Pay attention! Borrowing money, costs money

How much can I borrow?

When you take out a loan, it is the lender's job to determine whether you qualify for it. Nevertheless, it is also wise to check for yourself whether taking out a loan is useful. And if this is the case, how much exactly can you borrow? These are things you should pay attention to when applying for a credit.

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The Issuer

When applying for a loan, the relevant lender looks at a number of factors. On the basis of these points, it is determined whether you are eligible for a loan and how high this loan may be.

  • How high is your income?
  • What is your household composition?
  • How high are your housing costs?
  • Do you have other credits?
  • Do you have other personal obligations?
  • Have you paid all your credits in the past?

Personal situation

In addition to the fact that the provider carefully examines your situation before granting a loan, there are also a number of things that you should look at yourself. For example, it is always important to know exactly how much money you want to borrow. To arrive at a suitable loan amount, providers often offer loan advice. It is also possible to request personal budget advice through the National Institute for Budget Information , better known as Nibud. When filling in this type of advice, there are a number of factors that you must take into account. Because; the more precisely you fill it in, the better the advice you will eventually receive.

  • Take into account unexpected costs, extra costs or special costs that you will incur in the future
  • Borrowing creates a new situation. If less is left, can you still make ends meet? Can you still pay all mandatory costs in this new situation in which you have to save?
  • Do you have to save on free costs due to this new situation, for example holidays, sports or trips?
  • Can you save a fixed amount per month, in addition to your fixed costs? If this does not work, ask yourself whether it is wise to take out a loan. This also results in additional costs.

The future

Looking ahead is important when deciding to apply for a loan. For example, certain things can change in the future, which can make paying off a loan more difficult. There are again a number of questions that you should ask yourself before making the choice.

  • Your situation may change, for example due to a pension, unemployment or incapacity for work. If so, will you still be able to afford the costs?
  • It may be that your expenses go up, for example due to maintenance of your home or because your children are going to study. If this is the case, is there still room in your budget for the mandatory repayment of a loan?

Another point of attention for the future is the duration of the loan. The term, as this period is called, is in the best case no longer than the period that the purchase is used. For example: if you buy a car and use it for five years, it is wise to repay the loan within five years. Is that not possible? Then it is wise not to borrow or borrow a lower amount.


Borrowing money, costs money. It is a phrase that regularly recurs in the world of loans and other financial resources. This warning, issued by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), must be included in advertisements for all loans from financial enterprises. This makes it clear that certain credits, which at first glance may not appear to be loans, are nevertheless loans.

What often misunderstands are the aforementioned interest rates. When you take out a loan, it is important that you not only look at the (large) number of the interest, but also at the term, the costs per month and especially the total costs of the loan. These total costs include how much interest you pay in total for the entire period. With this amount, the ultimate costs, it can be calculated which loan is actually the cheapest. And not only with the interest rate.

In addition to this point of interest around interest, there is something else to consider when it comes to percentages. The amount of the interest can deviate from the stated interest due to all kinds of factors. One of those factors is, for example, whether you are an existing or a new customer. The interest to be paid can also decrease when you take out insurance with it, for example a term life insurance. These are points of interest that are important to check when taking out a loan. These points are also important for providers with an AFM license; they too can hide surprises in the 'fine print'.

Complaints about a loan

It may happen that it is really not clear what a lender expects from you. In such cases, it may be wise to search further, but according to the Financial Supervision Act (WFT), all lenders have a duty of care. This means that all information must be clear and 'transparent'. Lenders are also required to have a license with the AFM.

If there are ultimately complaints and it is not known exactly how much you can borrow, how high the interest is or what the final costs are, you have the option of sending a letter to the management of the provider. If the company does not come up with a suitable solution after following the complaints procedure, you can submit the complaint to the Financial Services Complaints Institute (Kifid).

In case of other complaints, for example if you feel that a financial institution has provided insufficient information or if you encounter any form of misleading advertising about financial products, this can be reported to the Financial Markets Reporting Point of the AFM: 0900-5400540.