How to prepare for the next government shutdown

Personal Finance

Personal loans, or unsecured loans, do not require borrowing against something of value, like a house, which makes them particularly attractive for those without that kind of equity. However, that generally means the loans come with a higher interest rate than a home equity loan.

The average interest rate on an unsecured loan is currently about 11 percent, according to Bankrate, although those with very good credit may get a rate as low as 5.5 percent. That’s notably less than the APR on a credit card.

Credit cards may be one of the most common ways to borrow money — yet it’s also one of the most expensive. Currently, credit card rates are at a record high, at an average of over 17 percent, according to Bankrate.

Still, “if you need to run up credit card debt, grab one of the zero percent offers that applies to purchases,” McBride advised. “You can put expenses on that during the shutdown and pay that off over time without incurring finance charges.”

In addition, if you racked up a balance during the last shutdown, snag a zero-interest balance transfer offer now. “Those offers can be really advantageous,” McBride said.

As a short-term solution, that’s better than borrowing from your own retirement account or, worse, getting a payday loan, which many financial advisors say should be off-limits entirely.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

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