1-minute guide to Loans



There are LOADS of loans available on the market today:


  • Have an interest rate around 7% or lower
  • Have a fixed interest rate
  • Allow you to pay off the entire loan early or pay lump sums with NO penalties

Read NEED TO KNOW and THE INSIDE TRACK before you apply for any loans

Need to know

The lowest interest rates are usually for medium loans of £7.5k-£15k – expect to pay around 4%.  For larger loans (above £15k) are around 7% and smaller loans around 5%.

  • If you need to borrow less than £5k and can pay it back in under 2 years, you may be better off with a credit card offering a long 0% rate on purchases or balance transfers
  • It’s worth checking to see if your bank has a decent offer – they know you and can often be the path of least resistance.
  • WATCH OUT for the car manufacturers offering you a “flat rate” loan. They are rarely better than a personal loan. They try to draw us in with their “low” interest rates but BE AWARE – A “flat rate” is not the same as APR (the interest rate) that you normally see on advertised loans or credit cards. Flat rate loan basically means that you pay a FLAT RATE % on the original loan amount. SO if you borrow £5000 and after 4 years you’ve paid off £4000 you will STILL pay interest on £5000 not the remaining £1000! BE WARNED! A flat rate of 7% is more like 14/15%!


  • PLEASE check your credit rating.  It’s free and it’s NOT a scam.
  • Anecdotally 2/3 of us are turned down for a loan or don’t get the advertised rate.  If you’ve got a GOOD credit score then they have no reason to turn you down.  FIGHT!!!  My dad did and he won – they gave him the advertised rate once he improved his  credit score and produced his credit report.
  • If you don’t have a great credit score. Don’t worry.  Have a look at our 1-minute guide to credit rating – There are plenty of ways to improve it.

Try peer to peer lending

Look at borrowing through a peer to peer lender first as it won’t affect your credit rating and you can get an instant decision

  1.  Zopa- applying does not affect your credit rating, fixed good interest rates
  2.  RateSetter- loan term can be as short as 6 months, loan can be paid off early


  1. M&S Bank- 3.5% APR Representative

  2. Hitachi- 4.2% APR Representative

  3. Sainsbury’s- 4.3% APR Representative

  4. Zopa -4.3% Representative


  1. Tesco Bank Personal Loan for Clubcard Customers- 3.4% APR Representative

  2. Clydesdale- 3.4% APR Representative

  3. Sainsbury’s Bank – 3.4% APR Representative

  4. Yorkshire Bank-3.4% APR representative


  1. Sainsbury’s- 3.3% APR Representative

  2. Tesco- 3.4% APR Representative For Clubcard customers only

  3. Clydesdale- 3.4% APR representative

  4. Yorkshire- 3.4% APR Representative

The inside track

  • We have tried and tested the loans that we recommend. We have found time and time again that even with an EXCEPTIONAL CREDIT RATING members of our team have not been offered the advertised rate and even not been offered a loan at all!
  • If you don’t get the best advertised rate then insist that they tell you why! Get your true credit rating. If it’s good then send them the report. FIGHT. Don’t give up. It took one of our team nearly a month but he got there! IT’S A FIGHT WORTH WINNING! There’s just SO much money to be saved!
Previous article1-minute guide to First time buying
Next article1-minute guide to Timeshare Claims
Sarah Willingham
Sarah Willingham is a serial entrepreneur, business investor and leading consumer expert. She has received a number of accolades for her contribution to business including The Sunday Times 500 Most Influential People in Britain 2016, The Times 35 Most Successful Women Under 35, Business Weekly’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Courvoisier Top 500 and an entry into the Who’s Who of British Business Leaders. She holds three business degrees including an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, where she is also an advisory board member.