The Basics of Borrowing

"Let us live in as small a circle as we will, we are either debtors or creditors before we have had time to look around." Goethe

Lending is big business, and loans and credit are readily available as 'an easy, reliable way to bring just about anything you want within your reach' as one lender put it.

But borrowing should be approached with common sense: getting the money is often the easy part; paying it back can prove more difficult.

Most lenders make careful checks before they agree to a loan, and turn down applicants who they think are unsuitable.

For example, the major credit card companies say they turn down over a third of all applicants.

But some lenders are not so responsible and, ultimately, you are the one who must decide whether or not borrowing is sensible given your personal situation. And bear in mind that circumstances can change -losing a job, a marriage breakdown, a long illness, or a sharp and prolonged rise in interest rates are all events which could turn manageable borrowing into a debt crisis.

But used with care, loans and credit are useful tools in your financial planning.

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