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Barclays Loan

It's a game of two halves with a Barclays loan. As banks go, they're competitive with typical rates of 10.9% and no early redemption fees, which is a bonus. But the service is traditional: you have to go to a branch to get the loan, and you'll only know the exact rate once you've discussed your needs with an adviser. Payment protection information is similarly obscure.

Barclays Loan examples (correct at publication date, uninsured):

  Monthly Repayment APR
£3000 across 2 years N/A N/A
£5000 across 5 years N/A N/A
£10000 across 7 years N/A N/A

A Barclays loan, as with all the banks, does not offer the best deal, but it does offer a better service than most of the banks. The rates are fairly competitive (10.9% typical APR), the product starts small with a minimum borrowing facility of only £500, and most interestingly there are no early redemption fees. You can get a better rate at the supermarket, but there are usually redemption fees attached, so if you have an unpredictable level of debt, this might be right for you.

The other thing you need to know, of course, is that all these rates are far less than you'll pay using a Barclaycard credit card. With the credit card, you pay a higher rate in exchange for great freedom as to what you pay and when. With a Barclays loan, you attract a lower rate of interest but precise payment dates.

On the downside, the Barclays loan is "personalised"- don't get excited- it actually means the rate you'll be offered can't be found in the literature. You have to go to your local branch, and they will give you a rate based on your individual credit check; so we are unable to give you an idea of real rates here. That does usually mean that people who manage their money well can get a competitive Barclays loan rate.

You could also take out Barclayloan protection- but there's no clue as to the cost of the product, nor, strangely, precisely what the benefits are. This is because they'd like you to go into a branch for all the information. It all seems rather complicated…

The verdict is the same as for most banks- if you already bank there, a Barclays loan might do the trick; if not, you'll be jumping through many more hoops than necessary.