Searching for a debt consolidation loan with no credit check? You’re not alone! Scores of people considering a debt consolidation loan with a poor credit rating have been looking for these loans.
In this guide, we ask if there are any debt consolidation loans without a credit check, and reveal some alternative options for people with an unsatisfactory credit score.
Debt consolidation in a nutshell
Debt consolidation is when you pay off multiple existing debts using new credit. For example, you might want to borrow a lump sum that is enough to pay off personal loans, store cards, credit cards and any other type of credit you may have. Instead of having to manage all of these smaller existing debts with different monthly repayments, you’ll now only have to make one monthly payment to pay back the new loan you took out.
There are different ways of achieving this. The two most common methods are using a consolidation loan or a balance transfer credit card. The latter is a consolidation method only suitable to people with credit card debts by transferring those balances to a new card. We’ve provided more details in this guide on clearing debts on your credit cards.
We explain the former in more detail below.
What is a debt consolidation loan?
An unsecured debt consolidation loan is one of the most common ways of accessing credit to pay off your current debts. It is a personal loan to consolidate debt from other lenders. You don’t necessarily need this type of loan to consolidate debts; you may be able to use generic personal loans for this purpose too – but it’s essential you check before applying. They are typically available to anyone over 18 who is a UK resident.
You can get a debt consolidation loan from banks and online lenders. Only apply to those that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. And remember that the representative APR may not be what you’re offered.
APR representative example explained
The representative APR example is a fair way for loan and credit card providers to advertise their product and interest rates fairly. The rate of the APR representative example is the rate that at least 51% of applicants received. When you apply for a personal loan, you may be subject to a higher rate if you have a poor credit history.
How much can I borrow?
Most debt consolidation loans allow you to borrow between £1,000 and £25,000. The maximum time you get to repay the full loan amount is typically five years. Yet, the terms of your loan and loan repayments will differ between providers.
What debts can I resolve with a consolidation loan?
A consolidation loan could be used to pay off a range of current debts and arrears, not limited to credit card debt, unsecured loans, catalogue debts and even household debts such as unpaid energy bills.
Is it a good idea to get a debt consolidation loan?
There is no way of saying 100% that consolidating debt is the right move for you. If you can reduce your monthly payments into just one monthly repayment then it should make managing your finances easier, which in turn safeguards you from accumulating more debt and damaging your credit file.
However, you must access the full loan amount needed to consolidate and it’s important to find a lower interest rate to save money on repayments. Without these then debt consolidation may not be a good idea.
It’s highly recommended to speak with a debt advice charity regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) first. They could identify a more beneficial solution based on your circumstances and credit score. Or they could support you in getting debt consolidation right.
Debt consolidation loans without a credit check
When you apply for a debt consolidation loan, it is almost certain that the lender will check your credit score. The FCA does not have a hard and fast rule to say they must do this, but they do say:
“The CONC 5.2.1R requirement is to make a reasonable assessment of creditworthiness on the basis of sufficient information, obtained from the borrower where appropriate and from a credit reference agency where necessary.”
If the lender didn’t check your score via a credit reference agency, they would be vulnerable to being penalised by the FCA for irresponsible lending. If you have been searching for a debt consolidation loan with no credit check and have yet to find one, this is probably the reason why.
Loan providers do not want to risk sanctions and potentially heavy fines by not checking your file. The FCA has a track record of coming down with a heavy fist on irresponsible lending techniques.
When lenders do look at your credit file after applying for credit, they complete a hard search. As opposed to a soft search, this means the lender flags your file so other lenders know you have applied for credit. In doing so it makes other lenders aware that you may be in financial trouble, especially if you apply for lots of credit in a short space, resulting in lots of hard searches and flags.
If you do manage to find lenders offering debt consolidation loans without checking your credit score, you should be cautious of them. There is a chance that they are not a legal lender. This is not the same as getting an application determination before a credit score is checked, which is offered by some lenders. Such a determination can give you an idea of the outcome of your application without leaving a hard search flag.
Will I qualify for a debt consolidation loan?
Experian is a reputable credit reference agency in the UK and they state that debt consolidation loans usually require a “good” or “excellent” credit score. However, you can still access debt consolidation loans with bad credit history, but you may be offered a higher rate of interest. This is one of many alternate options we discuss in detail further below.
The FCA allows each lender to determine how they use the information from your credit file. Whereas one lender could reject you, another might not. So there is no stringent credit score you require.
Before you apply you should look to improve your credit score by checking your file for errors. If you do spot a mistake on your record, you should ask the creditor that put it there to remove it. If they are unwilling, you can ask the credit reference agency to remove it for you. This will quickly improve your credit report and improve your chances of securing credit to consolidate.
Your alternative options
Just because you are unlikely to find a debt consolidation loan without a credit check doesn’t mean you can’t consolidate your debts or get out of debt another way. We’ve put together some alternative options you may be able to use.
- Debt consolidation loans for bad credit
Debt consolidation loans for bad credit are advertised widely online. You won’t find these with the big high-street banks, but they are advertised with some legitimate online loan providers. A debt consolidation loan with bad credit is advertised as easier to be approved for. The downside to this is that you are a greater lending risk and therefore the interest rate you’re offered is likely to be higher.
Some lenders that offer bad credit debt consolidation loans are:
- Consolidation Express
- Ocean Finance
- Norton Finance
- Likely Loans
- Lending Works
- Solution Loans
These providers may not have the best interest rates. They are listed to show that some advertise consolidation credit for people with a low credit rating.
- Debt consolidation loans with a guarantor
An unsecured debt consolidation loan with a guarantor is for people who cannot get approved for a debt consolidation loan on their own because they have a significantly bad credit history. Or you could decide to go down this route instead of the bad credit loan lenders above to try and get a better interest rate on the loan repayments.
The guarantor becomes responsible for the debtor to pay back the loan on time and in full. If the credit is not repaid as agreed, the guarantor becomes responsible for repaying as well. Most guarantors are partners, parents or extended family. The guarantor’s credit history may be checked as well before approval, or they may need to own a home in the UK and be of a certain age.
Here are some options if you are considering applying for a debt consolidation guarantor loan:
- Amigo Loans
- TFS Loans
- Buddy Loans
Again, the interest rates offered by the providers above may not be the best on the market. They are just examples of where you can find guarantor loans.
- Debt Management Plan
A Debt Management Plan is an informal debt solution that is regarded as very similar to debt consolidation without actually consolidating your debts. The bonus with this method is you don’t have to apply for any more credit, and you therefore don’t have your credit history checked.
So, how does it work?
In England and Wales, you can ask existing creditors to agree to a plan for you to make one monthly repayment which is proportionally split between everyone you owe. For example, one lender may receive a bigger cut from your monthly repayments because you owe that lender more than you owe another one.
This is similar to debt consolidation because you now only have to make a single monthly payment rather than juggle all creditors at different times of the month. And you don’t have to worry if you have poor credit because it’s not checked.
To organise a DMP you can arrange it yourself, pay for financial services or get an equivalent service from a debt charity. There’s an equivalent to this in Scotland known as a DAS.
- Secured loan
Secured loans use your assets as collateral in the event of failure to repay the secured loan. They depend less on your credit score compared to unsecured loans because the risk is reduced by the asset the creditor can claim from you.
Secured loans to consolidate debt are not as common, but not impossible. They normally come in the form of remortgaging and second charge property loans. It’s important to avoid any illegal loan sharks offering secured credit.
- Other debt solution
If none of the above options are available to you then there will be other ways to get out of debt. A debt advice charity could help assess your options based on your real personal finances. For example, you may be able to write off all of your debt with a Debt Relief Order (DRO) or make significant debts affordable with an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).
There are some exceptional debt advice charities registered in England, Wales and Scotland such as StepChange, National Debtline and Citizens Advice can help too. In fact, it is best to speak with these people before making any decisions about how to get out of debt. Getting advice early can save you money and time.
Will a debt consolidation loan affect your credit score?
If you apply for a single loan to consolidate debts then this will not negatively affect your credit score. If you apply for multiple together or fail to meet your monthly payments, your score will be affected.
Applying for a debt consolidation loan causes the loan provider to conduct a search of your credit file. The type of search is known as a hard search because the lender will also flag that they have been looking. This is to let other loan providers know that you have made an application. If you apply for lots of credit in a short period then multiple hard search flags will be applied, signalling to other providers that you could be in financial difficulty and to be cautious before agreeing to credit.
The only other way that debt consolidation can harm your credit file is if you do not keep up with repayments. You could even be taken to court and have to face bailiffs if no repayments are made.
More debt consolidation loan FAQs answered!
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