2014 Lender Lists:
The 10 Product Features That All the Best Lenders Have
1) Competitive Pricing:
We always factor product pricing as an overall cost. This includes not just the interest, but also any admin or fast transfer fees in place. Although such fees may be deducted from the funds sent to the borrower, we add them on top of each other to avoid any confusion. If we are aware of any working promo codes then these will also be factored. Payday and short term loans are the most popular companies introduced here. You should really be looking at those that charge less than 1% daily. As you move up to instalment periods, these rates should reduce further. We display a chart below that shows the cheapest lenders across each sector and so you can glance through these prices if getting the best deal is the most important quality for you.
2) Customer Logins and Encryption on Website:
Most reputable payday loan companies provide account logins and SSL on their websites. Over in the logbook loan sector, very few actually use encryption and I don’t think one company offers account servicing. With the more sophisticated services around such as that from Wonga for instance, when you login (as a return customer) you can apply securely for more funds that will be automatically processed. You could also quickly login to view your balance, make an extension or you could clear the entire balance at any time. Without any such management facility, you can’t really do much without picking up a phone and making a call. SSL assures that important details filled in on a form such as bank details are sent across privately.
3) Faster Payment Service Transfers by Default:
Some may offer a slow funding option at a lower cost if you are willing to wait a few extra days. In this day and age though, everyone should be providing transfers via the Faster Payments Service by default. In personal banking, these transfers are free, but for a business processing these payments in bulk there are fees attached. The lender may provide this transfer for free or they may add £5 or so on top. FPS has become the standard payment system in the UK. Avoid those that ramp up the charges or perhaps those that offer a CHAPS payment that could cost £15 or more.
4) Highly Flexible Terms:
Some popular loan providers have a single repayment term and they are still doing very well when doing this. Personally, we think that highly flexibility terms is the sign of an efficient and more modern lender. If you were for instance being paid in 18 days then being able to pick out specifically an 18 day repayment would save you in having to pay over the entire month. Some innovative lenders like Peachy not just allow you to select any specific day, but you can even select a few months as the term. MyMate even heads up to the full year.
5) Industry Experience:
A brand may be new on the scene that shouldn’t be seen as limitation, but it is important that the team involved have previous industry experience. Obviously, it is a good to know that a company being used has been around for 10 years. Various services have closed down in recent years that may be an indication that the business may have not been run professionally with the user in mind. Again, several years of trading experience would imply that you are using a team that is running their business at the highest possible standard.
6) Open 7 Days a Week:
In the virtual world it should be much easier for companies to process new applications even on a Saturday or a Sunday. Despite this, some do choose to operate between Monday and Friday only. To really get the edge in this industry, it is important for funds to be available whenever the customer desires a cash boost. A previous post here covered 24/7 and Weekend Payday Loans. There are very few companies active 24/7, but there are fortunately many more providers offering funding over the weekend these days.
7) Positive Customer Feedback/Reviews:
This can often be a hit and miss feature. The problem is that reviews can easily be gamed. It is not a good sign if a company has reviews from many people who have just left the single review on the website. Also, it is worth pointing out that some people usually go on websites like this to vent their frustrations only rather than to pay praise. Either way, we recommend checking out the Review Centre or Trustpilot. We in fact display the top 10 Trustpilot reviews (covering those featured) next to the price comparison section below.
8) Social Media Presence (Active):
This is not majorly important, but an active social media presence shows that a lender can be quickly reached to address any problems throughout the day. You get a more personal touch here rather than when just sending a message via email or when submitting a ticket. Fitting in with the feedback points, you can also get a good idea of how well a company is being perceived if they have a large social following on Facebook or Twitter. The wall comments section on Facebook is also a good place to see how quickly any problems are being picked up on.
9) Trade Association Membership Place:
Some may have a single membership or they may have a couple. It is important to see any such membership in place since this means that the firm is following a strict code of conduct. If any problems do occur then you can take the issue up with them rather than heading directly to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Having any such membership is not a requirement (unlike holding an Interim Permission Licence for lending). There are positive aspects in holding a place, but you have to remember that the lender has to pay for this annually and some tend to do this merely to improve the trust factor of their brand and the codes of conduct aren’t exactly strict. We discussed this topic (and the new Good Practice Charter) in further detail in This Post.
10) Welcome Bonuses and Loyalty Discounts Offered:
When you are searching for a new company to use, no one can quite match Vivus at this time in the promotion arena. They offer all new customers with their first loan for free (0% APR). A range of lenders also offer new applicants with promo codes that helps to reduce the charges involved. When it comes to loyalty, some notable examples would include the cashback incentive from PaydayUK (£5 per £100) or perhaps the Sunny Rates promotion from Sunny that grants future discounts once several loans have been repaid. We always make a reference to any single promotion as soon as we learn about it.