I've found myself stuck in a quandary. I put a deposit down on a car and I'm trying to obtain a personal loan based on this. The problem is that I'm finding that despite passing all initial checks with several loan companies, I'm either being offered a loan at a considerably higher interest rate than the one that was advertised, or else I'm just refused.

My issue is that I don't really understand why this is happening. I checked my credit score with Xperian and it's perfect (999). The only way as far as I can tell if I'm going to be offered a loan at the rate advertised is by actually applying, and this then adds a loan search to my credit rating. So I'm wary of applying for too many loans at once.

This is being compounded by the fact that it's taking a couple of days to actually get an answer from the banks.

How do I shop around to get the best interest rate possible without this shopping around making it more difficult to get a loan?

A good example of this problem is one loan I applied for; the headline rate was 4.5%. After I'd done all the form filling and given my consent for a credit check to be performed, it came back with an interest rate of 10.5%!

I then tried again, with the same company but for a lower amount over a shorter period of time (planning on using savings to fund the shortfall) after completing the same process again and (again) giving my consent for a credit score to be obtained. I was then told that they would contact me with a rate in 48 hours! That was 3 days ago. I had a phone call yesterday asking which loan I wanted. I said the shorter one, but they have yet to get back to me. I've subsequently read that only about 51% of people get offered the headline rate. So how do I know if I'm in the 51% or the 49%?

I applied with 2 other companies. One refused me, and one said they would get back to me in 72 hours. they've since come back stating:

Thank you for your application. We’ve referred your application to our underwriters who will contact you with a decision, by e-mail within 3-5 working days.

There are other lenders offering good rates—including a bank I bank with—but I don't know if I should apply for these, or wait?

BTW I've read this question. But it doesn't seem to relate to me, and I also don't think the FICO score (whatever that is) is relevant in my country.

  • Is there any reason you didn't talk to your own bank in the first place? Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 14:26
  • Well, I bank with two banks. So the one above is one of the banks I bank with. The loan's above are (on the face of it) a better interest rate than the one I may apply for(from the other bank I bank with). @ChrisW.Rea
    – user24734
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 14:45
  • A credit score of 999 is not a FICO score, so we have no idea how 999 is calculated. In the USA (I don't know about UK), you don't get dinged on your credit score by applying for different car loans in a short period of time. Credit bureaus will combine loan inquiries between 14 to 45 days depending on the credit bureau... In other words, if you apply for multiple loans within 14-45 days of each other, it will count as one hard pull credit check. Not sure how the UK operates in this respect.
    – Sun
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 19:09
  • Not sure I've met anyone with perfect credit rating... Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 22:58
  • Well according to Xperian and Noodle I do!
    – user24734
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


Before taking out a personal loan have a peruse

I'm either being offered a loan at a considerably higher interest rate than the one that was advertised or that I'm just refused

That should point out to you that Experian score isn't accurate or something is amiss. Check your credit report carefully and see for any discrepancies. Other option is check with other credit rating agencies. Check on how to do it here.

How do I shop around to get the best interest rate possible without this shopping around making it more difficult to get a loan?

Check comparethemarket, moneysupermarket, confused.com for a better outlook of how much you can get and primarily to compare the deals available to you. Whether the bank/agency decides to loan you the money is a different matter.

So how do I know if I'm in the 51% or the 49%?

Not possible to know for sure, but can take an educated guess after checking your credit report(s).

There are other lenders offering good rates (including a bank I bank with) but I don't know if I should apply for these or wait?

Don't apply willy nilly everywhere.

From Experian's website

If you are shopping around for the best deal, you should ask for a quotation, rather than applying for credit. Asking for a quotation should not affect your chances of getting credit in the future. For most types of credit, lenders do not have to search your credit report to give you a quotation. If the cost of the credit deal depends on your credit score, the lender may need to search your credit report. In this case, the lender should make a quotation search that should not leave a trace visible to other lenders on your report. If an organisation gives you a quotation, this is not an agreement to offer you credit.

  • So I got the rates from the comparision sites originally. I haven't seen anywhere offer a "quotation". It's either a quick interest rate calculator or apply, nothing in between? I don't trust the rates offered any more because of the severe jump in the first loan rate.
    – user24734
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 14:48
  • I went though my credit report with a fine tooth comb, the only discrepancies I could see was a phone account at the wrong address and and an old credit card, again, at the wrong address. I corrected the phone account and closed the credit card.
    – user24734
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 14:49
  • 2
    @Liam The websites provide you the quotation which you received. Check your other credit reports too. Every provider doesn't report to all credit agencies. They generally offer a month free trial period. Take it and have a look. Check Noddle which is a free service, but they are Callcredit in disguise. I might assume your phone and credit card are playing up. Were those in arrears ?
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 15:19
  • No, all fine, just registered at the wrong address. The phone account was up to date and the credit card had no money against it (I never used it). I've registered with Noodle and Xperian. Both say my credit score is "Excellent". I'll try Equifax, but honestly I've never been in arrears for anything in my life. I have a good wage and I own a house.
    – user24734
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 15:30

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