The solution: read the fine print. “Loan agreements are not user-friendly,” says Jeff Schwartz, managing director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, a Toronto-based non-profit agency. Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions and make sure you understand the type of debt you are assuming. For added security, the lender can ask for collateral, like your car on a car loan, for example. Also keep an eye on the costs you will incur if you are late. Some credit cards charge you up to $ 35 in addition to interest charges if you miss a minimum payment.