If you are caught up in a vicious cycle of needing a loan to help sort out your finances, yet have a bad credit history so lenders are reluctant to loan you the money, it may seem as though there is no solution to your money worries. However, there are more options available to you than you may first think.
A bad credit rating or even no credit history at all can make it incredibly difficult to find a company who is willing to lend you money and if you are fortunate enough to find someone who will, the chances are it is going to be very expensive. The reasons lenders are reluctant to loan money to someone who has no credit history is that they are unable to assess any previous borrowing habits and have nothing to base their trust in whether that person will be good at paying the loan back. In some respects it is worse to have no credit history at all than it is to have a bad credit history.
If you are a homeowner or you have another significant asset, which you can use as collateral, then a secured loan may be an option for you. To find out more about secured loans read our article ‘What is Secured Loan?‘ as there are risks involved and it’s very important that you know exactly what you’re signing up for before committing to anything. The key thing to remember is that if you fail to make the repayments, your house or other asset will be at risk, so you need to weigh up whether a) you can afford the repayments each month and b) whether you are willing to risk losing your home.
The main and most popular option for people with bad credit is to take out what is known as a bad credit loan. They work in a very similar way to a secured loan in that the loan is secured against the value of your home. To be eligible for a bad credit loan you must be in employment and over the age of 18. Take a look at the pros and cons of this type of loan below:
The advantages of a bad credit loan.
- You will actually have the money you need the loan for, which you were unlikely to get from another lender.
- It will allow you to consolidate your debts.
- As long as you make the repayments each month you will actually start to improve your credit rating, which in the future will better your chances of being accepted for any other financial products.
- The amount you can borrow is usually quite high and can be spread over relatively long periods.
- Interest rates, although high, are generally lower than payday and guarantor loans.
The disadvantages of a bad credit loan.
- Interest rates are likely to be high.
- There are risks involved. If you fail to make the repayments you may face having your house repossessed.
- If you’re not a homeowner, are unemployed or under the age of 18, you won’t be able to get this type of loan.
- If your application for a bad credit loan is turned down your credit history will be damaged even further.
Because rates are far less competitive for this type of loan, it is absolutely essential you do your research to find your cheapest borrowing option. Many websites, such as Go Compare, offer a free smart search loan comparison tool, which enables you to see what deals are available and what the current rates are without signing you up to anything there and then.
Taking out a bad credit loan should be the last resort, for when you really, really have no other options available to you. Firstly, you should consider whether any of the following could help you with your financial difficulties:
It is worth speaking to your bank or building society to see if they can give you an overdraft, or if you already have one, whether they can extend it to cover the amount you need. Some banks offer a 0% interest overdraft on certain amounts or a low interest rate if it is over a certain amount, so it is definitely an option worth exploring. If you have a good relationship with your current financial provider it is also worth speaking to them about whether they can offer a tailor made deal specifically for you. If you don’t ask you don’t get and as long as your completely truthful with them, they will be keen to keep you as a customer.
Credit unions are community co-operatives, which are owned by their members and act as an alternative to banks for those facing financial difficulty. To qualify for a loan from a credit union you must firstly become a member. To find your nearest union search here – www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk. One of the main benefits of these unions is that because they are not-for-profit organisations, they are incredibly understanding and supportive, as their main purpose is to provide a service to their members and not to make money.
Although it isn’t the easiest job in the world to find a credit card that will accept someone with a bad credit history, believe it or not there are dedicated cards out there for people in such a position. These type of cards are known as ‘bad credit cards’ and although great for those with bad credit ratings they are likely to have very low credit limits and high interest rates.
Pay down debt
If you have any savings it is worth considering paying down your debt with them, as interest rates on loans are almost always likely to be higher than the interest levels applied to your savings.
If your situation is considered urgent enough and you already receive benefits, you may be eligible for an interest free budgeting loan, which can be used to buy everyday essentials, such as rent.
Ask family or friends for help
No one wants to admit to their loved ones that they’re in financial trouble, but there may come a time when you need to swallow your pride and ask them if they can help. According to a recent Gocompare survey, 57% of the UK population have lent money to friends and family, so it is more common than you may think. Matt Sanders, who works for Gocompare.com said, “When borrowing from or lending money to friends and family, it’s important to consider the effect it might have on your relationship with the person. For instance, if you’re considering borrowing money it’s important to be clear, honest and realistic about how you intend to pay the person back and to agree a time frame in which you intend to do so.”
Take advantage of the free financial advice you can get from the following:
The most important thing to remember is under no circumstances is it ever a good idea to borrow from loan sharks or to take out a payday loan. This will only cause your financial problems to spiral even further out of control and they are NEVER a good option!