Personal loan – this is usually a fixed amount, borrowed over an agreed period of time, and is repaid in instalments, usually monthly. This can be one of the cheaper forms of borrowing but there might be both a minimum amount you can borrow and length of time you have to pay back the loan so it might not suit everyone. Check whether the interest rate could go up and whether it will cost you more if you are new to credit or have a poor credit history. Overdraft – this is where your bank account provider allows you to take out more money from your account than you have in there. Generally, you should use this only as a short-term form of borrowing, until your next payday. Some accounts offer interest-free overdrafts but the bank might withdraw this at short notice, so don’t let the debt mount up. Be aware that if you go overdrawn without the permission of the bank, or go over your credit limit, the charges can be very high. Credit card – a card used to buy items; you can also use it to transfer balances or withdraw cash (but you should avoid doing this as it can be expensive). Unlike a debit card, the money doesn’t come out of your bank account – instead you receive a statement of your borrowing once a month. You then have the option to pay off the full balance on the card, or an amount less than that, as long as you make at least the minimum payment. If you don’t repay in full, you’ll usually be charged interest, and this can mount up quickly, so try to pay off as much as you can. You’ll be given a credit limit – make sure you keep within this, as the charges for not doing so can be high. Credit unions – small financial companies set up by their members who share a common bond – for example, because they live in the same local community. They offer small loans and are generally far cheaper than payday loans. By law the maximum interest rate a credit union can charge is 3% a month or 42.6% APR (the cap in Northern Ireland is 1% a month). Payday loans – short-term loans, which were originally intended to provide you with money until your next payday, but can now run for much longer (and might be repayable in instalments). These loans can be expensive, although there is now a cap on the amount of interest and default fees that can be charged. They might suit some people, but best to shop around.