Do you feel harassed by Cooperative Loans UK about an outstanding loan? Are they chasing you about loans you are unable to repay? Are Cooperative Loans UK threatening to take you to court? Was the loan unaffordable and not something you should have been offered in the first place? If you are experience issues like this or other problems with Cooperative Loans UK, you may find this article extremely useful. You might be able to cancel your loan and even obtain a refund.
Who are Cooperative Loans?
Founded more than 145 years ago, Co-Operative Bank offers both personal and business loans. The company believes in standing up for community causes and often invest in campaigns that support initiatives such as human rights and climate change. Co-Operative Bank currently has around half a million customers throughout the UK and describes itself as an ethical bank.
Were you looking for Cooperative Loans Login Page?
Were you actually looking for the Cooperative Loans Login page, but you’ve landed here instead? We’re glad we caught you before you disappeared! Have a look at this article on why you shouldn’t pay Cooperative Loans back.
Is it too easy to take out loans these days?
Many lenders are making it too easy to borrow money, and this is causing borrowers to end up in debt. With the internet full of enticing statements, such as ‘get a loan in just seconds’, ‘money in your bank account in minutes’ and so on, it is no wonder that those in vulnerable situations are finding it difficult to resist. Even those who have bad credit are being offered loans, which is just making their situation worse.
What causes debt problems and what the government is doing to help the situation
With lenders offering money to those who clearly can’t afford it, it is no wonder that so many people are in debt these days. Although the situation is still bad, it was a lot worse years ago, and so much so, that the government had to step in. The loan market toppled £2 billion at one stage, as a result of high interest rates, and loans being offered to those who couldn’t afford to pay it back.
The Financial Conduct Authority decided to take action, and this resulted in a range of fines being issued to those who were clearly involved in irresponsible lending. One of the most well known loan companies, Wonga, ended up with a staggering fine of £220 million. Some of the loans were so high that they put the lenders out of business. Customers also received a refund if “limited criteria” was used. The harsh treatment of irresponsible lenders worked though, and the number of loans issued has fallen drastically since fines were introduced. The number of lenders has also reduced, with many going out of business.
Are you due a refund? Read through the next section in which we look at these new rules in some detail. If Cooperative Loans UK is in breach YOU MAY BE DUE A REFUND EVEN IF YOU HAVE PAID OFF THE LOAN.
Government cap on loan interest and other charges
There is now a price cap which has been introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority to protect borrowers from facing excessive interest and charges. These include:
- A cost cap of 0.8% per day on the value of the loan borrowed – this includes a combination of both interest and all fees charged.
- A cap on default fees of £15 – interest may still be charged after a default, but it must not be more than the original rate of 0.8% per day.
- A complete cost cap of 100% – lenders should not ask borrowers to pay more than 100% of the money borrowed.
These limits are relevant to all credit agreements with an interest rate of 100% or more a year and that are going to be fully or substantially repaid within a year.
There are other regulations which came into force in May 2017. According to these new regulations, lenders must give details of their products on a price comparison website, which must be authorised by the FCA and borrowers should always be given a summary of the cost of borrowing.
If you feel that Cooperative Loans UK is breaching these regulations and are attempting to charge you more than are permitted to, your credit agreement with them would become unenforceable and they will not have the right to make you repay the loan.
Is Cooperative Loans UK authorised to make credit agreements?
There are many companies out there who are not authorised to make credit agreements, but they try to do so anyway. Authorised businesses are the only ones who are legally allowed to make credit agreements. If you are unsure whether Cooperative Loans UK are authorised, there are some things to do to check their status.
You can check whether Cooperative Loans UK is authorised by entering their name on the Interim Permission Consumer Credit Register search page. If there is up to date entry, they may not be authorised. You can also take a look at the financial services register to find out the status. If there is no valid entry here either, you can stop paying the debt, and there is nothing they can do. They will not be able to enforce it.
Other signs that Cooperative Loans UK might not be operating legally include a lack of detail on their website. Most legitimate companies will have detail on their website which is up-to-date. If the company appears on the directories but the information is different, or if you can’t find an APR on the website, these are signs that they may not be authorised to take payments from you.
What if you need to complain about Cooperative Loans UK?
If you feel that Cooperative Loans UK have been acting in a way which goes against the regulations, or if you feel that they are generally treating you unfairly, you may wish to make a formal complaint. If you make a complaint and the dispute is not resolved or they fail to deal with the complaint within eight weeks, you may wish to escalate the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.
If you wish to make a complaint, you should get evidence together to support it, including a list of your phone calls (if they have been excessive), and any texts/emails or letters you have received from Cooperative Loans UK. The more evidence you have the better, as this will give you a better case for making your complaint. You can write to Cooperative Loans UK via letter, with the word Complaint at the top. It is always better to make your complaint in writing, rather than over the phone. You can also request ways in which you want it to be dealt with, such as compensation.
If Cooperative Loans UK fails do not provide you with a conclusion you are happy with, you can escalate the complaint to the financial ombudsman. The best way of reaching the Financial Ombudsman is by by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.
If the Financial Ombudsman find that Cooperative Loans UK have treated you unfairly, you might be able to get a refund even if the loan was paid off within the last six years. If this is the case, you may be able to get a refund on all the interest you have paid on the loan as well as any additional charges you have accrued. You may also be entitled to receive 8% interest on these payments.
If it is found that the loan was unaffordable, you may be able to get it taken off your credit record, and in this case, the outstanding balance may be cancelled too.
You can write to your lender in this first instance, stating your case, and requesting compensation.
If you do not get a satisfactory response within 8 weeks, you should follow up with the Financial Ombudsman by calling 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.
Continuous Payment Authority – what you need to know
Loan companies often request that the debt is paid using a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA), although you may not realise this. With a CPA, the lending company have the right to take money from your account, anytime they wish and they can do this without warning, and often do. They should do the right thing and inform you before debiting your bank account, but there are many lenders who miss out this important step. The result of this can be that you are left without money in your bank account. You may even have payments taken at the worst possible time, like when you have a bill payment due.
If you are already struggling to make your essential payments such as your rent, mortgage or your utility bills, and you find that Cooperative Loans UK have taken money from your account before these bills come out, you could end up facing serious trouble, which in the worst case scenario, could even put your house at risk.
Thankfully, there are new regulations which have been introduced. These new regulations mean that if the CPA fails twice, the company will not be able to make any further requests to debit the money.
There are also rules regarding the amount of money the lender can take from your account using a CPA. They are also not allowed to take any partial payments. If there is not enough funds in your account to take care of the full amount of the payment which is due, they are not permitted to take anything. You can agree with them to take partial payments if you desire, in which case they are permitted to do so. Otherwise, they cannot take partial payments.
If you have found that they have made two requests or that they have taken partial payment when you have not given them permission to do so, they are breaching the regulations. If this is the case, you may report them to the financial ombudsman, who you can reach on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.
What to do when you can’t afford to make payments?
If Cooperative Loans UK has operated in a legitimate way, but you are not able to make the payments, there are some things you can do, if you have already set up a CPA, direct debit or standing order.
If you already have a CPA, standing order or direct debit set up with your bank, you should contact them and cancel these. If you do cancel these, Cooperative Loans UK will not have the right to take any payments from you automatically, and you will have better control over your bank account. It is likely that your bank will advise you to inform Cooperative Loans UK that you cancelled the payments, but you do not have a legal obligation to do this. This means that they will not be able to collect any money from you again, until you give them explicit permission to do so.
You should not think that this is the end of the debt though. Just because you cancelled the payment, the debt doesn’t automatically disappear. You should speak to Cooperative Loans UK and discuss your financial situation with them. They must treat you fairly and schedule repayments which suit your circumstances. If they are unable to do this, you can make a complaint as they are treating you unfairly.
The law states that lenders must:
- Provide you with information on where to obtain free independent debt advice
- Hold off debt recovery for a period of time to give you time to develop a repayment plan, which may include using a debt advisor
- Give you reasonable time to make repayments, possibly freezing interest and additional charges.
Should you roll the loan over?
Cooperative Loans UK may suggest that you roll over the loan, but this is definitely not a good idea. The reason for this is that you will be charged more interest and additional charges, which will plunge you even deeper into debt. If you decide to roll the loan over, you may not do this more than twice.
Getting debt help
There are a range of organisations that provide free independent advice on debt. Some of these include:
Should you trust loan sharks?
We often hear about loan companies and their poor tactics, but it’s not all bad – in some cases. There are loan companies who offer a valuable service, especially to those who can’t gain access to credit elsewhere. As long as they don’t exploit their customers, loan companies can offer a service which is much needed by many. There are, of course, loan sharks out there who do not act in the right manner, but the new regulations make the situation much safer. People still face debt problems though.
If Cooperative Loans UK are not following the regulations, you may not need to pay them as the debt will become unenforceable. If you are unable to afford to pay back the loan, you can contact one of the organisations listed above and they will be able to provide free, helpful information.
If you can’t pay back your loan do check out my other article here.
John (Money Nerd)