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Getting the best credit deal


Getting the best credit deal

Shop around for the best deal

If you were looking for a car, you wouldn't buy the first one you see. It's the same when you borrow: look at lots of different products and compare interest rates, features, fees and charges. Even a small difference in the interest rate can make a big difference to your repayments over time.

  • How to compare loans

  • Find out the fees and charges

  • Check comparison websites

How to compare loans

When comparing loans, look at products offered by credit unions and building societies, as well as banks. Don't assume you'll get the best deal from the largest providers or the biggest advertisers.

Use our credit card calculator to compare the cost of different interest rates.

Credit card calculator

Keep an eye on interest rates and fees

The interest rate and fees on the loan or credit product will determine how much you have to repay. That's why it's important to look at different products and compare the interest rate and the comparison rate (see below). Check that your credit provider does not charge a higher interest rate for late repayments.

Look for the comparison rate

Credit providers must provide a comparison rate in advertisements for loans and credit products that contain an interest rate or a weekly payment.

The comparison rate is the interest rate plus all the fees and charges you must pay on the loan. This will give you a better idea of how much the loan will really cost you. (Contingent fees, like early termination fees, are not included in the calculation.)

See interest rates in our home loan section for more details on the comparison rate.

Find out the fees and charges

Fees and charges can add a lot to the cost of borrowing. Check your credit contract for all the fees and charges on your credit card, consumer lease or loan. Credit providers also publish this information on their websites.

Fees and charges can change, so check them regularly. Some common fees and charges include:

  • Establishment fees

  • Annual charges for credit cards

  • Account-keeping fees

  • Fees for late or missed repayments

  • Fees for going over your credit limit

  • Fees for breaking a lease

  • Fees for repaying a loan early

  • Fees for refinancing or consolidating your loans

With so many products available, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Keep your cool, shop around and read yourcredit contract, so you end up with a loan or credit product that's just right for you.

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