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Marks and Spencer Money Loans

Are Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK contacting you about an outstanding loan you have? Are you unable to pay the loan, and maybe others? Are they saying they may take you to court? Did they lend you money, you couldn’t afford to repay? If you are facing issues like this with Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK, this article should help you understand what to do and how to deal with them. You might be able to cancel your loan and even obtain a refund.

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.

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Marks and Spencer Money Loans Debt

Who are Marks and Spencer bank?

Marks and Spencer Bank is trading under Marks and Spencer, offering personal loans of up to £25,000 with up to 84 months to pay. The company offers customers benefits such as no set-up fees and the option to defer repayments for three months. M&S Bank also offers other financial products such as credit cards and insurance.

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Are loan companies lending to the wrong people?

Many loan companies make it seem that borrowing is a great idea, regardless of your circumstances. They use phrases like ‘get a loan in seconds’, and ‘loans for very bad credit’, and these often attract people who really can’t afford the loan in the first place. In short, they are lending to people who are in urgent need of funds, but probably won’t be able to repay the loans. They may even have trouble paying back previous loans and are being encouraged to take out more debt.

Why do people end up in debt?

With all the attractive advertising and enticing offers, is it any wonder that people end up in debt? Not really! But thankfully, the situation has improved over the last few years, due to the introduction of new regulations. These were brought in as a result of the way the loan industry was heading, not only were lenders getting out of control, so were the debts people were racking up. The loan market was once worth over £2 billion, and this was all down to the irresponsible way loan companies were lending, together with the affordably high interest rates.

The Financial Conduct Authority did some research, and they found that many lending companies had issued loans that customers could not afford to pay back. They had limited criteria, which meant that people were taking out loans, with no means to pay them, and as a result, plunging themselves even deeper into debt. The result of this was that many customers received refunds, and big lenders, including Wonga and The Money Shop, received huge fines. Wonga were fined £220 million, and unsurprisingly, it put them out of business. This intervention has paid off though, as the number of loans issued dropped from 10 million to 1.8 million and the number of lenders has also fallen.

Are you due a refund? Read through the next section in which we look at these new rules in some detail. If Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK is in breach YOU MAY BE DUE A REFUND EVEN IF YOU HAVE PAID OFF THE LOAN.

Loan interest and charges cap

There is not a price cap which has been introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority and it is designed to protect borrowers against receiving excessive charges on their loan. This is some information on what you need to know about these new interest and loan caps:

  • 0.8% cost cap of the amount borrowed has been introduced, this includes the interest and fees.
  • £15 default fees cap – a default interest may be charged but it should not be higher than the 0.8% original rate per day.
  • 100% complete cost cap – you should not pay over 100% of the money you have borrowed.

The cost caps apply to credit agreements with an interest rate of 100% or more per year and that will be either fully or substantially repaid within a year.

There were other regulations which came into force in May 2017. This means that lenders must provide information on their products on a price comparison website which is authorised by the FCA and borrowers should always be provided with a summary of the cost of borrowing.

If you feel that Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK have been in breach of these regulations and they are trying to charge you more than you believe you should be paying, your credit agreement with them will become unenforceable and they will not have any right to try and make you pay it back.

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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.

Is Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK an authorised company?

Although it might not be widely publicised, there are many companies who are not authorised to chase borrowers for money. According to the law, only authorised businesses are permitted to enforce credit agreements. If you find that Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK is one of them, you can stop paying them and they won’t be able to do anything about it.

If you want to check whether Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK are authorised, you can do this by entering their name on the Interim Permission Consumer Credit Register search page and/or search the financial services register here. If you don’t see a valid, up to date entry on either of these registers, you will be within your rights just to stop paying the debt. In this case, they cannot enforce it.

There are other indicators that suggest that Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK are not operating legally, and this includes a lack of information on the website, information that is out of date and an APR which is not visible on the website.

Do you want to make a complaint about Marks and Spencer Money Loans

If you are not happy with the way Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK have treated you, and you feel that they have been in breach of the regulations, you have the right to make a formal complaint. If they do not respond to you, or you feel that the response is not what you wanted, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman.

In order to make a complaint, you will need to get as much evidence together as possible to support it. It is not enough just to make the complaint, without anything to back it up. Your evidence may include any emails you have received from Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK, as well as letters, or even phone calls or text messages. You should also tell them what you want them to do to support your complaint.

If Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK do not provide you with a conclusion that you are satisfied with, you can make a complaint to the financial ombudsman. You can contact them by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.

If Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK are found to have been treating you unfairly, you may receive a refund, even if the loan has been completely paid off. If this is the case, you may get any interest you have paid back, as well as other additional charges. It is worth making a complaint, if you have concerns about the way you have been treated by the company.

It may be the case that the loan has been unaffordable, and should never have been given to you in the first place. If this is the situation, you may be able to get the balance of the loan cancelled, and it removed from your credit report.

Write to your lender in the first place, with details about your case and your request for compensation.

If there is no satisfactory response to your request within 8 weeks, you can follow up with the Financial Ombudsman on phone by calling 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.

Continuous Payment Authority and what it means

You may be asked to repay the debt using a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA), which allows the company to take money whenever they wish from your bank account. They should inform anyone before they take the money, but unfortunately, they do not always do this. When they don’t inform you of the CPA, it means that you could even be left without any money after being paid, as they may take a large sum of money from your account when you least expect it.

If the money is taken out of your account just before a rent or mortgage payment, your home could even end up being put at risk. Thankfully though, there are now new regulations which are there to support borrowers, and tighter restrictions on the CPA.

The new CPA regulations mean that if the payment fails on two occasions, the lender cannot try to take any further payments. If they do this, they are breaking the legislation.

There are rules which mean that lenders cannot take partial payments anymore. If the full amount is not in your account to cover the payment, they cannot take anything at all. There are exceptions if you have agreed that the lender can take partial payments to cover it. If they do not follow the legislation regarding CPA, you have the right to make a complaint.

If they have broken the rules on CPA and taken a partial payment or attempting the debit on more than two occasions, they are breaching the regulations. In this case, you may want to report them to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.

What if you can’t pay the loan back?

If Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK have following the legislation, but you just have no means to repay the loan, these are some steps you can take if you have already set up a standing order, direct debit, or if the lender has a CPA set up.

You can contact your bank and ask them to cancel these, and this means that Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK will not be able to take any further payments. However, it is good practice to inform them about your intentions to cancel the payments and your reasons for taking these steps. You don’t have any legal obligation to contact them, but it will help ensure they don’t keep chasing you for the money.

In doing this, it doesn’t mean that the loan just doesn’t exist anymore, you are still liable for it, and will need to make an arrangement to pay it back. If you bury your head, it won’t make the loan suddenly disappear. Contact Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK and let them know what your financial situation is and what they can do to help. They should be able to make arrangements for repayment, that will suit your needs and budget.

According to the law, lenders have a responsibility to:

  • Provide you with information on where to obtain free independent debt advice
  • Help develop a suitable repayment plan, and hold any recovery until this is arranged.
  • Give you time to pay back the loan, and freeze interest wherever necessary.

Don’t be tempted with a rollover

Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK may advise you to roll the loan over to the next month, but this is not a good idea. The reason it is not a good idea is that when you roll it over, it just accumulates more interest and charges. This means that the debt you are already in, just continues to grow. The law stipulates that loans cannot be rolled over more than twice. It is much better to try and set up a repayment plan to pay off your debt.

How to get help with your debt

There are organisations out there who can help you get free of your debt, including:

  • Citizens Advice provide help and advice on a range of personal matters, including debt advice.
  • StepChange Debt Charity can offer you free advice on getting help with your debt and sorting out your finances
  • National Debtline a well known organisation who help support people in getting out of debt, and provide free and impartial advice.

Can you trust loan companies?

It is always important to be cautious when you are borrowing money from a loan company, but despite the bad press they get, some offer a valuable service to people who would otherwise struggle to get access to credit. Although some will exploit customers, others will be more regulated in their approach, and it is worth checking reviews etc, to ensure the loan company can be trusted. The new regulations have made a big difference though, and it is now much safer to borrow money than it once was. People still get into debt, but the problem is not quite as bad as it has been.

If you have found that Marks and Spencer Money Loans UK have been in breach of the regulations, then you may find that the debt is unenforceable. If you don’t have the means to pay back the debt, you should contact one of the organisations above, who offer a free debt advicse service. They are in a position to provide you with free help and guidance.

If you can’t pay back your loan do check out my other article here.

Good luck!

References

CONC 2.1 Application

CONC 5.2A Creditworthiness assessment

CONC 13.1 Application

Read More…

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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