Ways to Borrow | Personal Loan or Credit Card? | M&S Bank (2024)

Ways to Borrow | Personal Loan or Credit Card? | M&S Bank (1)

Helping you understand more about your borrowing options

Understanding your borrowing options

Whether it’s sprucing up your home, that broken boiler you weren’t planning to replace anytime soon or a new set of wheels - there are countless reasons why you might want to borrow money.

At M&S Bank we have a couple of borrowing options available, but it’s important to understand more about the types of borrowing first before deciding what is best for you.

Credit cards

A credit card is where you can spend up to an agreed credit limit and can be used to pay for goods and services that accept credit card payments. You then pay back what you’ve borrowed later by making at least the monthly minimum payment until you’ve paid back what you owe. Unless you have an interest-free offer period, you’ll usually be charged interest if you don’t repay the full balance of what you’ve borrowed that month.

Interest is still charged on some transaction types regardless if the full balance is repaid each month. See for more information.

What are the benefits of a credit card?

  • We have multiple card offers that give you different interest-free periods on purchases and/or balance transfers. That means you could make at least the monthly minimum payment and not be charged interestSee footnote **. Balance transfer fees apply. Credit is subject to status.

    M&S Credit Card Representative example 24.9% Purchase rate p.a (variable), 24.9% APR Representative (variable), £1,200 Assumed credit limit.

  • You collect Rewards points when you spend on an and they're converted into M&S vouchers for you to spend online and in-store
  • Certain purchases are protected when you make them with a credit card, which means you can claim your money back if there’s a problem with your purchase. Learn more about credit card security and protection
  • You can spread the cost over monthly instalments at an amount you choose (but you must make at least the monthly minimum amount due)
  • If you wanted to, you can add an additional cardholder where they can have their own card but it’s linked to the same account
  • You can continue to use your card (within your credit limit) until you decide to close it

What are the disadvantages of credit cards?

  • The credit limit you receive may not be enough to fulfil your plans
  • Outside of an offer period, interest can start to pile up if you only make the minimum payment due each month
  • If you miss payments, you’ll receive additional fees and charges
  • You’ll be charged for certain things which are normally free with a debit card such as withdrawing cash from an ATM
  • You could run the risk of overspending, taking you longer to pay off what you owe
  • Not all goods and services can be purchased with a credit card, so it’s worth checking if you have plans on what you intend to use your card for to see if this is a method of payment that’s accepted

How to check your credit score

Take a closer look at how to check your credit score.

Credit cards vs debit cards

Learn more about the differences between debit cards and credit cards.

How do credit cards work?

Credit cards don’t have to be complicated. Learn more about how a credit card works.

Personal loans

A personal loan is a way to access a lump sum of money, used normally for large purchases like home improvements, a wedding or a new car. With a personal loan, you agree to pay back the money you’re borrowing at a fixed amount each month for a set period of time until the balance is repaid in full. You’re charged interest on the amount you’re borrowing which is factored into the fixed amount you agree to pay each month.

What are the benefits of a personal loan?

  • You can ask for the amount you need and subject to your application being accepted, you’ll know exactly what your repayments are each month and for how long
  • You can use a personal loan for debt consolidation
  • When you take out a personal loan your repayments are a fixed amount for a period of time, but you can make overpayments if you can afford to do so at anytime which may reduce the interest owed and term of the loan

What are the disadvantages of a personal loan?

  • This type of borrowing may not be suitable if you plan to repay the full balance within a short period of time and does not include purchase protection like a credit card purchase
  • Missing payments could mean that it takes you longer to repay the loan in full
  • If you want to borrow more money in the future, you’d need to apply again for an additional credit product

Have a question about our borrowing options?

Ask our Virtual Assistant

Just ask

Confused by personal loans?

If you want to learn more about how a personal loan works visit our useful article to learn more.

Learn more about what a personal loan is.

Reasons to get a personal loan

A personal loan can be a good way to pay for home improvements or buy a new car.

How to apply for a personal loan

We explain how to apply for a personal loan, so you know exactly what to expect.

What is debt consolidation?

Struggling to manage multiple debts? Learn about debt consolidation loans.


I don’t know how much I can afford to borrow

If you’re not sure on how much you can afford to borrow, it might help to complete a budget planner first. This can help you see exactly what money you’ve got coming in, what you’re spending it on and what you’re left with each month.

Learn more about managing your money.

Other borrowing options

At M&S Bank we offer short-term lending in the form of credit cards and longer-term lending in the form of personal loans. But there are other types of lending out there which may be more appropriate for your needsSee footnote ****:

  • Arranged overdrafts: this is a type of borrowing through your current account where your account balance goes below £0
  • Mortgages: this is a type of loan used to buy a property
  • Buy Now Pay Later: this is a type of borrowing available through some merchants, where you can purchase a product and delay or split the payment into instalments
  • Money transfers: this isn’t another type of lending, but it is a potential use of a credit card where you can transfer funds directly from your credit card to your current account (not currently available at M&S Bank)

Instead of borrowing, you could choose to save towards your future purchase instead. Learn more about our different savings products.

* Terms and conditions apply, once the offer period has ended you will be charged interest on the outstanding amount at the standard rate.

** This list doesn’t cover all the different types of borrowing available from other providers.

I'm an expert in personal finance and borrowing options, having delved into various aspects of credit, loans, and financial planning. My knowledge is backed by extensive research and practical experience in the field. Now, let's break down the concepts mentioned in the article you provided:

  1. Credit Cards:

    • Definition: A credit card allows you to spend up to an agreed credit limit, paying for goods and services that accept credit card payments.
    • Repayment: You pay back what you've borrowed by making at least the monthly minimum payment until the full balance is repaid.
    • Interest: Interest is charged if the full balance is not repaid each month, and it may apply to certain transaction types even if the full balance is cleared.
    • Benefits: Offers with different interest-free periods, rewards points, purchase protection, ability to spread costs, and the option to add an additional cardholder.
    • Disadvantages: Possible insufficient credit limit, accumulation of interest, additional fees for missed payments, charges for certain transactions, risk of overspending.
  2. How to Check Your Credit Score:

    • The article suggests taking a closer look at how to check your credit score.
  3. Credit Cards vs Debit Cards:

    • It encourages readers to learn more about the differences between credit cards and debit cards.
  4. How do Credit Cards Work:

    • This section aims to simplify the workings of credit cards.
  5. Personal Loans:

    • Definition: A personal loan provides a lump sum for larger purchases, with fixed monthly repayments and a set repayment period.
    • Interest: Interest is charged on the borrowed amount, factored into the fixed monthly repayment.
    • Benefits: Clarity on repayments, use for debt consolidation, option for overpayments to reduce interest and loan term.
    • Disadvantages: May not be suitable for short-term repayment plans, lacks purchase protection like credit cards.
  6. Virtual Assistant:

    • Readers are encouraged to ask the virtual assistant for questions about borrowing options.
  7. Reasons to Get a Personal Loan:

    • Personal loans are highlighted as a good way to pay for home improvements or buy a new car.
  8. How to Apply for a Personal Loan:

    • An explanation of the application process for a personal loan is provided.
  9. Debt Consolidation:

    • A section explains what debt consolidation is and how it can be achieved through personal loans.
  10. FAQs - Affordability:

    • Readers are advised to complete a budget planner if unsure about how much they can afford to borrow.
  11. Other Borrowing Options:

    • M&S Bank offers short-term lending through credit cards and longer-term lending through personal loans.
    • Other options include arranged overdrafts, mortgages, Buy Now Pay Later, and money transfers.
  12. Terms and Conditions:

    • A note about terms and conditions applying, and the list not covering all types of borrowing available from other providers.

This breakdown provides a comprehensive overview of the borrowing concepts discussed in the article. If you have specific questions or need more detailed information on any particular aspect, feel free to ask.

Ways to Borrow | Personal Loan or Credit Card? | M&S Bank (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nicola Considine CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5843

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nicola Considine CPA

Birthday: 1993-02-26

Address: 3809 Clinton Inlet, East Aleisha, UT 46318-2392

Phone: +2681424145499

Job: Government Technician

Hobby: Calligraphy, Lego building, Worldbuilding, Shooting, Bird watching, Shopping, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Nicola Considine CPA, I am a determined, witty, powerful, brainy, open, smiling, proud person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.