minimum monthly payment (normally 1%-2.5% of the balance) – failure to do so could result in a late payment fee (typically £12) and you may no longer be eligible for the interest-free deal.

Find out more:

Average interest rate (representative APR)

0% on a transfer value of £5,000 (plus a transfer fee, typically equal to between 2% and 3% of the balance).

Average APR of 17.7%1 beyond the 15-month introductory interest-free period.

Monthly repayment

£333.33**

** assumes that the loan is repaid at the end of the 15-month promotional period.

Total amount repayable

£5,150 (£5,000 original loan + £150 one-off transfer fee based on 3%).

Unsecured personal loan over three years

Average interest rate (representative APR)

11.72%

Monthly repayment

£165.40

Total amount repayable

£5,954 (£5,000 borrowed + £954 interest).

Unsecured personal loan over five years

Top tip

Use our Personal Loan calculator to help you work out how long it will take to pay it off or how much you’ll need to repay each month. You can also compare different loan rates and lengths and save your results in a table to help you compare

Good for:

  • Budgeting – the monthly payment and interest rate are usually fixed for the term of the loan
  • Planned purchases e.g a car or for consolidating more expensive credit and store card debts

Be aware:

  • You might not get the representative APR advertised as it depends on your credit rating – so check the terms and conditions carefully before you accept the loan.
  • Taking the loan over a longer term reduces your monthly payments but you will pay back more in total

Find out more:

Average interest rate (representative APR)

11.72%

Monthly repayment

£110.52

Total amount repayable

£6,631 (£5,000 borrowed + £1,631 interest)

Adding £5,000 to your mortgage (a further advance) taken out with your current mortgage lender over a term of 15 years

Good for:

  • Home improvements which will increase the value of your home.

Top tip

Remortgaging to get a better deal may save you money.

Be aware:

  • Your home could be repossessed if you do not keep up the loan repayments.
  • Whilst the monthly cost and interest rate may be much lower than a personal loan if you repay it over a longer term the total cost will be much higher – see example.
  • The amount you pay each month is likely to be variable (possibly after an initial fixed period and there maybe early redemption penalties).
  • You may need to pay a product arrangement fee (typically £100).
  • You will only be able to take this option if you have enough equity in your home.

Find out more:

Average interest rate (representative APR)

5%

Monthly repayment

£40.143

Total amount repayable

£7,325 (£5,000 borrowed + £2,225 interest + £100 arrangement fee)*

*assumes interest is calculated annually (will be lower if calculated on a daily basis).

Taking out a secured homeowner loan (also known as a second charge) of £5,000 over a term of 15 years

This type of loan is sometimes offered to homeowners who have at least 25–35% equity in their homes, and some who may not be able to get an unsecured loan due to a poor credit record. Secured loans may be used to pay for home improvements or to consolidate existing debt.

Top tip

Consolidating all your debts into one loan secured against your home can appear to make your life easier, but more often than not it’s a bad idea. There are several debt advice charities which give free advice and they’ll help you get your finances back on track.

Be aware:

  • Interest rates on secured homeowner loans tend to be higher than those charged on further advances .
  • The APR may vary according to your credit rating.
  • You may need to pay a product arrangement fee (which is usually added to the loan and you pay interest on this)
  • You will only be able to take this option if you have enough equity in your home.
  • Your home could be repossessed if you do not keep up the loan repayments.

Find out more:

Average interest rate (representative APR)

19.9% (representative)*4

*based on borrower having a ‘fair’ credit profile

Monthly repayment

£81.55

Total amount repayable

£14,679 (£5,000 borrowed + £9,679 interest)

1 See Bank of England – table G1.3 - average quoted household interest rates for credit card

2 Bank of England Table G1.3 April ’13

3 Council of Mortgage Lenders website

4 Norton Finance (broker) via Moneysupermarket.com

Next steps

Did you find this guide helpful?