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Last updated: 16 June, 2021
Regular loans can feel restricted and inflexible, but a flexible loan could give you the freedom you’re looking for.
To get the right flexible loan for you, you need to think about which benefits you want, and which you can do without.
Most personal loans let you borrow a lump sum upfront and pay it back over a set period of time. Some offer more flexible terms. You could either get:
More flexible repayments
More flexible borrowing options.
If you want to pay extra, take a break or pay less towards your loan, some loans let you do just that.
You could benefit from:
Overpayments. These are where you pay extra money towards your loan, over and above what was agreed. It means you can reduce the interest you’re charged and clear the balance quicker.
Early repayment. This is where you pay off the outstanding balance of your loan early. All lenders allow early repayment, but most will charge you a fee. More flexible loans won’t have any early repayment charge at all.
Payment holidays. These are where you take a break from your loan payments for a set period. Only some lenders offer this option. You’ll still be charged interest on your loan balance while you take a break from making payments.
With loans taken out after 1 February 2011, banks can’t you for making overpayments unless the overpayments total more than £8,000 in a year. That’s the case even if you have a standard loan, rather than a flexible one.
Some loans offer flexible borrowing. This is where you can withdraw money, up to a set limit, as and when you need it. These loans are sometimes called Flexi Loans.
Flexi loans can be useful if you are unsure exactly how much you need to borrow, because you are only charged interest on the amount you withdraw.
You transfer money from your loan into your bank account, and then make payments based on the total amount outstanding.
However, because there are fewer of these types of loans in the market, you may find that the interest rates they offer are higher.
Once you’ve decided what flexibility you need, look for a loan that:
lets you borrow the amount of money you need
has the lowest interest rate
offers the flexible borrowing or payment features that you want
Then check your credit record is accurate and that you meet all the lender's application rules before you apply.
If your credit history is poor and your credit score isn’t great, getting a cheap loan can be tricky. When you take out a loan, your credit score is looked at. Even if you can get a loan, lenders are likely to charge you a much higher interest rate than they would if you had good credit history.
However, if you can get a flexible loan, it could be a good way for you to borrow money. The ability to take payment holidays can be helpful. Plus, the chance to make overpayments could save you money. And you could improve your credit score, too.
You should always think carefully before taking out a loan of any description. Make sure you can afford the repayments, or you could make your credit score worse if not.
Many lenders will look at:
Your credit history
How long you’ve been a customer.
This depends on the lender and the terms and conditions of your loan. Normally it can be for up to two months, sometimes longer.
No, but there is less choice so you may miss out on the best rates. However, you may save money if you repay your loan early or borrow in stages.
It stands for annual percentage rate, and is the interest you pay on the total value of your loan. The lower your APR, the lower your monthly payments.
Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from lenders regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For more information you can also see how our website works.
We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more about how our website works.
You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.
When you miss a payment on your loan, you'll be charged a fee. You may be issued with a County Court Judgement or have to declare yourself bankrupt if you continue to miss payments.Read More
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