With the retail sector enduring its fair share of challenges, companies are looking at new ways to attract customers, and drive conversion. In an overcrowded, dog-eat-dog marketplace, with behemoths such as Amazon flexing their muscle, it’s easier said than done.
Case Study: We chat to borrower Michael
Mick is a groundsman from Sheffield, where he lives with his wife and 18-year old daughter. He has been in his job for 15 years and has an excellent credit history. Yet in March 2015, he decided to look for a good-value loan so that he could make a somewhat unusual purchase. And, as you’ll see below, it is one that has brought great joy to his family, and likely earned him plenty of brownie points too!
Why I took out a loan
About three years ago, my wife Michelle decided that she wanted to lose some weight, so she joined Slimming World; initially to support a friend. The plan really worked for her though, and she made fantastic progress each month. Once she sets her mind to something, she becomes very dedicated to the cause, and this was no exception.
Two and a half years later, she had lost 8 stone & 2lbs. It was an incredible achievement! We had made a deal beforehand that I would buy her a pair of shoes for every stone she lost, and of course she was duly rewarded with eight new pairs over that time. But I was so proud of her that I thought she deserved more.
It had always been a lifelong dream of hers to own a shiny convertible, and it just felt like the perfect time to treat her. I had a look around online and went to go see a few models, and then I found this one. It just ticked all the boxes, including the colour. And, just as a little cherry on top, the registration had her initials on it! I knew it was the right car for her, and that’s when I decided to look for a loan.
The loan application process
Once I knew which car I wanted to buy, it wasn’t only about getting a loan at the best possible price. A big priority was to get one as quickly and conveniently as I could. Applying for loans with banks has never been an experience I have particularly enjoyed, so I went on a few price comparison sites to find some better alternatives. Lending Works jumped out at me due to their competitive rates, but what impressed me even more was the process itself.
It was just so quick and easy to apply. I normally ask my wife to help me complete any online applications but this was straightforward. I filled out the form, had a response the next day, and after answering one or two questions, the money was in my account 24 hours later.
The day I handed over the keys
The moment I told my wife, she wouldn’t believe me at first. I insisted though, and when we pulled up outside the dealership, she assumed I might be getting her a mini or something. But when she saw the car and realised I was telling the truth, she started shaking and laughing at the same time. It was the sort of reaction you just can’t put a price on. She even made me sit down and teach her to put the roof up and down for about 20 minutes!
Paying back the loan
I suppose some people might argue that I’ve taken on debt for a ‘luxury purchase’, but I don’t really see it that way. Yes, it is a bit of an indulgence, but my wife has worked so hard and she deserves it. She actually had a 4x4 because our daughter used to be a competitive figure skater, but now that she has grown up, Michelle doesn’t need it anymore, and the convertible is great for getting her to work in the city centre, or down to the gym. It’s also more economical too.
In truth, it wasn’t a difficult decision to get the loan, but I gave it a lot of thought nevertheless. I took into account the level of payments I could afford before I applied, and made sure the debt wasn’t going to put any sort of strain on our budget. I can’t say the loan worries me too much on a day-to-day basis.
Besides, I think life is too short to not do the things that make you happy. My wife absolutely loves the car, and, to be honest, I’m quite fond of it too! We both work hard, and now that our daughter will be leaving home soon, I thought it was time to start enjoying ourselves together.
- Case study: Introducing borrower Christina
- Deflation, and a more expensive life
- What will a rate rise mean for P2P lending?
Get email updates for future blogs:
Our website offers information about saving, investing, tax and other financial matters, but not personal advice. If you're not sure whether peer-to-peer lending is right for you, please seek independent financial advice, and if you decide to invest with Lending Works, please read our Key Lender Information PDF first.
On 4 June 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released its new regulatory framework for peer-to-peer lending (P2P); a Policy Statement known as PS19/14. As you might imagine, it's a document which, following a three-month consultation, is a hefty read of no fewer than 102 pages.
For all the resilience the UK economy has shown, there is no doubt that this year's ISA season is set against a backdrop of uncertainty. Whatever the pros and cons, Brexit, and a lack of clarity on what our future economic relationship with the EU will look like, has left us at a crossroads.
In a difficult climate, customer acquisition and lead generation present stern challenges for UK retailers, and a great deal of marketing spend invariably gets directed towards getting feet through the door.
Over the last decade, there can be little dispute that the reputation of mainstream banks – and particularly the so-called ‘Big Four’ (HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and RBS) – is at its lowest ebb.
The peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry is now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The regulatory framework has been designed to protect customers and promote effective competition.
When you earn interest from a regular bank savings account, for example, the bank automatically deducts basic rate tax (currently 20%) before paying your interest. With interest earned from peer-to-peer lending, tax is not deducted automatically so lenders will need to declare their income to HMRC.
The financial crisis is a bitter memory of what can go wrong when regulators lose control of markets. It seems hard to fathom now, but a little over a decade ago, buyers could acquire mortgages to the tune of 125 per cent of the home’s value (the Northern Rock Together mortgage being one of the most infamous), with only the most lax affordability checks standing in their way.
Numerous theories have emerged as to why the UK has endured such a severe productivity problem over the last decade. Growth in productivity of just 2 per cent during that period would typically have been accomplished within a single year prior to the financial crisis, and thus the 'productivity puzzle' continues to confound economists
In the aftermath of the financial crisis back in 2008/09, the Bank of England (BoE) had considerable headroom in terms of monetary policy, and - rightly - it made full use of it.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the global financial system as a whole is predicated on the ability to buy something now, and pay for it later. Barely anyone would be able to make a substantial purchase such as a house without an instrument like a mortgage.
With political parties jostling for position amid a series of Elections, and the ongoing spectre of a snap General Election looming large, the Labour Party put forward a policy last week which has proved to be a talking point: increasing the minimum wage to £10 per hour, and extending this to workers under the age of 18.