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Find out what loans you’re eligible for, without impacting your credit score.

Find out what loans you’re eligible for, without impacting your credit score.

Find out what loans you’re eligible for, without impacting your credit score.

Find out what loans you’re eligible for, without impacting your credit score.

Find out what loans you’re eligible for, without impacting your credit score.

Prefer to see what type of loans are available?

You can still see our range of loans and apply for one, without checking your eligibility.

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What types of loan are available?

There are two main types of loan - personal loans (unsecured loans) and homeowner loans (secured loans):

Personal loan: Also known as an unsecured loan, the amount you can borrow is based on your personal circumstances, including how much you earn, and your monthly outgoings. How good you’ve been at repaying debt in the past is another factor likely to be considered. Most financial providers offer unsecured loans up to £25,000, and repayments are usually spread over a fixed period of up to 10 years.

Homeowner loan: This is secured against your property, so you must be a homeowner (either own outright or have a mortgage) to be eligible. These loans can be for up to 25 years, and you can borrow up to £100,000. If you don’t keep up your repayments, the lender may be able to force you to sell your home, to repay the debt.

Guarantor loans are also available. These loans are designed for people with poor credit scores or no credit history, who want to borrow. Someone else – a relative or close friend – guarantees to cover the repayments, should the borrower fail to make them.

Peer-to-peer loans: with a peer-to-peer loan, you borrow the money from someone or a group of people, instead of borrowing from a financial institution, like a bank. Peer-to-peer websites connect you with people willing to lend to you, then act as intermediaries. The interest rate you’re offered will depend on your credit score.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), some lenders have decided to temporarily stop offering loans through Compare the Market. As a result, we'll only be able to show you loans from lenders still available, and you may see fewer options than you would normally.
 
We understand that the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused financial difficulty for some of you. 
If you have a loan and you’re worried about making repayments due to coronavirus, we’re here to help you understand the options available and the assistance some banks are providing.

Find out more

What can I use my loan for?

You can use your loan for a range of purposes, from buying a car to making home improvements, to paying for your wedding.

Want to know more? Read about:

>> Repaying your loan over a long period

>> Paying your loan in monthly instalments

>> Using your home as security for your loan

How much does a loan cost?

Interest rates vary according to the size and duration of the loan. If you’re looking for low interest loans, you might look to borrow over the longer term, as these loans may attract lower interest rates.

But remember, you need to look at the overall cost as you’ll be paying back the loan for longer.

Borrowers with poor credit records will be charged higher rates.

Anelda Knoesen

Money product expert

What our expert says...

"Borrowing is a normal part of life for millions of Brits – many of us need to borrow at some point to fund a major purchase, whether it be a new car or a new kitchen. Some of us will also choose to use a new loan to pay off several existing ones, bringing the debt into one place and making it easier to manage. It makes sense to shop around to find a great-value loan, and the crucial thing is to never borrow more than you can afford to pay back."

How can I get approved for a loan? 

Everyone wants the best loan rates, but before you start applying there are a few things you can look at to maximise your chances of being accepted.

  • Check your credit score: if it’s good, you have a chance of being accepted for the best loan rates. If it isn’t, you can take steps to improve it before you start applying. Find out more about building your credit score.
  • Look carefully at lenders: do a soft search with different lenders to get an idea of whether your application would succeed, and apply to lenders most likely to accept you. If you have a poor credit record, you may need to look for a specialist lender.
  • Don’t look to borrow too much: lenders will look at the affordability of your loan, so if you seek to borrow more than you can pay back you may find yourself being turned down.

What’s the cheapest way to borrow money?

It depends how much you want to borrow and how long for. Borrowing options include:

  • 0% purchases credit cards: 0% purchase cards can be one of the cheapest ways to borrow money, provided you keep up with the minimum monthly repayments and repay the loan in full before the interest-free period ends. If you don’t, it can be very expensive.
  • Bank overdraft: an arranged overdraft can be a cheap way of borrowing a small amount of money to tide you over, provided you don’t exceed the amount agreed with the bank.
  • Personal or unsecured loans: if you can get the best loan rates, this can be one of the cheapest ways to borrow.
  • Bank loans: as an existing customer, you might be able to get a good deal on a loan from your bank. It’s worth asking, and if they don’t offer a deal that suits you, you can always shop around or switch.
  • Secured loans: these can offer low rates, but if you’ve secured a loan against your home you risk losing it if you can’t make the repayments.

Frequently asked questions

What are the pros and cons of an unsecured loan?

Advantages:

  • You can get an unsecured loan without providing any collateral that the lender could take if you didn’t repay, such as your house.
  • Widely available from most financial providers – the application process is quick and easy.
  • Choice of repayment periods – there are options for how long you can take to repay the loan.
  • Fixed repayments – as interest rates are generally fixed, you’ll know what you need to pay back every month for the period of the loan, which helps with budgeting.

Disadvantages:

  • Requires a good credit history – as there’s no collateral, the bank needs to minimise its risk.
  • Interest rates can be high – to off-set the risks, banks tend to charge more for unsecured loans.
  • Early repayment charges – if you repay the loan early, you’ll probably have to pay a penalty.
  • Lenders have minimum loans – most banks won’t lend less than £1,000 or for less than a year, so an unsecured loan may not be suitable if you’re looking to borrow a small amount.

What are the pros and cons of a secured homeowner loan?

Advantages:

  • You can borrow more than with an unsecured loan – secured loans are available for up to £100,000. Secured loans typically start at £10,000.
  • Could be a good choice if you have a bad credit history, as your property acts as security.
  • Longer repayment periods are available and this can mean lower monthly repayments.

Disadvantages:

  • You could lose your home if you can’t keep up the repayments.
  • Early repayment penalties could increase the cost of borrowing.
  • Can have variable interest rates, which can land you in trouble if interest rates go up in the future and you can’t afford the higher monthly payments.
  • Potentially longer repayment periods – as you’re usually paying back over a longer time, your total costs over the whole period of the loan could be higher.
  • Arrangement fees can be expensive, so make sure you take this into account when weighing up the overall cost.

What do I need to compare loans?

It’s simple. We’ll show you available loans, once you enter:

  • How much you want to borrow
  • Over how long
  • How much you can afford to pay each month

When you compare loans with us, we’ll show you details including:

  • Provider
  • Product
  • Representative APR
  • Total amount repayable  
  • Monthly repayments 

Can I get a loan to buy a car?

You can get a personal loan to spread the cost of buying a car, or a secured loan specifically designed for this purpose. If you take a loan secured on the car, you may lose it if you can’t make the repayments.

  • Hire purchase – often available from the dealership, these loans typically require a 10% deposit. The remainder is split into monthly repayments and spread over one to five years. Hire purchase usually offers fixed interest rates.
  • Personal contract purchase – this type of car financing agreement gives you the option of handing back the car or buying it when the term ends.

See more on car financing options

Can I overpay or pay my loan off early?

It depends on the credit agreement that came with the loan. Although providers must allow you to pay back personal loans in full, there may be fees for early repayments or overpayments. See the rules on repaying loans early.

What if I’m struggling to repay my loan?

If you’re struggling to repay your loan, the first thing to do is to get in touch with the loan provider. They may give you more time to make the payment. Simply missing repayments will affect your credit score and you’ll be charged a fee for each one you miss.

There is the option of consolidating your loans, plus charities like Citizens Advice, National Debtline and StepChange Debt Charity can offer advice.

What is APR?

APR is short for annual percentage rate. It represents the cost of borrowing over 12 months and includes the interest rate as well as any other standard charges. When a loan is advertised, ‘representative’ APR is shown. This is the APR available to at least 51% of applicants, but it’s not necessarily what you’ll be offered. That will depend on your personal circumstances, including your credit history. Find out more about APR.
 

Will searching for a loan affect my credit rating?

Searching for a loan won’t affect your credit rating. However, it’s worth noting that each time you apply for credit, a note is placed on your report saying that a business has reviewed it. 

If you make several inquiries in a short period of time because your previous applications have been unsuccessful, it may be taken as an indication that you are in desperate need of a loan or that you’re taking on more debt than you can afford.

Why choose Compare the Market

See loans for your chosen amount in  under a minute 

See loans from a wide range of lenders

Loans available up to £100,000

What do I need to get a loan?

To apply for a loan, you need to meet certain requirements. This can vary from lender to lender, but generally, you’ll need to:

Be 18 or above – for some lenders it may be 21, and other lenders also have upper age limits

• Have a regular income (job or benefits)

• Be on the electoral register

• Have a functioning bank account

• Be able to afford the repayments

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