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There are a few key things (beyond just the price tag) to look for when you run your loan comparison:
Choosing the right loan to suit your needs could be the difference between great financial planning or a gateway to debt.
Also known as unsecured loans, personal loans are one of the most common types of loans. They’re so called because they’re based on personal information such as your income and credit score, rather than being secured against an asset.
Typically, you can borrow between £1,000 and £25,000 for between 1 and 7 years. You’ll find interest rates for personal loans vary considerably across lenders, so be sure to compare personal loans through our tool to get a good rate.
By contrast, secured loans are ones which are secured against a high-value asset, usually a house or car. You can borrow considerable sums of £25,000+ for, in some cases, as long as 35 years.
Because secured loans involve vast amounts of money, you need to put up an asset as collateral in the event you can’t pay – so they’re not something to be taken out lightly! However, because they’re of a much lower risk to the lender, you’ll generally enjoy much lower interest rates.
If you can’t get approved for a loan, then you can elect a close friend or relative – one with a strong credit score – to act as a guarantor on the loan. That means that, in the event you miss a repayment, your guarantor will be obliged to foot the bill. However, if you meet all your repayments then your credit score will improve and, in the future, you may be able to borrow without a guarantor.
Generally, you’ll be able to borrow between £1,000 and £10,000, with loan terms between 1 and 5 years. And again, because of the associated risk, interest rates tend to be pretty steep.
As most loans are contingent on credit scores, you may find you’re not approved if yours is less than favourable. The same goes if you don’t have a credit score.
Bad credit loans, also known as subprime loans, are specifically for those with bad credit histories. You won’t necessarily get great rates of interest, as you’ll be considered high-risk, but you could get approved where you’ve otherwise been refused.
If you have multiple debts you’re struggling to keep on top of, then consider a debt consolidation loan. The risk of having several debts is that you’ll incur penalty fees on each missed payment, as well as paying varying rates of interest across the board.
Amalgamating all your debts into one monthly payment can help you know exactly what you owe and keep things in check. Depending on what deal you get, you could even find you get a more competitive rate of interest too, though do watch out for the loan term to see whether it’ll save you money overall.
Payday loans. have a bad reputation, and for good reason. They’re short-term: one month or less, to be exact, marketed to tide you over until your next payday. And because of this, they come with exorbitant rates of interest so that the lender can make as much money as possible – in fact, some loan companies have been taken to court over this.
You could end up owing several times what you borrowed, even more if you miss a payment. As such, you should avoid payday loans as best you can and look to other ways of borrowing instead, such as a credit card.
As part of the search for a personalised loan product, you’ll typically need to provide the following information:
Be assured that your information will be kept safe and secure, transmitted and stored with encryption.
You could technically use a loan for anything you like. It pays to be responsible with money you borrow though - you should consider whether it is really necessary to take out a loan for whatever it is your are considering paying for, and whether it is an investment you are fine to pay interest on or pay off over the long term.
There are quite a few things that it is common to take a loan out for, including:
Weddings can be expensive, so it is quite common for people to take out a wedding loan to help pay for the costs of it over time.
You might be looking to go on that trip of a lifetime, or just take your whole family somewhere nice for a couple of weeks. A holiday loan might be able to help you afford your trip away, but like with all loan applications, we recommend you seriously consider whether taking out credit for a holiday is worthwhile, and affordable, over the long term.
Making major changes to your home, such as a new kitchen, boiler, or conservatory, can be expensive. Home improvement loans are a viable way of helping fund such improvements, that can help add value to your property.
Anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a loan, although this doesn’t mean you will be accepted.
Whether you are a young person looking for a loan, or a pensioner looking for credit, the rules are the same. To be accepted for a loan you will need to fulfil certain eligibility criteria, which usually include:
Still got questions about unsecured loans? You'll find answers to some common queries below:
You can usually borrow up to £25,000 - and occasionally up to £50,000 - with a personal loan. And while you might be able to find a personal loan for as little as £500, most lenders won’t lend less than £1,000. However, the amount you personally will be approved to borrow will depend on your personal circumstances, including your credit score and net monthly income.
With most personal loans you have a cooling off period of 14 days, dating either from the day the loan agreement was signed or when you receive a copy of the agreement, whichever is later. During this time period you can cancel the loan without penalty, only paying for the interest in the period you had the credit, provided you return the money within 30 days. Any additional loan fees will have to be refunded.
In addition to the interest on the loan, you’ll also be charged other fees for borrowing. These should be included in the quoted APR (annual percentage rate), which represents the total cost of borrowing the money for a year as a percentage. These fees may include arrangement fees.
The APR you’re quoted will be a representative rate. Just over half (51%) of people who apply for the loan will receive this rate or better. The rest will pay a higher interest rate. You’ll likely pay higher than the representative APR if you have a poor credit score.
If you forget or can’t afford to make a monthly payment on your personal loan, you’ll be charged a penalty fee. In addition, you’ll end up paying more in interest overall because you’ll be borrowing the sum for a longer period of time.
This depends on the lender who you choose to borrow from. Some lenders will allow overpayments and early settlement, and some will charge you an early repayment or early redemption fee. Always ensure you check if there are any costs associated with making overpayments or settling your loan early before you fully commit to any loan.
^Although lending partners initial eligibility checks involve a soft pull of your credit information, and there is no impact on your credit file at this stage, lending partners may subsequently conduct a hard search, prior to finalising your loan offer. This hard search would stay on your report for 12 months.
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