Big-ticket purchases are typically cars, expensive vacations, or a new kitchen. In the case of a vacation or a new kitchen, you can probably do without, but if you need a car to commute to work, finding an affordable way to finance the deal is paramount.

Some forms are borrowing are more expensive than others. Unfortunately, those with the least money or poor credit histories often end up paying more to borrow money. Payday loans have suffered from bad press in recent years, and for good reason. Payday loan companies target low-income families and people with poor credit, but the high-interest rates associated with this type of short-term lending often drive people into further debt. Luckily, there are more sensible ways to borrow money for a big-ticket purchase, so if your car is deceased or you cannot live without a new bathroom, here are some better ways to borrow money.

Loan from a Family Member

The cheapest – and most flexible – way to borrow money is to ask a relative to lend you the cash. This might not work if your family members are broke, but if your parents or grandparents are well-off see if they can help you out with a loan. If you are lucky, it might even morph into a gift. You could even suggest they make it an advance on a future inheritance.

Sometimes, it is prudent to offer to pay back the loan with interest. If you both agree that interest on the loan is payable, set out the terms in writing so there are no misunderstandings. You don’t need to have a formal agreement drawn up; a piece of paper outlining the loan with both of your signatures on will be sufficient.

Interest-Free Credit Card

Interest-free is always good. If you have a good credit record, you should have no problem obtaining a credit card. Look for an interest-free credit card and use this to make your purchase. Most interest-free deals last for around 18-24 months, which should give you time to pay off a reasonable amount of the debt. When the deal is due to end, transfer the remaining balance to a new card. Be careful not to continue using the original card, or you will accrue more debt than is affordable.

Credit Union Loan

Credit Unions are a safe place to borrow money. They are a non-profit organization, so they are not beholden to shareholders. Missouri Central Credit Union and others help people who might not be eligible for ordinary loans, so if you have a poor credit history, this is a good place to go if you need to borrow money. However, credit unions also offer competitive interest rates and are flexible if you run into payment difficulties. In short, they won’t try to fleece you, so it’s a safe form of borrowing.

Never borrow more than you can afford and if possible, save up for big ticket purchases rather than taking out a loan.