A loan designed to help you get on top of any outstanding credit you have, by moving all your debt into one place. That means one loan amount, one monthly payment, one interest rate, and one lender.
We get it might seem a little overwhelming, but it really is quite straightforward. Here's how the process works:
- You'll take out a loan that will cover all of your outstanding credit
- That loan is used to pay off your creditors in full
- Make single monthly repayments until your loan term is complete.
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Which borrowing option you choose will depend on two things:
- If you own your own home or not, and
- How much money you need to borrow
Secured debt consolidation
A secured loan is one that’s ‘secured’ to the equity you have in your property, and for this reason is only available to homeowners. As with any type of credit, sticking to your repayments is essential but you should also be aware that with a secured loan your home could be at risk of repossession if you don’t.
Unsecured debt consolidation
If you’re not lucky enough to own your property, you need less money, or you simply don’t like the idea of putting your home at risk, an unsecured loan could be an option. You might also see this described as a personal loan.
As the name suggests, this isn’t secured to anything except you and eligibility is based purely your credit score and financial situation. For this reason, they are accessible to more people, but it can mean that a patchy credit history could hinder your chances of being accepted (although not necessarily with us).
Personal loans: Ocean Finance is a trading style of Intelligent Lending limited. We are a credit broker working with a panel of lenders to find you a personal loan.
Homeowner loans are secured against your property. We are a broker and we arrange secured loans from a panel of lenders. We receive commission upon completion. A broker fee of 12% of the net loan amount capped at a maximum of £3,995 is payable upon completion and can be added to your loan.
The answer to this one depends on which type you decide on:
- With a secured loan you could borrow between £10,000 and £100,000 over 3 to 25 years.
- With an unsecured or personal loan you could borrow as much as £15,000 for up to five years.
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In a nutshell, yes. That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions, but some lenders and credit brokers, including us, specialise in helping people with a less than perfect history of managing credit.
It depends on just how ‘bad’ your credit report is. For example, missing one credit repayment a few months ago is less likely to result in a failed application than if you’d gotten a County Court Judgement (CCJ) last week.
Yes, as with all types of lending, when you first take out a loan it’s likely to put a little dent in your credit score. That’s because to complete any credit application, your lender must run a hard search on your credit record and this will show on your report, plus you’ll also be increasing your outstanding credit.
However, this impact’s only short-term, and if you stick to your loan repayments on time and in full a debt consolidation loan could eventually serve to boost your credit score.
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There are four ways a debt consolidation loan could and should help you:
- Streamlined monthly payments - instead of worrying about keeping up with multiple monthly repayment amounts (and all the stress it brings), you can simplify your debt to one set sum.
- One interest rate - part and parcel of the one monthly repayment, is one interest rate. So no more confusion over how much you’re paying in interest and to who, it’s all under one umbrella.
- One lender to deal with - once you’ve paid off your creditors, you won’t be receiving letters/phone calls/emails from several creditors any more, which can feel very overwhelming. Instead, you’ll have one point of contact.
- Become debt-free quicker - borrowing could help you clear your credit sooner if you end up paying less interest and are able to put that extra money towards clearing your debt.
Advantages and disadvantages
If you’re still not sure what's right for you, here are some pros and cons to help you reach your decision.
- Often carry lower interest rates
- Generally easier to obtain because they carry less risk
- You can borrow more money and for longer
- More likely to be accepted with a poor credit record
- You could be risking your home if you fall behind on repayments
- Borrowing over a longer period means you’ll be paying interest for longer, which could result in paying more overall than with individual debts
- One interest rate is likely to be less than several combined
- You won’t be putting your property on the line
- Limited on how much you can borrow
- Harder to obtain with a patchy credit record
- Shorter repayment durations available
The reality is you can use any sort of loan to consolidate your debts. So, if a standard loan isn’t an option for you for whatever reason, you might decide using a guarantor and streamline your debts is the way forward.
Here at Ocean, some of our lenders offer guarantor loans and non-guarantor loans, so this might be something to consider if you feel like you’re running out of options.
Yes, as long as you use a reputable creditor and keep up to date with your repayments, you shouldn’t run into any problems as they’re as safe as any other form of borrowing.