Help and Support

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions below.
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Before Applying

Real Rates is part of the Comparitec Group of companies which, collectively, has processed over 27 million loan applications since 2013. Real Rates is a credit broker, working with a range of trusted lenders to find loans to suit you and your circumstances, based on the information you provide to us.

You can check your eligibility for a loan if you:

  • Are over the age of 18;
  • Have a minimum annual income of £5,000;
  • Are a UK resident with a UK address;
  • Have three years' worth of UK address history;
  • Have a UK-issued bank account with a valid debit card; and
  • You are employed, with your income paid directly into your UK bank account.

To check your eligibility for a loan, Digitonomy (trading as Real Rates) will carry out a soft search on your credit file to match you with the most suitable lender(s) on their panel; the lender(s) may also carry out a soft search to assess your eligibility for the product you are looking for. These searches will only be visible on your credit report to you, and they will not affect your credit rating.

If you need help, or have any questions about the application process, please contact the Real Rates Customer Service team using our online form.

When applying for a loan, a good credit score could mean that you are presented with loan options from a range of lenders, allowing you to compare offers to find the one that suits you. You could also be offered a loan with a better rate of interest.

Our lenders offer loans between £2,500 and £50,000, with terms between one and seven years depending on the amount you apply to borrow.

You should never borrow more money than you need, and you should be confident that you are comfortably able to make your repayments each month without this affecting your essential bills, such as rent or mortgage, food, and utilities.

The overall cost of your loan will depend on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) you are offered, how much money you borrow, as well as your loan term.

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate and refers to the overall annual cost of your loan, including interest.

The Representative APR gives you an idea of the overall cost of the loan, including interest and any annual fee, if applicable. This is the rate, or lower, that 51% of customers have been offered for the financial product that is being advertised. If your application is successful, you may not necessarily be offered the Representative APR; your rate of interest is personal to you and could be higher or lower than the advertised rate.

When you check your eligibility for a personal loan and are accepted by a lender, they may offer you a 'Real Rate' or 'guaranteed rate'. Unlike representative rates, this means that the rate offered will not change after you make a full application; this is subject to acceptance by the lender following a hard search and any other applicable checks.

A soft credit search is used by credit brokers to determine how likely you are to be approved for a credit product, such as a loan or credit card, before you apply directly with a lender or credit card provider.

The search will only be visible on your credit file to you and the company who carried out the check and will not have an impact on your credit score.

A hard credit search is used to take an in-depth look at your financial history. Hard searches are visible on your credit file for up to 12 months. Too many hard searches over a short period of time could have a negative effect on your credit score.

Pre-approval does not guarantee acceptance. If an eligibility check shows that you have been pre-approved for a loan, you will still need to undergo further checks, including a hard credit search, directly with the lender. Following further checks, the lender will decide whether to approve your application.

If you find yourself in this position, you should contact your lender as soon as possible and explain the situation. We understand that this can feel daunting, but they will want to work with you to find a solution.

No matter what financial challenges you might be facing, support is available. For free, impartial advice, visit Citizens Advice Bureau, MoneyHelper and National Debtline.

StepChange offer a free, online quiz where the answers you provide will generate advice to help you get back on track with your finances.

A secured loan is when you borrow a sum of money from a lender and 'insure' it against one of your assets, usually your home or car. This is known as 'collateral.' If you fail to repay your loan, the lender is within their rights to seize the collateral to recoup their losses.

Unsecured loans are not tied to an asset and, as such, they are viewed as riskier by the lender. This is why unsecured loans tend to come with higher interest rates than secured loans.

If you fall behind on or fail to make the repayments on your loan, you could be charged a late payment fee, and this will have a negative impact on your credit score.

Every lender will have their own eligibility criteria when it comes to applying for a secured loan although, generally, you must:

  • e over the age of 18. Some lenders will only accept applications from those over the age of 21;
  • Be a UK resident with a UK registered address. You may also be asked to provide three years' worth of UK address history;
  • Have a UK bank account and valid debit card;
  • Have a regular source of income paid into your bank account; and
  • Have a minimum annual income of £5,000.

It could be more difficult to be approved for a loan if you have a low credit score. Some lenders are willing to consider applications from those with poor credit, although it’s worth bearing in mind that your options may be limited, and you could be offered a higher interest rate or a more manageable borrowing amount.

A good credit score could open up your borrowing options and unlock better rates of interest.

If you're thinking about applying for a loan with bad credit, you might consider exploring alternative options first, such as saving up. While saving up may take longer, you won't be required to make repayments or pay interest.

Any financial product you agree to will impact your credit score. When you take out a loan, your repayment information is reported to the credit reference agencies.

You might see an increase in your score if you repay your loan on time each month and clear the balance before the term expires. Falling behind on or failing to make your repayments is likely to have a negative effect on your credit score.

Try not to worry if your credit score is currently not where you’d like it to be. Fortunately, there are steps you can take towards building your score and reaching a healthier credit position, such as:

  • Registering to vote;
  • Checking your credit report for any errors;
  • Paying your bills on time;
  • If you have a credit card, stay well within your credit limit, and make at least the minimum amount due each month; and
  • Avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM.

A secured loan is a serious financial commitment, and you should think very carefully before committing to any financial product, particularly when your home could be at risk. When considering a secured loan, you must be certain that you are able to comfortably afford the monthly repayments and be fully aware of the risk associated with failing to make them.

If you default on your secured loan agreement, the lender can seize the collateral tied to your loan and use the funds from the sale of your collateral to recover the money you owe them. You could also be faced with late fees and additional charges, as well as a decline in your credit score.

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