Tuesday, January 02, 2007

More on money

A few posts back I talked about a site in the UK I’d come across that was a kind of broker in the credit card field. It’s the sort of thing we don’t appear to have, as yet, in New Zealand.
Now I find there’s a kind of broker site for loans. I guess this might be a more common situation (online brokerage for loans, that is) but if it is, I haven’t come across it. Then again, I haven’t been looking for loans lately either! The only kind of thing I’m aware of in this field are those who broker mortgages, and they’ve been around for a while.
What seems good about this site is that they’re not blatantly looking to ‘sell’ loans to the reader. They have some very helpful articles on what sorts of loan are best for you, and what loans not to go for. I’m fortunate in that I haven’t had to borrow money for some time (apart from the never-ending mortgage – something that would have been finished years ago if we hadn’t added an extra storey on top, or built in an aluminium window at the front of the lounge, or paid off one of essential motor vehicles) but I guess there are plenty of other people who find the idea of a loan something to consider.
What I hate are those companies that advertise on tv that they’ll give you a personal loan no matter what your circumstances; they seem to be happy to lend to people who are already in financial straits, or who can’t get loans anywhere else (usually for the obvious reason that they can’t afford to pay them back) or who have a poor credit rating and so on. You wonder what sort of thing a company like this holds over the poor person’s head at the end of the day.
And then there are the companies that will cover all your other loans; just one payment a month instead of several. Yeah, but how much is that payment, and how much is the interest. I’m not even going to check it out because my suspicion is that it’s high.
I note that the site, loanwize.co.uk, has an article on avoiding using student loans. This is something I tried to get my children to think about before they dived into them. I succeeded greatly with the youngest of them (after the others found themselves in the student loan trap) but eventually even he succumbed to it. But I must give him his credit, he’s paying it back as soon as he earns again – at least that’s what he’s told me!
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