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How to Borrow Money

  • You could consider a credit card instead
  • Guaranteed credit limit
  • Check your eligibility with no impact to your credit score
Check my eligibility This won't affect your credit score

Representative example: Amount of credit £1,200. Interest rate: 49.0% pa (variable) Representative 49.0% APR (variable)

Why might I need to borrow money?

There can be all kinds of reasons why you need to borrow money. Life has a habit of throwing up unexpected events, and when that has an effect on your finances, it can be difficult to deal with. Sometimes, borrowing money may be the only solution.

For example, if your car suddenly breaks down, you might be left with a hefty bill from the garage. This is a cost you hadn’t accounted for, so a car repair loan may be your best way out of a tricky situation.

But borrowing money doesn’t always have to be about coping with those nasty surprises. You can also use it to pay for planned expenses, such as a home improvement loan to finance any extension or renovation work. Read on for more information on the different ways to borrow money, what you need to think about first and how 118 118 Money can help you.

Borrow money online with the 118 118 Money Credit Card
Use our eligibility check to find out what credit limit we’ll offer you before you apply, without affecting your credit rating!
Check my eligibility This won't affect your credit score
Where can I borrow money from?

There are a number of places from which you can borrow money. The main ones are:

Banks or building societies: The most traditional method of borrowing money. Banks offer a range of financial products but can sometimes have very strict lending criteria. 

Credit unions: They have similar offerings to banks, but these organisations typically run as non-profit businesses so they can offer more attractive rates.

Friends and family: The go-to method for many, but issues can arise if large sums are involved or there are disagreements about repayments.

Brokers: When comparing financial products, a broker will act as the middle man and shop around for you to try and find you the best deal.

Direct lenders: Such as 118 118 Money and other traditional banks or building societies. Using providers like this means you avoid a broker and ensures you’re dealing directly with those you’re borrowing from.


Want to apply for a credit card?

  • Alternative to a payday loan
  • Check your eligibility with no impact on your credit score

What are the different ways to borrow money?

There are a number of different options available to you, so it’s important you do your research and understand them all before you make a decision about how to borrow your money.  Here’s a few examples:


This is where you use more than you’ve saved in your bank account and will mean you’re charged interest on the amount that you go over. You will need to make sure your overdraft is authorised by your bank before you borrow money in this way. If you don’t, you may be blocked from using the extra funds and it could harm your credit score.


This is where you borrow a certain amount and pay it back over a pre-defined period of time. Typically, these repayments are made via monthly instalments and will include interest, which means you will end up paying back more than the original amount. To give you an example, loans of between £1,000 and £5,000 to be repaid over 12 to 36 months (missed or late repayments will incur a £12 charge).

Credit card

If you don’t want to borrow via loans or an overdraft, you could consider taking out a credit card. It acts as a continuous line of credit, to be used within the agreed limit, and means you can make purchases without paying upfront before settling your balance at a later date. You can choose to repay the money in one go or via instalments, but there will always be a minimum monthly repayment to make.

How to borrow money online with 118 118 Money

Here at 118 118 Money, subject to eligibility we offer two distinct types of financial solutions to our customers. Our personal loans and our 118 118 Money Credit Card. Depending on your own circumstances, we may be able to offer you a solution to borrowing money.

Perhaps you’ve decided a loan isn’t quite right for you, and you’d prefer the flexibility and lower interest rates offered by our credit card.

Before you apply, use our eligibility checker to see if you’re likely to be approved, as well as the credit limit we can give you. And don’t worry, it won’t affect your credit score.

To be considered for the 118 118 Money Simple Interest Rate Credit Card, you’ll need to:

  • Be a UK resident
  • Be aged between 18 and 70
  • Earn at least £8,400 a year
  • Not be in arrears with another lender
  • Have had no default payments in the past six months

Whilst using the eligibility checker we’ll need some details, such as your:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Current employment and residential status
  • Net monthly income
  • Outgoings
  • Home address

Why choose a 118 118 Money Credit Card?

  • A credit limit of up to £1,200.
  • Repay in instalments or in full to suit your needs. There’ll be a minimum monthly repayment and you should always pay back more than this if you can.
  • 51 days interest-free when you repay your balance in full each month.
  • You can check your eligibility without any effect on your credit score.

What should I think about before I borrow money?

Before you apply for any financial product, it’s important to do your own research, and ask yourself a series of questions so you can be sure that borrowing money is the right option for you and your situation. Consider the following examples:

Do I really need to borrow money?

This is the most critical question. There are plenty of ways to borrow money and lots of places to borrow it from, but having all those options doesn’t always mean it’s the right choice for you. Consider your situation, what you’re using the money for and think carefully before you decide.

How much can I afford to borrow?

You’ll likely have an idea of how much money you need to borrow. But that’s not the same thing as how much you can afford. Remember, it’s not just the initial amount – there’s interest as well, which means in the long run you’ll end up paying back more than you borrowed, and the monthly payment amount. Not only that, but your credit score could affect the interest rate you’re offered. The lower your score, the higher the rate, which in turn means you can afford to borrow less.

What if I need to borrow more than I can afford?

You should never borrow more than you can afford. When you borrow money via a loan or credit card, you sign a contract that represents a legal agreement with your lender. If you do not think you will be able to repay, then you should not borrow the money. The consequences of not repaying or defaulting are extremely serious and will have a long-term effect on your financial future, including having a negative impact on your credit score.

What are the repayment terms?

When you borrow money, you need to be crystal clear on exactly what is expected of you. All lenders are legally required to tell you how much your monthly repayments will be. Varying from lender to lender, this could be at the point you’re using an eligibility checker or at the acceptance stage.

This includes listing interest, while it should also be clear whether that rate is fixed or variable, as this could affect how much you pay each month. And when taking out a loan, you should be in no doubt as to when the agreement ends – for example, in 12, 24 or 36 months.


Apply for the 118 118 Money Credit Card

Want to apply for a credit card with 118 118 Money? You can try our eligibility check first to see if you’ll be accepted before you apply – and it won’t affect your credit rating.

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Common FAQs About Borrowing Money

Yes, it may still be possible for you to borrow money with bad credit. It is true that a higher score means a better chance of approval, but when we review your application, it’s not the only thing we’ll look at. Of course, we can never guarantee you’ll be accepted, but we do offer a credit card for bad credit and bad credit loans as a way to try and help you if your credit history is less than perfect.

There’s nothing to stop you applying for credit with several providers, but you should know that lots of applications in a short space of time can have a negative impact on your credit score. It’s also important to note that you can only take out one 118 118 Money Credit Card at once. Its also dependent upon your own individual circumstances, but juggling various debts and having multiple lines of credit can also impact your credit score. Ultimately any form of borrowing should be a well-considered undertaking.

Before you apply to borrow money online with us, you can use our eligibility checker, which will have no impact on your credit score. It will tell you if you’re likely to be approved as well as the credit limit we can offer.

And if you're accepted, you can improve your score by making your repayments in full and on time. This shows lenders that you can borrow responsibly, while it’s important to remember that missed or delayed payments could have the opposite effect.

As with all lenders, borrowing money will impact your credit score, how you manage your credit will also have an influence on your credit profile going forward.

Yes, whenever you apply to borrow money in the UK you will be subject to a credit check. We use this to have a look at your borrowing history, which will help us to make a decision. We’ll also take into account any publicly available information, such as your place on the electoral register and whether you have any CCJs against your name.

You can always check your credit report before you apply, and use our eligibility tool, which won’t affect your rating.

If you’re rejected but then your situation improves and you want to try again, we welcome you to re-apply after 180 days.

We understand there’s a lot to think about when deciding on the best way to borrow money. We’re here to help you figure it out, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Customer Services team.

Just give us a call on 02920 548 118*. Our lines are open from:

8am – 7pm Monday to Saturday
9am – 5pm Bank holidays
Closed – Sundays

You can also use debt advice services such as StepChange, or the National Debtline for further information too.

*02920 numbers are charged as a UK National number.

The Money Advice Service has more information on the options available to you here. This includes details of things such as asking for a pay advance, using your authorised bank account overdraft and borrowing from a credit union as well as other suggestions. Ultimately it depends on different factors as to whether you consider one as an alternative to another. For example, dependent on affordability and your own circumstances, you may find a personal loan or a credit card is a better alternative to payday lending.


Ready to apply for a credit card from 118 118 Money?

You can try our eligibility check first to see if you’ll be accepted before you apply – and it won’t affect your credit rating.