Halifax Bank Loan
The Halifax Bank loan wins on two counts: firstly homeowners get loan deals that are closer in rate to mortgages; even if you were never a Halifax customer you can benefit from 6.0% and similar deals. Secondly there are plenty of special offers and product benefits that make Halifax a good first call against which to measure the competition.
Halifax Bank Loan examples (correct at publication date, uninsured):
|£3000 across 2 years
|£5000 across 5 years
|£10000 across 7 years
When looking for a bank loan, you need to base your final decision not on just interest rates, but also on whether any additional benefits are material to your purchase. Nowhere is this more true than with the Halifax, which has sufficient products for you to need make some serious choices. Find the right Halifax product for you (using the helpful "Halifax Bank Loan selector", and then start your comparison with other providers' products. There's a good reason for the breadth of choice- Halifax, like Abbey National, is a building society that became a bank; they're used to lending money. Newer upstarts in the market (like Direct Line or Egg for example) haven't got the experience to offer so many products; and whilst sometimes all you'll be looking for is a low rate, sometimes benefits count for more.
Just to clarify- an oversimplification, but not a bad summary- lenders fall into three broad categories. There are banks who generally offer a pretty miserable deal. There are ex-building societies like Halifax who generally offer middling interest rates, but a broad enough range to offer specialist products which are best suited to your needs. And then there are new players, the direct lenders and supermarkets, who concentrate on a low rate only. The Halifax Bank loan is right in the middle there.
Here are some of the innovative products on offer. If you require debt consolidation, you can obtain a particularly low (although unstated on-site) interest rate. For car buyers, the standard Halifax Bank Loan includes an RAC discount; or there's also a car loan option which weights payments towards the end of the loan period thus allowing you to borrow more. The RAC discount alone could be worth up to £30, which could be equal to several months interest differential against other loan providers.
Where Halifax really goes to town is in secured lending- this is a loan based on having the funds guaranteed against your house. (By the way, technically, you could secure against anything e.g. jewellery, but a house is the classic case). Homeowners get star treatment- even if you are not a Halifax mortgage holder, a rate of as low as 5.9% is available on secured loans- you probably know someone who pays more than that for their mortgage itself! And you can borrow up to 97% of the value of your home; that's again is more than many mortgages allow; not bad for doing home improvements. As ever, though, don't get carried away- we are in a wavering housing market, and nobody should assume house prices will remain high. Don't borrow more than you can afford to lose against your property- but that said, if you do want to borrow, Halifax should be first on your phone list.