You might have used Likely Loans to get a loan when life threw you lemons. You might even be considering them right now. The lender was a popular provider in the past, but they've recently changed their name to Finio Loans. So is Finio Loans - aka Likely Loans - worth it as a financial solution to life's little problems? And is it available if you have a bad credit rating?
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Who are Likely Loans?
Likely Loans was part of Oakbrook Finance Limited. They were a direct lender that started operating in 2014. Likely Loans began as a service for borrowers with a less-than-perfect credit report. They offered a flexible approach to personal loans with more approachable lending criteria, looking at more than past financial behaviour when deciding whether to lend.
In September 2022, they stopped operating under the Likely Loans name and launched a new product, Finio Loans, which now replaces it. The lender is also under the Oakbrook Finance Group.
Finio Loans operates much like Likely Loans, providing flexible options to borrowers. The main draw of their loans has been this flexibility.
But if you don't have cracks in your credit history, Finio Loans could end up being a more expensive option. You could be better off with an average high-street lender.
What types of loans are available with Finio Loans?
Finio Loans offers a range of unsecured personal loans. The loans are available for home improvements, car purchases, or debt consolidation.
The key figures to know are:
- You can take out a loan between £500 and £5,000.
- APR from 20% to a maximum of 69.9%.
- The repayment period is between 12 to 36 months.
The loans are unsecured, which means you don't need to put up your home as collateral on the debt. Many traditional loans require collateral or other forms of guarantee to reduce the risk for the lender if you don't make the repayments.
You still need to be aware missing payments could take you to court. Finio Loans could pass your details to a debt recovery agency, so paying the loan back is vital.
Who qualifies for a loan from Finio Loans?
Finio Loans (like its predecessor Likely Loans) may be an option if you have poor credit or other lenders have turned you down. You need to meet the following criteria to qualify for a loan with Finio Loans:
- Be a UK citizen.
- Be aged 18 or over.
- Have a UK bank or building society account.
- Have sufficient income to service the loan (your pension counts as regular income).
You can use the online eligibility checker to understand if you can get pre-approved for a loan. The check won't be visible to other lenders or on your credit file.
If you have been declared bankrupt in the past 12 months, Finio Loans will not approve your loan application.
What is the cost of a Finio loan?
The representative APR of 59.9% is relatively high but not the most expensive on the market.
Finio Loans offers a representative example on their website for a person borrowing £2,000 over 24 months at 39.9% APR and an interest rate of 39.9% p.a. (fixed). In this scenario, your monthly repayments would sit at £116.07, and the total amount you would pay back would be £2,785.68.
It's worth noting that the maximum APR would make the interest payments substantially higher.
Calculating the cost based on the loan amount, the repayment schedule you're comfortable with, and the offered APR is always important. Remember that missing payments will always add to the cost of a loan!
How easy is it to apply for a Finio loan?
Applying for a Finio Loans loan is straightforward. You can do it online, and will need your bank details and proof of identity to get through the process. You can use your passport or driver’s license.
The steps of the online application look like this:
- Go to the Finio Loans website and fill out the application form.
- If they ask for proof of identity, upload your passport or driver's license.
- The application is then processed (it can take until the next working day), and you'll receive an answer.
- If approved, you can then review the contract terms, sign it, and receive the money in your bank account within a few hours.
It's vital to know that pre-approval does not 100% guarantee approval of your loan application. The lender trusts you to provide accurate information to them. Finio Loans can deny your application if you lied or provided incorrect information.
You can still access the Likely Loans website if you have an existing loan. Your online account has information about your loan and repayments, so contact Likely Loans and have your reference number on hand for issues with an existing loan. To top up that account, you must do so with Finio Loans.
The pros and cons of Finio Loans
Finio Loans offer a few advantages that are worth keeping in mind. A loan with the lender has the following benefits:
- You might get a loan even with a poor credit score.
- The application process is straightforward and fast.
- You can manage your loan through a dedicated hub.
- The FCA regulates the loans.
But as with many things in the world of finance, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind. Depending on your circumstances, the following could be considered cons:
- A relatively high APR makes you pay a significant amount in interest.
- The credit broker online offers loans up to £5,000.
- They only offer short-term loans, with a maximum loan term of three years, limiting your options to spread the repayments.
Finio Loans & Likely Loans reviews: What do customers say?
A glance at the ratings at the independent customer review site Trustpilot shows a highly positive score. They currently score 4.8 out of 5.0 stars based on over 3,000 reviews. 92% of reviewers say the service is ‘excellent'.
Most of the positive reviews are about the quick service. The application process is considered easy. Approval can take just a few hours. People also praise the lender because it caters to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit scores.
The poor reviews are mainly about a lack of proper communication or turning applicants down. These circumstances are always a two-sided story. So, it is hard to know whether the company did its duty as a responsible lender or if something else was happening.
Even its predecessor had quite a favourable rating. Likely Loans scored 4.2 out of 5.0 stars based on over 1,000 reviews. 74% of reviewers said the company's service is 'excellent'.
Are Finio Loans a good financial choice?
Life can throw all sorts of curveballs your way at times. Budgeting and saving are essential, but sometimes a loan is the only - and best - option.
Fino Loans is a lender with a solid reputation and many happy customers. They offer loans for people who might struggle to get a traditional loan. Their process is simple and fast. The lender is not the cheapest option out there. Like with any loan, creating a repayment plan you can follow through is vital. You could pay even more interest if you struggle to make the payments.
Finding the right lender always depends on your circumstances. You must consider how much you want to borrow, how much and how fast you can repay, and your credit score.