Money Talks: Smartest Ways to Borrow Money

There comes a time in many lives when, to get what you need or want, you borrow money...

There are only two times that you should borrow: When the money you're borrowing makes more than it costs, and when you have no choice. But if you're going to borrow money, at least be smart about it.

From Pay Day lenders to credit cards, there are lots of ways to borrow - here in no particular order is a list of the lowest cost.

The lowest possible interest rate is zero. Some credit cards offer it for up to 18 months. But this is typically for purchases only, not cash advances. And if you don't pay it back in time, you're going to pay monster interest.

Second mortgages or home equity lines of credit are longer term, potentially deductible and have rates as low as 4 percent. But they're fee-heavy, hard to get and potentially dangerous.

That's because you might be putting up your home for collateral. Miss a few payments, you could be sleeping in the car.

Got stocks? You can borrow up to half their value with a margin loan. Rates vary, but can be as low as 4 percent. If your stocks go down, though, you're going to have to cough up more money.

Got a retirement plan at work? You might be able to borrow from that. Rates can be low, and the best part? You're paying interest to yourself. But your employer may restrict the reasons, or not offer them at all. And if you leave your job, you're going to have to pay it back.

So there's the pro and con for 4 cheap ways to borrow. But that's not all there are more ideas and more details online. Just go to and search for "Smart Borrowing."

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