Do you feel like you are being harassed by Virgin Loans UK about an outstanding loan you took out with them? Do you have loans you feel unable to pay? Are Virgin Loans UK threatening court action against you? Do you believe that the loan was unaffordable, and it should never have been offered to you in the first place? If these problems, or any others with Virgin Loans UK sound familiar, then this article is a must read to help you. 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.
Deal with your debt today and feel better tomorrow.
Who are Virgin Loans?
Virgin Money used to be registered loan provider in the UK. However, the company is no longer operating and is not registered as a loan provider anymore.
Are you trying to locate the Virgin Loans Login Page?
We find that many people end up on this page, when they are actually trying to locate the Virgin Loans Login page. If you have also went down the wrong track, we’re very glad we caught you on time. I’ve written a whole article below on the reasons why you shouldn’t pay Virgin Loans back.
Is it just too easy to borrow money these days?
It could be said that lenders are making it far too easy for borrowers to get access to funds. The internet is bursting at the seams with companies who are promising to advance you cash, which will land in your account in minutes, or to approve you for a loan of of thousands in seconds. They may even advertise the fact that they can advance you money instantly without undertaking any credit checks. Many lenders even offer loans to people with an extremely poor credit rating or who have a history of being unable to repay loans.
What causes debt problems and what the government is the government doing to protect borrowers?
When you consider the very ‘loose’ lending criteria, it is not particularly surprising that many people have found themselves facing escalating debt problems with these organisations. The situation today has vastly improved from where it was a few years ago. Prior to the new regulations being brought into force, the loan business was getting out of control, and it was dragging people along with it. At one stage, the loan market was over £2 billion, and this was a combination of irresponsible lending, together with extremely high interest rates.
Unfair practices were identified by the Financial Conduct Authority, and these resulted in massive fines being imposed on some of the biggest lenders in the business. These include Wonga, who received a fine of £220 million. The Money Shop and Quickquid also received massive fines and in some cases, these lenders ended up going bust, as the fines were just too high to be able to maintain their business. If the FCA, found that money had been lent to people that should not have received a loan in the first place, because of their “limited criteria”, the customers ended up being issued refunds – and quite rightly so. Thankfully, this harsh punishment worked, as following the three years from the regulations being brought into place, the number of loans issued dropped from 10 million to 1.8 million and the number of lenders also consequently fell from 240 to 60.
Are you due a refund? Read through the next section in which we look at these new rules in some detail. If Virgin 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
The Financial Conduct Authority had to introduce a price cap, which was designed to protect borrowers from facing excessive charges. These price caps comprised of:
- A cost cap of 0.8% per day on the value of the loan borrowed – this includes both interest and any fees which have been charged.
- A cap on default fees of £15 – after a default, lenders are still permitted to charge interest, as long as it does not exceed the original rate of 0.8% per day.
- A complete cost cap of 100% – you should not be asked to repay more than 100% of the money of loan you have borrowed.
These limits are relevant to all credit agreements which have an interest rate of 100% or more a year and that will either be fully or substantially repaid within a year.
There were also other regulations which came into force in May 2017. According to these regulations, lenders are permitted to provide details of their products on a price comparison website, which must be authorised by the FCA and in addition to this, borrowers must be offered a summary of the cost of borrowing.
If Virgin Loans UK are in breach of these regulations and they are attempting to charge you more than they are permitted to, your credit agreement will become unenforceable and this means they will not be able to enforce the debt.
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.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for ‘loan companies’ to do business when they are not actually permitted to do so. By law, only authorised businesses have the right to make certain credit agreements. This means that if Virgin Loans UK are not authorised, they will have no right to enforce repayments. In reality, you could just stop paying them and they won’t be able to do anything about it.
If you would like to check whether Virgin Loans UK is authorised to make such credit agreements, you should enter their name on this Interim Permission Consumer Credit Register search page. You may also want to try searching the financial services register here. If there is no valid up to date entry on any of these registers, you have the right to just stop paying them, and they will not have any legal right to enforce your debt.
There are some other strong indicators that Virgin Loans UK might not be operating in a legal way, and these include lack of information on the company website, information on the website which is either out of date or different from the information you find on the two directories, and another indicator is when there is no information about the APR.
Do you have a complaint to make against Virgin Loans UK?
If you feel that Virgin Loans UK have not followed the relevant regulations and they are treating you unfairly, you hold the right to make a formal complaint, if you wish, and if you fail to reach any agreement or they do not deal with your complaint within eight weeks, you have the right to escalate the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.
In order to make a formal complaint, you should get all the necessary evidence together to support your claim, including you details of any phone calls you have received which prove they have been hassling you. you can write to Virgin Loans UK in the first instance, heading your letter with the word ‘Complaint.’ The more detail you can provide, the more likely your complaint will be upheld. You should also state in the letter, how you want the matter to be resolved.
If Virgin Loans UK do not provide you with a satisfactory response, you have the right to take your complaint to the financial ombudsman. If you wish to take this step, you can contact them by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
If Virgin Loans UK are deemed to have treated you unfairly, you may be able to get a refund, even if your loan has been completely paid off the loan within the last six years. If this is the case, you may be refunded all the interest you have paid on the loan, together with any additional charges. You may also be entitled to receive 8% interest on the payments you have made.
If the loan you have taken out is deemed to have been unaffordable at the time you were offered it, you can request that it is taken off your credit record and, in which case, the balance may also be cancelled.
In the first instance, you can write to your lender stating your case and asking for compensation.
If there is no satisfactory response offered within 8 weeks, you may wish to follow it through with the Financial Ombudsman by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.
Do you understand the rules regarding Continuous Payment Authority?
In most cases, loan companies will want request that you repay your debt via a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA). When you sign up to a CPA, the loan company will have permission to take money from from your bank, whenever they wish until the debt is paid off. They should always inform debtors before doing this, but it is hardly surprising that so many of them fail to do this important part of the process. The end result is you may not have any idea that the money has left your account, until you next look at your bank account.
If you are already struggling with your essential payment commitments, such as your rent, mortgage or energy bills, and the money is suddenly taken from your account by Virgin Loans UK before these bills come out, you could find yourself facing serious problems, even putting your home at risk.
There are new regulations regarding the CPA which go a long way to helping support debtors. These regulations state that if the lenders attempts to take the payment on two occasions, and it still fails, they cannot make any further requests thereafter.
There are also rules which relate to the amount of money they can debit from your account using a CPA. They no longer have the right to take partial payments. If you don’t have sufficient funds in your account to cover the full balance of the payment due, they must refrain from taking any payment. They can only do so, if you have given them prior permission to take a partial payment.
In cases where the lender does make more than two requests, or they take a partial payment and you have not given them explicit permission to do so, they are breaching the regulations. In this case, you have the right to report them to the financial ombudsman, who you can reach on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.
I can’t afford to repay the loan, what next?
Virgin Loans UK may have operated perfectly legitimately, and you might have no issues with their response to you, but you might just not be in a position to pay the loan. If this is the case, there are some steps you can take:
If you are paying them by CPA, standing order or direct debit, you can contact your bank and ask them to cancel these. The result of this is that Virgin Loans UK will not be able to take any further payments automatically and you will have control of your bank account. In some cases, your bank may advise you to inform Virgin Loans UK that you have taken this step, but you do not have any legal obligation to do so. It is good to keep positive relations though, and you can achieve this by letting them know.
Of course, regardless of whether you cancel the automatic payment, you will still owe the money and you should deal with that directly. Do not be tempted just to ignore it, as it won’t just magically disappear and they will still try to pursue you for the debt. Your first approach should be to get in touch with Virgin Loans UK and advise them of your financial problems. They must always treat you fairly, and should be willing to develop a repayment plan that works for your budget and circumstances.
The law states that lenders must:
- Provide you with information on where to obtain free independent debt advice.
- Put a hold on debt recovery for a reasonable period of time, to give you a chance to develop a repayment plan, which may include using a debt advisor.
- Giving you ample time to make repayments, and freezing interest and additional charges where possible.
Don’t be tempted with a rollover
Virgin Loans UK may advise you to roll over the loan, but this is definitely not a good idea. When you roll the loan over, you end up being charged even more interest and additional charges, which can plunge you even deeper into debt. By law, you cannot roll the loan over more than twice.
Getting help with your debt problems
These are some of the organisations who can provide you with free debt advice:
Should you avoid loan companies?
We are all quite aware that loan companies receive a bad press. It could also be said that they offer a valuable service to those who really need it, by providing a credit line to those who can’t get credit elsewhere. Sadly, some companies put their profits ahead of everything else and they end up exploiting their customers as a result, and this is where the real harm is done. Of course, some sharks are still prevalent, the new regulations make it much safer to use lending companies. Despite this, there are many people who still get into debt.
If Virgin Loans UK are failing to adhere to the regulations, then you may decide not to pay them and they can’t do anything to enforce it. If you are just unable to afford to pay them, you should contact one of the organisations we have listed above, and they should be able to provide you with all the help and guidance you need.
If you can’t pay back your loan do check out my other article here.
John (Money Nerd)