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Shop around for a personal loan, says bank

Experts at Alliance and Leicester are advising consumers to look around for the best personal loan deals in a bid to make cost savings in the long run.

It is thought that many consumers are not fully aware of annual percentage rates on loans they are taking out, resulting in millions of pounds of extra payments.

Growing debt levels in the UK are leading many to seek out personal loans as a financial solution and over 20 per cent of people are hoping to reduce their debt as a new year resolution, the bank states.

However concerns have been voiced that high street lenders might not necessarily be offering the best rates.

"With many more people starting to feel the pinch and tighten their belts, a good first step is to look around for a good personal loan," explained Richard Al-Dabbagh of Alliance and Leicester.

"It might only take five minutes and could save you hundreds of pounds."

Reports state that January is the busiest month for personal loans, with Sainsbury's Bank estimating that 433,800 personal loans will be taken out from January until March at a total cost of some 4.8 billion.