Creditworthy borrowers in Saudi Arabia are being encouraged to shop around for personal finance products, following news reports predicting interest rates are likely to increase.
Jon Richards, CEO of compareit4me Group, parent company of Saudi Arabia’s leading financial comparison site, amwalak.com, is urging consumers to “shop around and compare all the options” before committing to personal finance products.
“With banks expected to increase the interest rates on personal finance products – from mortgage and car loans to credit cards – as they attempt to deal with the recent changes in the economy, it’s time for consumers to take a closer look at the borrowing rates attached to their loans and credit cards,” says the CEO. “But how can a consumer get a grasp on which banks are charging what rates? Our aim with amwalak.com is to help borrowers better understand what products are available to them, and at what cost. Of course finding the right loan involves shopping around so the site lists the most recent rates, along with the newest and most suitable options.”
Richard adds: “In addition to shopping around, consumers are urged to read and fully understand the terms of any financial agreement, long before committing. Consumers need to know the rates and fees attached, to ensure they are able to manage the long term commitment.”
Like interest rates, there could be a slight increase in other fees associated with personal loans and credit cards, warns Richards. For existing credit card holders, he suggests keeping an eye on charges imposed for using your card abroad, processing fees for international transactions, late payments, inactivity or closing the account.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s rate of inflation edged up to a three-year high after government subsidy cuts drove up transportation and commodity prices. According to the General Authority for Statistics, consumer prices rose an annual 4.3 per cent, up from 2.3 per cent in December.