With many bank balances depleted and credit cards creaking after the festive period, some consumers may be considering how to get their finances back in shape for 2020. A new loan might be the answer to consolidating expensive existing debt or simply a way to fund their plans for 2020. We’ve looked at the sector and found the best deals currently out there for a range of loan types.
Loan rates differ based on a wide range of factors. Different lenders will offer differing rates depending on the sum to be borrowed, over what period, if the loan is secured or unsecured, an individual’s credit rating and the need for a guarantor. Therefore, it’s a very good idea to shop around and compare the loans available before applying.
There are two basic types of loan available: unsecured or secured loans
Personal loans (also called personal loans) are the simplest and most straightforward loan products. A lender will assess the applicant’s credit score to determine if they can lend the amount needed over the period requested. With a personal loan, customers don’t have to put up any collateral against whatever sum they want to borrow.
A subgroup of personal loans is guarantor loans. These are a type of unsecured loan for people who may have a poor credit score. A guarantor is someone with a good credit score who will agree to ‘guarantee’ the repayments. In other words, if the person taking out the loan fails to keep up with the repayments, then the guarantor will be legally responsible for paying off the remainder of the debt. In most cases, a guarantor is a family member – for young people, this is typically a parent or an older relative.
If a consumer is not sure if their current credit score is good enough, then they can use the moneyfacts credit check – a completely free service provided by TotallyMoney.
Personal loans tend to be for sums less than £25,000 taken out over a maximum of seven years or less.
Secured loans (sometimes called homeowner loans or second mortgages) are where the equity in the applicant’s home is used as collateral against the sum to be borrowed. Often secured loans are preferred when borrowing larger sums.
For those looking to borrow £5,000 over three years without a guarantor, the current best deal is from Admiral Personal Loans. With a representative APR of 3.4%, this loan has fixed repayments of £146.17 per month. The total sum repayable is £5,262.12 and the loan is available to both new and existing customers. Borrowers must be over 18 on application and under 75 at the end of the loan and this product can be used for debt consolidation. The first repayment is deferred for a month, giving customers a little breathing room.
Next up is Clydesdale Bank offering a personal loan with fixed monthly repayments of £146.39 and a representative APR of 3.5%. The total cost of the loan is £5,270.04 and once again it is available for both new and existing customers aged 18 and over. Clydesdale Bank offers an instant decision, with same-day funds being available to existing Clydesdale Bank current account holders and a deferral period of one month before the first repayment is due.
Hitachi Personal Finance offers a loan with the same monthly repayment, representative APR and total amount payable as Clydesdale Bank. It too offers an instant decision and the bonus of accepting electronic signatures so that funds can be in an account in less than 48 hours. Again, the first repayment is deferred for a month, but applicants must be 21 or older. For those who might want to pay off their loan before term, there is no early repayment charge with this deal.
Those with a poor or non-existent credit history can still take advantage of a personal loan as long as they can secure the agreement of a suitable guarantor.
For those seeking a £3,000 loan over three years, the top offer currently available is from 1Plus1 Loans. Its guarantor loan has a fixed rate of 47.8% APR and monthly repayments of £143.83. Second is TFS Loans, offering a fixed rate of 48.9% APR with monthly repayments of £145.17 on its guarantor loan. Next is Bamboo’s guarantor loan, which has a fixed APR of 49.7% and monthly repayments of £146.14.
All the above are available to both new and existing customers and can provide funds the same day for successful applicants.
A loan secured against the equity in a consumer’s property is more suitable for larger amounts to be repaid over a longer period than personal loans.
Taking the example of £25,000 to be borrowed over a period of 10 years, Masthaven Bank is offering the lowest headline rate of 3.64% on a maximum loan-to-value of 65%.
Prestige Platinum Secured Loan has a headline APR of 3.89%, while Shawbrook's Tracker Secured Loan is only marginally more expensive at 3.90% APR. Both have a maximum loan-to-value of 65%.
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time. Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. Moneyfacts.co.uk will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.