What’s your back up in case of a winter emergency?

The variation in charges for borrowing £400 to cover an unexpected emergency for just one month is far wider than many people realise, from a wallet draining £131 for the ‘quick and easy’ payday loan option, to less than £5 with low rate credit cards from Sainsbury’s Bank, MBNA, Barclaycard and Tesco Bank.

Andrew Hagger looks at the potential cost of not being prepared this winter in case an unexpected expense arises.

Continuing economic pressures mean increasing numbers of people are struggling to balance the family budget and have little or no emergency savings to fall back on.

If the car unexpectedly fails its MOT, the boiler goes on the blink, or the cold snap leads to burst pipes, how are you going to find the money in a hurry?

These aren’t things you can leave until you’ve scraped enough cash together or until the insurance claim is settled – you probably need the car to get to work and no heating at this time of the year would be pretty unbearable.

Unfortunately many consumers don’t have a ‘Plan B’ hence why so may turn to the speedy but very costly option of payday loans, or risk going into unauthorised overdraft.

However just a little preparation now can save you a packet in the future, if you suddenly need to find a few hundred pounds in a hurry.

By applying for a credit card or in case of need bank overdraft limit now, at least you know you’ve got that financial safety net available if needed.

Even if your credit score is blemished there are still much cheaper options than payday, with specialist credit cards from Vanquis and Aqua, and while the interest rates may look a little scary, the actual costs aren’t that far out of line with some bank overdrafts.

The variation in charges is far bigger than many people realise, going from an eye watering £131 for the ‘quick and easy’ payday loan option, to less than £5 with low rate credit cards from Tesco Bank, Sainsbury’s Bank, MBNA and Barclaycard


Cost  of borrowing £400 for 31 days

Lender Product Rate


Wonga Payday Loan 365% per annum – representative 5853% APR


The Money Shop Payday Loan Representative APR 2961%


Quick Quid Payday Loan Interest at 300% per annum


Halifax reward Overdraft £1 per day


Santander Overdraft £1 per day (max £20)


Vanquis Credit Card (poor credit) 49.9% APR


Lloyds Overdraft 19.9% plus £6


Aqua Credit Card (poor credit) 34.9% APR


HSBC Overdraft 19.9% APR


Barclays Overdraft 19.3% APR


RBS Platinum Credit Card 18.9% APR


MBNA Everyday Credit Card 13.9% APR


Barclaycard Platinum Simplicity 7.9% APR


Tesco Bank Clubcard 7.8% APR


Sainsbury’s Bank Nectar Low rate 7.8% APR


Research & Calculations: Moneycomms.co.uk 29.01.2014

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