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What is a personal loan?
If you don't already know, getting a personal loan is a great way to get the extra cash you need quickly. There are two types of personal loans available – secured and unsecured.
Usually, secured loans have a lower interest rate attached to them, compared to unsecured loans. To do this, you must put something in place as a pledge of security for the repayment of the loan, such as your house or car. If the loan isn't repaid, you will be at risk of losing the collateral you pledged. Before you choose a secured loan, you should make sure you are aware of all the conditions. Unsecured loans are otherwise known as 'signature' loans. Signature loans are approved by the lender with only your signature. The only issue you may become subject
Regulations regarding the personal loan market
The Financial Conduct Authority regulates over 50,000 financial firms and markets in the UK. The FCA
• Carrying out affordability checks to ensure that only consumers that can afford to get a loan, get one
• Ensuring that all advertisements are clear and do not mislead the consumer
• Firms that are a greater risk to consumers will be faced with a tougher approach. This may involve limiting
• Allowing consumers to access the Financial Ombudsman Service. If a business and consumer aren't able to resolve an issue themselves, they will be referred to the FOS to receive an answer about what's happened
Since the Market Abuse Regulation came into effect back in 2016, there has been a rise in market integrity and investor protection. MAR is used to extend the scope of new markets, platforms and behaviours. It contains the rules regarding insider dealing, the unlawful disclosure of private information and prevents market manipulation. It applies to financial instruments trading on a regulated market or multilateral trading facility.
What to look for
There are plenty of aspects to look out for when looking to take out a personal loan. Firstly, all personal loans have inconsistent interest rates. You will see your interest rate fluctuate depending on the current state of the market. If you can only afford the initial repayments, you should avoid getting a personal loan in case they rise above your budget. Arrangement fees can also make a loan more expensive, so you should make sure you include them when adding up how much the loan is going to cost. Be aware that Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) might be mis-sold to you. Despite your lender trying to sell you this, it will only cover your loan repayment if you have an accident, are seriously ill or become redundant. Even if you decide to go ahead and take up this cover, it can be found elsewhere for a much better deal. Similarly, don't accept the first rate you are offered. Spend time researching what providers are currently offering the least expensive APRs.
Remember: if you're considering carrying out a personal loan, the longer you take to repay it, the more interest you'll have to pay back in return. Only those with the best credit scores will qualify for the leading rates. If you're unsure whether you make the cut, there are a number of loan comparison websites for you compare different courses of action available to you at the click of a button.