Is it Better to Borrow from a High Street Bank?

There are lots of places that we can borrow form these days. Many different organisations seem to be willing to lend us money. However, it may be that you feel that you would rather use a high street bank for various reasons. It is worth looking into these reasons and think about whether it would be better to use them or not.

Nearby branch

Some people do like the idea that they will have a branch nearby that they will be able to go in to. They may like to be able to talk to someone from the bank face to face if they have any concerns or problems. If they do not like dealing online or over the telephone then this could be another reason for needing a branch.

There is always a risk though that a local branch might shut down. Therefore, relying on having one could become a problem. If it really is very important then make sure that there are several branches in the local area so that it is more likely that at least one of them will remain open.

Familiar name

It can be tempting to choose a particular high street bank because you know the name. It can feel reassuring that you know them and so you feel that you will be able to trust them. You might feel that if you get into any difficulties, they will be able to help you more and that they will be more understanding.

It is worth remembering though that just because you know the name, it does not mean that is for a good reason. It may be that you heard bad things about them and the name stuck in your head but the reason did not. Just because they have a name you know does not mean they will be good for everyone.

Good reputation

Reputation is important and you will think that the high street banks have a good reputation. However, you may find that this is not actually right. They are large companies and therefore they do not necessarily need the business. This means that they can afford to not be so good to their customers. People will assume they are good without checking first and so they get customers based on their name rather than their reputation. It is easy to think that a big name will want to be good to their customers to preserve their reputation but actually they could lose a few customers and not really notice whereas a small company would need to hang on to all their customers and so it would be much more important for them to give a good service and therefore get a good reputation.


When a company has a lot of branches it means that they have a lot of overheads. Not only do they have to pay those staff but they have to pay all of the costs associated with that building. They will staff regardless but they could rent cheaper buildings if they were not based on the high street which is expensive. Also, if they operate online or by telephone their buildings do not need to look so good as it is only staff visiting them and not customers.

Those additional costs are passed onto customers and so you could find that the loans from these companies are more expensive. Because they have a good reputation they can charge more as people will think that it is worth paying more to go with them and get money now.

It is not an easy decision working out who to choose as your lender. However, it is good to think about all of the factors that are important to you and decide which is most important. If cost is the biggest factor then you might find that you will be better off going with a less well-known company. However, if you want to go with a bank that has a local branch and you know the name of then you may be prepared to pay a bit more in order to get this. It is a personal decision based on how much trust you have in the high street lenders and whether you are prepared to pay a bit more in order to use one. Of course, you may find a good deal form a high street lender and it is worth comparing and looking as you never know what you may find but it is wise to remain flexible and think about what you want form a lender. Consider the factors that are important to you so that you get the best deal for you and your needs. If you need help then consider asking an independent financial advisor. This will cost you money but could help you to save more in the long run, especially if you are borrowing a large amount. They will be able to search for the best deals for you based on your priorities.

Should I get a Credit Card as it is a Secure Way to Shop?

There are some security benefits to shopping with a credit card and this could influence you as a factor for getting one. There are pros and cons to getting a credit card though and it is important to weigh these up so that you are sure that you are making the right decision for you. Sometimes the advantages may not be worth it, depending on how you see yourself using the card and how much it will potentially cost you.

Security of a credit card

A credit card can be a more secure way to pay for things both offline and online. This is because there is an insurance on the card and so if you do not receive the goods that you paid for and they are faulty you can get the money back through the card issuer. You will need to raise a query with the person you are buying form first but if you have no success with this than the card holder will normally take it over and reimburse you with the money that you spent.

It is also a more secure way of buying things online due to the anti-fraud measures that are in place. If spending takes place that is seen as suspicious the card will be blocked to protect you against money being stolen. If some one gets hold of your card number and uses it online, then you will be able to let the fraud department know and they will reimburse the money you lost. This does not happen with a debit card.

You may feel that this additional security is well worth it and you want to get a card for this purpose. There are other ways to make sure that transactions are more secure such as using a third party like Paypal to make payments through, although not all companies will accept payments from them.

Problems with a credit card

It is really important to bear in mind that credit cards can be really expensive. If you do not repay what you have spent on it when your statement arrives then you will end up paying interest on it and that could be expensive, particularly if you do not repay it for a long time and you end being charged months and months of interest.

A credit card can also be very tempting. Knowing that you have this money might make you decide that you will go on a big shopping spree and treat yourself to lots of things. Then, as you do not have to repay it all, you make minimum repayments over a very long time until it is repaid. Or you may continue to use the card and it is never repaid. It is very hard to keep track of how much interest you have paid in total as you only get told monthly how much you owe and you pay it off each month. If you take that figure and multiply it by 12 you will see how much you are paying a year and this may be enough to make you realise that not paying off the card is costing you a significant amount of money. It is best not to get out of control with your spending so that you are not in this situation.

How to make a decision

A credit card can therefore be very useful as it can help you to make purchases more securely and give you peace of mind when you are buying items online and are not sure whether they will actually arrive or not. However, if you feel that having the card might tempt you to be reckless and spend more money than you can afford then it might be better to avoid getting one. You might be able to find different methods to make sure that your payments are secure and protected, such as using trusted sites that are secure which have good reviews. You could also just buy in stores offline rather than paying for things online, although many people do like the fact that they can get more competitive prices and a bigger range if they shop online. If you are happy that you will pay off your card each month in full and will not spend more than you need to then it could be something that you could take advantage of. If you feel worried about having a card but want the security of being able to use it online then you could always just keep it at home for using online and not take it out with you when you are shopping at stores. This would limit how much you will be able to use it and could give you more reassurance that you will not overspend on it and that you will be able to afford the repayments.