Abbey National Loan
An Abbey National loan gets you a competitive rate, certainly compared to other banks, and a fast decision for most customers. Excellent knowledge base if you're a nervous or first time borrower.
Abbey National loan examples (correct at publication date, uninsured):
|£3000 across 2 years
|£5000 across 5 years
|£10000 across 7 years
The Abbey National loan service deserves credit for clarity and plain English- among other things here you'll find the best guide out there to credit scoring; and all information is available in multiple formats for customers with disabilities.
If you're looking for a large chunk of money, the secured Abbey National loan is only available to existing Abbey National Mortgage holders; you'll get a better reception from several other companies who will happily lend to you. However, the unsecured loans are of greater interest: they are at better rates than any of the other banks (remember Abbey used to be a building society), and they offer a very respectable deal. The unsecured Abbey National loan is available from £1,000 to £20,000 and an over-the-phone decision is usually available in minutes. The Abbey National loan is the only big-5 bank loan which compares well with the supermarkets and direct lenders, and as with most products, the best rate is reserved for online applicants.
Abbey performs best in the very middle ground- between £5,000 and £10,000 and across 5 years or so. That would seem to be ideal for buying e.g. a car, a boat, or home improvements (although for decorating, why not see if your mortgage provider can assist).
As with many institutions, an assessment of your monthly outgoings will form part of the credit assessment. Admittedly, if you're worried about your credit status, Abbey might not be the best place to start anyway, but, listing your outgoings is a worthwhile exercise in prudence anyway, and as part of their organised approach, they also offer an excellent budget planner, which is worth printing out even if you plan to go elsewhere.