How do you find the best interest rates if you’re planning to apply for a loan? Until relatively recently, it was simple. There were plenty of lists of comparative rates published in table form on various websites. You could take your pick and investigate the terms of the cheapest lenders. This approach is not so easy any more.
Many banks are choosing to use a new system where the rate offered is dependent on your personal credit profile. At first glance, this appears to be a very fair system, but in fact would-be borrowers will have no idea of what interest rate they’ll be offered and so will be unable to make comparisons.
The Halifax, HSBC and Bank of Scotland have all switched to personal pricing and no longer advertise typical rates. In fact, most of the twenty leading lenders have adopted this method. The result of this is that customers applying for a loan will have very little idea of what rate they’ll be offered, or whether they’ll be accepted. This is a ridiculous situation as no should have to go “blind” into a credit application without a good idea of the interest rate.
It’s difficult to find out the rates by multiple loan applications, as each credit application is marked on your credit file. Lenders are understandably concerned where there have been excessive searches carried out and therefore the apparently simple process of achieving the best rate for your loan could affect your credit rating!
Even applying to your present bank for a loan will still require a credit check, but you may be able to gain some idea of what the interest rate is likely to be and most banks would, presumably, like to keep your business.
A representative of one of the leading banks has said the lending is on dangerous ground at present and that there are huge debt problems in the UK. Because of this, loan applications are increasingly likely to be rejected.
Where banks are still advertising headline interest rates it appears that lenders are failing to follow through with offers to a high proportion of applicants. Those who are successful are often offered a higher rate than the one advertised.
The Consumer Credit Act 2004 stipulates that lenders who advertise loans using a typical rate must lend money at that rate to at least 66% of successful applicants. Obviously by not showing a commitment to a rate, lenders can evade this rule.
A recent survey showed that, of almost 3,000 people who applied for a loan, 40% were refused almost immediately and 25% were accepted without delay. However some days later the remaining applicants were still waiting for a reply and it is expected that a further 17% will fail to be granted the rate they applied for.
There are a great many people applying for loans with the lowest headline rates and very many of them are going to be disappointed. Doubly so, as with every rejection they are putting the chance of obtaining a loan from another lender in jeopardy.
A browse through the internet will find you an advisor who should be able to offer some guidance and help you to avoid any nasty surprises.