Here’s what to do if you owe money to Aqua Loans
Do you have a loan with Aqua Loans? If so then you’re going to want to become one of the few to read how you can save money by possibly cancelling the loan.
It’s not your fault. Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman have risen this year from 830 to 2,006, so it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
Deal with your debt today and feel better tomorrow.
Who Are Aqua Loans UK
Aqua is a brand that is owned by NewDay. NewDay are known for their credit card brands such as Aqua, Marbles, Opus and Fluid, however they are also the supplier for many store cards such as Debenhams and House of Fraser.
New laws for Aqua Loans
It’s not surprising that so many people are in debt these days. Before the new laws came into force, the lending industry was worth over £2 billion, which was fueled by irresponsible lending and stupidly high interest rates.
Unfair practices have been identified by the Financial Conduct Authority which have resulted in these companies getting huge fines. Wonga for example was fined £220 million, which ultimately put them out of business! Other companies such as Quickquid have been fined £18 million.
Customers that were not properly assessed during their loan application received a refund. This new law worked and over the 3 years following the laws the number of loans issued fell from 10 million to 1.8 million and the number of lenders fell from 240 to 60.
Law #1: the loan must be affordable
Of all the new laws, this one has had the most reader success stories for getting a refund. The Financial conduct Authority is the regulator for lenders in the UK and they have explicitly said that a lender must not allow you to sign an agreement unless they have carried out a creditworthiness assessment and have given a proper regard to their affordability.
The law also says that the repayments must be “sustainable”. This means that you must be able to make repayments on time while meeting other reasonable commitments (eg. Rent, bills, food, car) and without having to borrow more money to make the repayments.
Basically the repayments of the loan should be affordable when you take into account all of your other expenses such as rent, bills, food, car. If you couldn’t afford repayments of your loan, or you found yourself taking out another loan to cover the repayments then you could claim for a refund! See my simple guide for doing so here.
Find your best debt solution (in 1 minute!)
Is all this information starting to feel overwhelming? Don’t panic! I’ve put together a 4 question debt calculator so you can quickly and easily find the best solution for you. If you’re eligible for the new government scheme, you could write off up to 85% of your debt! Answer the four questions now.
Law #2: limits on interest and charges
This law tends to act as a bonus when claiming under law #1, although technically you could claim for this independently of law #1. The Financial Conduct Authority has introduced a price cap to protect borrowers from excessive charges. These include:
- A cost cap of 0.8% per day on the amount borrowed – this includes both interest and all fees charged.
- A cap on default fees of £15 – after a default interest can still be charged, but it mustn’t exceed the original rate of 0.8% per day.
- A complete cost cap of 100% – you should never be asked to repay more than 100% of the money borrowed.
These limits apply to all credit agreements that have an interest rate of 100% or more and that are due to be fully or substantially repaid within a year.
Additional laws came into force in May 2017. They now must provide details of their products on a price comparison website authorised by the FCA and borrowers must be provided with a summary of the cost of borrowing.
Most loan companies will want you to repay the debt using a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA). This provides the company with permission to take any sum they wish from your bank at any time they want. They are supposed to inform you prior to debiting your bank account, but many of them fail to carry out this crucial step. The result is you don’t know the money has left your account until you see your next bank statement.
If you are struggling with important payments such as your rent, mortgage or utility bill, and the money is taken by Aqua Loans UK ahead of these bills, you could end up in serious trouble.
New regulations mean that if the CPA fails to be paid on two occasions, no further requests to your bank account are allowed.
There are also rules governing the amount of money they can take using a CPA. No longer are they allowed to take partial payments. If you don’t have enough money in your account to cover the full amount of the payment due, they can’t take anything. Only if you agree that they can take a partial payment, they are allowed to do so, but you must give your permission in advance for them to do so.
When they do make more than two requests or they take a partial payment without your explicit permission they are in breach of regulations and you should complain and put in a claim.
Loans and Credit Scores
If you’re going to take out a loan, it’s important for you to know the type of effect it’s going to have on your credit score.
When you opt for a loan, it gets logged within your credit file and is visible to see for anyone who performs a credit check on you.
Details of your monthly payments towards the loan are also logged within your credit file. Any late monthly payments you make are also logged within your credit report.
As you can probably imagine, having the mention of loans within your credit file can drastically decrease your credit score. As a result of this, you may start having difficulty securing credit facilities.
It’s also important for you to know that when you’re looking for a single loan, it’s important that you don’t apply to several lenders at once.
A “scattergun” approach towards applying to lenders can be very harmful to your credit rating. This is because when you apply to a lender, they perform a credit check that gets logged within your credit report. Having too many such credit checks within a short span of time will cause lenders to be apprehensive about giving you a loan.
Thus, compare different lenders and only apply to a single one that seems the most suitable for you.
As I mentioned earlier, a loan definitely will have a negative impact on your credit score. However, if you keep making your monthly repayments on time and in full, then this will get recorded within your credit file and your rating will start to increase steadily.
As long as you’re making your repayments on time and in full, by the time your loan ends, your credit score will be in great shape.
Can’t afford your next repayment?
If Aqua Loans UK has operated legitimately but you simply can’t afford to repay the loan, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself.
If you are paying them by standing order or direct debit, you should contact your bank and cancel these. Aqua Loans UK will no longer be able to collect payments automatically and you will retain control of your bank account. Your bank may advise you to inform Aqua Loans UK that you have done this, but you are under no legal obligation to do so; they will be unable to collect any money from you until you give them explicit permission to do so.
Of course, you will still owe them money so you must deal with that directly; while you might be tempted to do so, don’t hide your head in the sand. Your first approach should be to contact Aqua Loans UK and talk to them about your problems. They are obliged to treat you fairly, so you should be able to come to an agreement to reschedule your repayments.
By law, lenders must:
- Indicate where you can obtain free independent debt advice
- Hold off debt recovery for a reasonable period while you develop a repayment plan possibly using a debt advisor
- Giving you reasonable time to repay possibly freezing interest and additional charges.
How to write off your debt
It is possible to write off your debt entirely through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). This is a formal agreement to pay the debt collectors an amount you can afford as a one-off sum or as monthly payment.
You only qualify for the government IVA scheme if your debts are over £1,700 and you have more than one debt. Fill out a 30 second form to see if you qualify with my 4 question debt write off calculator.
Want to make a claim?
The Financial Ombudsman Service received 10,529 complaints about these types of loans in 2017 – this is just the tip of the iceberg as many would have been resolved without escalating to the Financial Ombudsman Service. So it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
If Aqua Loans UK has treated you unfairly, you may be entitled to a refund even if you have paid off the loan within the last six years. You can expect to be refunded all the interest you have paid on the loan along with any additional charges, plus 8% interest on any refunds – this adds up to £1000s for some readers.
I’ve had 100s of success stories from readers who have followed the simple templates in my guide.
Read the most popular posts
Below are some links to my most popular posts:
- Ways to Pay Back Your Loan Quickly
- Making Extra Loan Repayments – the Pros and Cons
- How to Reduce Your Monthly Loan Repayments
- Is a Temporary Repayment Plan A Good Idea?
More about Aqua Loans
Aqua Loans UK is a NewDay brand who are regulated by the financial conduct authority (FCA). The FCA are pretty strict about what a company can and can’t do, so it’s safe to say that they are legit.
Given that Aqua Loans UK are regulated by the FCA it’s safe to say that they’re not a scam. However should seriously question whether you will be borrowing at a ‘safe’ interest rate. How much interest you want to pay really depends on your circumstance, but genererally anything over 40% isn’t regarded as safe and may get you into a debt spiral if you can’t keep up the repayments.
Aqua doesn’t seem to lend out many loans and currently only lends to its credit card customers. Looking at review sites and forums, Aqua’s credit card product is hit or miss with many people reporting unexpected charges and bad customer service. Take the TrustPilot’s 7.9/10 review with a massive pinch of salt – lenders can influence these scores by asking for a review as soon as you’ve been accepted (when you’re happy with the service).
We’ve awarded Aqua Loans UK a 4.6/5. They’re safe enough to get money from, but you’re not going to be blown away by their customer service.
What does Aqua Loans UK Do?
Currently Aqua loans are only available to existing credit card customers and as such information is hard to come by. Reviews and forum posts reveal that some people have gotten loans of £1000 with a similar interest rate to their credit card.
What does the process look like?
Again the loans application is rather secretive as it is only available for some credit card customers. It’s save to say that the application will be very simple, similar to their credit card application, with an answer given in a few minutes.
Aqua Loan Reviews
Online reviews can give you a good feel for the company, but remember to always be sceptical. Other companies have been known to fake the reviews or only encourage happy customers to leave feedback.
“Can’t fault it. Easy to obtain with a poor credit score and the customer service has been excellent. App is also easy to use. Alot of people moaning about the apr% but if you make small purchases and pay the balance each month (basically what a credit builder card is designed for) you don’t get charged interest. I see some very annoying reviews stating AQUA target vulnerable people or mislead you into getting a card. If you can’t manage your credit that’s not the fault of a company. Ultimately YOU are responsible for your own transactions and need to take some accountability. Getting angry blaming a company is just a diversionary tactic to avoid paying what you owe. I was in debt a long time. It’s my fault I was bad with money, nobody else, people really need to get a grip. If you’re after a credit builder card then I would recommend these 100%. Started with £450 limit, goes up after 3 months. Obviously if your credit history is good there are far better deals out there but this product does what it is advertised to do, very well.”
Stay away from these scum bags. They pray on the weak! Awful lying customer service advisors and managers!
Aqua Loans Contact Details
Registration number: 7297722
2 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG
Reference No: 690292
Trading names: Aqua Start, Aqua Advance, Aqua First, Aqua Gold, Aqua Reward, Aqua Classic
Place of business: 2 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG
Data protection registration
Registration No: Z272680X
Data controller: NewDay Ltd
Address: 2 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG