On this page we give our top tips when using our loan calculator to help you (1) understand and (2) make the most of the information given
Three Top Tips
1. Minimise the amount you need to borrow?
Step 1 is to really think how much you need, and to only borrow the minimum amount for your purposes. The reason for this is that borrowing money costs interest and sometimes fees, so the more you borrow, the more you’ll have to pay back.
By minimising this amount you’ll be debt free again sooner rather than later.
2. Find out the monthly repayments you can afford
People get into trouble when they cannot afford the monthly repayments
To minimise the chance of this, it is worth spending some time calculating how much you can comfortably afford to spend on your loan repayments out of your monthly budget
We suggest spending a bit of time filling out the Citizen Advice Bureau Budget Sheet to help you find this out.
When filling this out, spend extra time really thinking about all your monthly expenses, and allow yourself some ‘enjoyment money’. If you do not, the loan will soon become a heavy burden, and you are more likely to default.
3. Find out the criteria you are likely to meet
Typically, if you meet the lenders upper criteria, you are more likely to qualify for the ‘cheaper’ loans. If you are aware of what the lenders are looking for, therefore, you can more accurately estimate the APR you are likely to pay. Criteria will include:
- Guarantor – for all our lenders loans you need a guarantor
- Homeowner – lenders do not require you or your guarantor to own your own homes, but if you both do the better rates are available
- Income and expenses – one of the key things that many of our lenders look at is your, and your guarantor’s ability to pay back the loan, and this therefore comes back to your, and your guarantor’s income and expenses. If you are both able to clearly show that you have a good regular income, and can comfortably afford the loan, then this will help your application.
- Ages – most lenders require you and your guarantor to be between 18 – 75 at the time of taking out the loan, though this does vary a little from lender to lender.
- Bank account and debit cards – usually the best rates are only available to those who have both a UK bank account and debit card.
- Non financially related guarantor – most of our lenders, and the ones with the very best rates, require your guarantor to be completely financially unrelated to you. Typically, this means your spouse, your husband or wife, will not be suitable for the role.
Please note that we do have one lender who does allow your spouse to be your guarantor, although they do need to be able to show they independently can afford the loan repayment on top you your income and expenses.
The above is just a guide to some of the criteria that you are likely to need to meet to get the best value loans. You will need to apply to find out the exact costs to you based on your criteria, or to read more see our article on loan eligibility criteria.
Lender Representative APRs
This shows the minimum and maximum representative APRs available from our lenders for this loan amount and period.
The APR that will be available to you will be dependent on the status of both you and your guarantor and therefore the loan for which you qualify.
Representative APR Definition
This is best explained with an example:
Currently Amigo’s loans state their representative APR is 49.9%. This is because over 51% of their customers pay a rate of 49.9% APR for their credit with Amigo Loans including all fees and charges.
So 49.9% is the representative cost of what you’ll actually pay, including everything, for the time you have a loan with them.
This estimates the maximum and minimum monthly repayments across all our lenders.
This is based on highest and lowest of our lenders representative APRs.
This estimates the total amount that you will have to repay for this loan amount, over this loan period.
Again, the figures here are calculated using the highest and lowest of our lenders representative APRs.
To find out more, please see our Guarantor Loan page.
For general loan repayment calculator, see the Guardian’s Loan repayment calculator
Click below to compare all our different loans from all our different lenders.