Home » Finance » Personal Finance

What The Banks Don't Want You to Know

Aug 17, 2007
Consumer watchdog Which? has condemned this approach as "sneaky", wondering how customers will ensure a good personal loan deal when there is no easy way to compare the APR (annual percentage rate) . There is speculation that the increased popularity of price comparison websites in recent years has prompted banks to adopt this veil of secrecy. (source: "MSN the well known search engine")

If the paragraph above looks familiar, it's because it's a direct quote from one of the most popular financial advice sites in the UK. What writer Stuart Farr is talking about is a practice newly adopted by many major banks - leaving their typical rates out of their loan adverts. Instead, they claim to offer 'personal pricing' on personal and homeowner loans. This policy allows them to get around one of the protections that the government places on loan adverts - that the 'typical APR' advertised must be the one offered to at least 2/3rds of accepted applicants.

The end result is that if you're looking for a homeowner loan in the UK these days, you may feel like you're shopping in the dark. When the banks start dropping their APR adverts, you no longer have an easy tool to find the most economical loan. The truth is, though, that APR was never the best way to evaluate whether a loan was the best deal for you. There are too many ways that the figures can be manipulated to show a falsely low cost - and then there's that 2/3rds rule. The Consumer Credit Act of 2004 has a flip side. If 2/3rds of all accepted applicants get the preferred rate, that means that 1/3rd - 1 in 3 - are offered a loan at a higher rate of interest.

There's a good reason that the popularity of price comparison web sites has spooked the big banks into cloaking their typical rates. It's because informed consumers force them to meet the market prices offered by smaller loan companies and lenders - or lose business to them. With the new secrecy about interest rates and the attitude of 'you'll have to apply to find out how much we'll charge you to do business with us', financial pundits are advising consumers to cut back on their comparison shopping. Their reasoning runs like this:

Every time a lender checks your credit it leaves a footprint on your credit record. When you shop around to multiple lenders to get quotes on personal or homeowner loans, you're marking up your credit record and making it look like you're desperately searching for money to borrow. This will affect your credit rating and make it harder for you to qualify for loans with good interest rates.

Few of them are giving consumers the advice that will keep their credit ratings from being marked by comparison shopping. For the past several years, credit reporting agencies have offered 'quotation credit reports'. A quotation report costs the bank the same amount as a standard credit report, and it gives the lender enough information to give you a reasonable rate quote based on your credit history. The difference is in the footprint it leaves on your credit report - instead of indicating that you applied for a loan, it indicates that you are comparing rates before applying.

By all means, know what your credit rating is and whether it is likely to qualify you for the best rates - but don't let the fear of driving your credit score down keep you from shopping for the best possible loan. Instead of applying, ask for a loan rate quote, and request that they use a quotation credit report to make their determination. If the lender refuses, or tells you that it's against their policy, take your business to a lender that isn't afraid to let you examine their pricing before you sign on the dotted line.
About the Author
Jon Francis has worked within the UK financial sector for more than 15 years. He's had over 100 articles published, recognised for his use of plain English to demystify the financial jargon usually associated with secured home loans UK companies offer. If you want a 'plain English' guide to 3 easy steps to compare over 200 loan plans for home owners, in minutes visit "www.advancestart.com"
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 158
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources