Insurance Policy Loans

Where from? Insurance company with whom you already have an investment-type insurance policy ).

How they work You borrow money against the surrender value of the policy to be repaid when the policy matures. The interest rate is variable and tends to be relatively low.

Points to note The maximum loan is a percentage of the surrender value so it might not be much (if anything) if you haven't had the policy long. You can't usually use a policy that's already being used for something else - such as an endowment policy to be used to repay your mortgage. You still have to pay the insurance premiums as well as the repayments on the loan.

Verdict Good source of fairly cheap, long-term borrowing.

For more information about Private Medical Insurance

Charge Cards Continued

Points to note Shop cards limit you to particular stores - that's fine if you usually shop there anyway but you could be missing out on better bargains elsewhere.

Verdict Convenient - the shop will make the arrangements, but can be expensive (particularly shop cards) so check that you can't borrow more cheaply elsewhere.

WARNING If you fall behind with the payments for something which you've bought on hire purchase, the supplier can, in certain circumstances, take back the goods. But, if you've paid at least one-third of the total amount payable, the supplier would need a court... see: Charge Cards Continued

More money