The only way to find out if youíll be accepted for a loan is to apply. Yet that leaves a mark on your credit file that other lenders can see, potentially affecting your ability to get future credit. This tool finds out your chances of getting loans before you apply, helping you apply for the right loan first time.
1. We analyse your data
Your profile will be matched at the credit bureau.
2. Protect your credit file
Lenders won't see your search so it won't affect your credit worthiness
3. Show your chances
We'll tell you your chances of getting the products before applying.
The five golden rules of getting a loan
- Plan your repayments
Loans tend to be best suited to one-off planned purchases that you know you can afford to repay. If you canít hand on heart say that you have a plan in place to do so, then you really need to think again.
Sit down and do a budget. Ask yourself: can you afford the amount this loan is going to cost you? Do you really want to be in debt? Could you provide some of the amount from your own savings and therefore borrow a smaller amount?
If you are going to borrow, you need to first examine very carefully the impact on your finances. If in doubt, donít do it.
- A credit card could be much cheaperA loan is just one way to borrow. The big advantage is that you have fixed payments, in other words you know how long you are borrowing for and how much you have to repay each month, which helps you remain disciplined.
But that doesn't mean it is the cheapest way to borrow. There are many alternatives Ė for example, credit cards. There are many 0% deals on new borrowing. If you can pay for what you are buying on a credit card and you can repay it within the 0% period, then it is interest free borrowing and is cheaper than a loan. Of course, that assumes you have the discipline to make the repayments.
Even if you canít actually make the purchase on the credit card, there are money transfer cards that allow you to put money straight into your current account and these, for amounts under £5,000, can substantially undercut loans.
- Consolidating your loans isnít necessarily a good option
Consolidating your loans means you have all the debt in one place. Now that might sound easier because youíve got just one payment, but there are a number of worries that come with this.
First of all, sometimes these loans are secured. This means that if you canít repay the loan, you could lose your property. All the loans we list here are unsecured, which means it is more difficult for them to take your property if you canít repay. But equally, it may simply be that you can borrow cheaper elsewhere if you donít have all the debt in one place and you need to explore that before automatically consolidating.
- Borrowing over a shorter term is cheaperAssuming the interest rate is the same, it's cheaper to borrow over a shorter period of time. It will increase the monthly cost, but you'll end up paying less overall.
So ask yourself whether you need to borrow over such a long period of time. The general rule of thumb is borrow as little as possible, for as short a time as possible
Yet this needs to be balanced against the fact that you also need to be able to afford the monthly repayments. So if borrowing for less time means your monthly repayments are beyond your means, you'll have to adjust the term of the loan accordingly.
- Never miss a paymentAssuming the interest rate is the same, it's cheaper to borrow over a shorter period of time. It will increase the monthly cost, but you'll end up paying less overall.
For more information read the full guide.
How to use a credit card as a loan
There are two ways to use a credit card as a loan; you can either get a purchases card where you get a 0% period, then pay off the balance each month. Alternatively, there a few money transfer credit cards that allow you to pay money from the credit card into your current account for a fee of the balance and then give you an interest free period to pay off the debt before being charged interest on any remaining balance.
Both these techniques can be the very cheapest way to borrow, but ONLY if youíre religious about making your payments each month. If you donít, the interest rates after the offer period can quickly wipe out the benefit.