MSE Poll: What is it appropriate to borrow for?

in Money Saving Polls
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MSE_Chris_OMSE_Chris_O MSE Staff
32 Posts
MSE Staff
Poll started 17 May 2022

The cost of living crisis has, sadly, left many needing to borrow more to make ends meet. This week, we want to know if it has also changed attitudes about when it's right or wrong to borrow. We've listed 22 options and want to know which you feel is appropriate to borrow for, or if it's appropriate to borrow at all. We've included some disguised lending, such as paying for your mobile phone or car insurance monthly – in effect a loan.

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  • vixg66vixg66 Forumite
    39 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I voted that it’s ok to take a loan for train tickets. I based this on the availability for many people of workplace annual season ticket loans that are deducted from pay, and are interest free. 
  • powerspowerspowerspowers Forumite
    750 Posts
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Good question! I think any borrowing that is affordable to the borrower is acceptable (and that will vary for them) as a way of spreading the cost of big ticket items. I voted no to living costs as that is a sign that things aren’t affordable! Although I’m sympathetic of someone borrowing for living costs if they’ve had a change of circumstances. 
    Personally I’d borrow for big ticket items- house, car, large scale home improvements although I’ve certainly put more frivolous spends on credit before. 

    MFW 2021 #76 £5,145
    MFW 2022 #27 £3,530 / £7,200 target 

  • edited 18 May at 8:11AM
    elsienelsien Forumite
    27.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 18 May at 8:11AM
    There isn’t a one size fits all, or what’s appropriate and what isn’t. Individual circumstances vary too much. 
    Taking one of the more controversial ones - cosmetic surgery. There’s a different between wanting something tightened up due to vanity, and having something that is hugely impacting on your self esteem and mental health but which the NHS either won’t cover or has a waiting list of years for.
    For example.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Torry_QuineTorry_Quine Forumite
    18.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Bake Off Boss!
    Most of these things I think borrowing for isn't acceptable to me. 
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • pjcox2005pjcox2005 Forumite
    951 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Depends how you define the question, all perfectly acceptable to borrow for if you've taken into account affordability and additional cost which you're happy with and able to pay back. Everyone has different things which are crucial to them.

    So buy a holiday now and pay after a bonus is coming isn't going to be an issue. Use 0% finance to spread costs whilst you continue to save into higher paying investments fine. Taking a train ticket loan as it allows you to accept a good quality job another example.

    If you phrase it, would i be willing to get into debt that would be difficult for me to repay and/or get me into financial difficulty then the list would be cut down substantially.
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