Match the Cash Ltd is a peer-to-peer lender which matches investors to borrowers.
The first lending product (a Guarantor Loan) was launched under the trading style of www.GuarantorMyLoan.co.uk in 2014, aiming to “help borrowers who feel let down by banks and other traditional lenders which won’t lend to them because of a blemished or non-existent credit record”.
Guarantor My Loan are a direct lender and a credit broker (meaning they also search among other lenders to find loan solutions for borrowers) and they only offer Guarantor loans. Borrowers can borrow between £1000 and £10,000 over a one-to-five-year period.
A guarantor loan works in exactly the same way as any loan – you borrow money from a lender, then make weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. The sole difference is that a third party is part of the agreement. The third party is known as the guarantor, and they “guarantee” to make the payments if the borrower cannot. A guarantor can be a spouse, family member or close friend or colleague – basically anyone who knows you and who you trust, and vice versa.
Some lenders send the loan straight to the guarantor to allow them a two-week cooling off period before they send it on to the borrower. If the guarantor is content with the arrangement, they then send the borrower the lump sum. The borrower then makes the repayments.
If you have tried to get a regular loan and been rejected by lenders due to a poor or no credit history, then a guarantor Loan can be a way to access finance for general lifestyle or emergency expenses, as it is your guarantor’s credit rating that is considered, not yours. Equally, opting for a guarantor loan does give the borrower a chance to improve their credit score if repayments are made on time and in full, proving that the borrower can be trusted, and this in turn makes it easier to apply for loans or credit cards in the future, and unlocks better rates.
Compared to a payday loan, guarantor loans are becoming a much more popular and appealing option, as it is pretty much instant cash, but without the enormous interest rates and short repayment terms (typically 30 days). Even if the borrower has a CCJ (County Court Judgement) against them for debt, their application will be considered – it is easy to see how this type of loan could be financial salvation for those who have fallen on hard times.
So according to Guarantor My Loan’s website, a guarantor loan applied for online “takes about 5 minutes”! That sounds worryingly speedy – it takes longer than that for me to order a Chinese takeaway! I guess though if you are really desperate and completely strapped for cash this would certainly get you clicking through to find out more!
Hopefully a potential borrower would also notice how much they would end up paying if they were successful in being granted a loan; the website gives an example of a loan of £3000 over 3 years, with a fixed representative APR of 48.9%, and a monthly payment of £145.17. The total amount repayable is £5,226.12 – a not inconsiderable £2,226.12 on top of paying back the original £3000.
As with other Guarantor Loan companies, if you fail to make a repayment on time, or only a partial payment, then your guarantor will be notified and chased for the repayment; be aware that they will also report you for defaulting to CRAs (Credit Reference Agencies) which further negatively affect your credit rating.
Complaints to the FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service) about guarantor loans (not just Guarantor My Loans but all other companies offering this type of loan) have leapt by more than 3,000% in a year and are running at almost 800 a week.
Complaints vary from borrowers stating that the lender should never have given them a loan as they could not afford it, to family/friends claiming that they were pressured into agreeing to be a guarantor, or even worse, that they did not agree to be!
Claims Management companies, such as Redbridge Finance, hear from borrowers that Guarantor My Loan did not make sure that the loan was affordable, leading us to the conclusion that they may not have conducted the correct affordability checks.
If, during the application process you did not mention all your debts (either due to embarrassment, forgetfulness or similar), Guarantor My Loan should have checked your credit record and noticed the discrepancies.
Guarantor My Loan have also been criticised for not exploring in enough detail a potential borrower’s stated monthly outgoings; most borrower’s will only be able to estimate at the time and could be likely to underestimate for various reasons – it is down to the lender to establish if these estimates are correct, and act accordingly.
In the same way, they should also have thoroughly checked that the borrower had a regular and consistent income.
Other complaints from borrowers include the fact that their financial circumstances have changed, and the lender has not treated them fairly when they can no longer afford the repayments, and also, that if a payment failed, their guarantor was contacted too quickly.
Guarantors themselves have been coming forward with various complaints, many of them claiming that they did not realise that they would be liable for the payments if the borrower could not make them, and also that they couldn’t afford them anyway!
Redbridge Finance has also found that Guarantor My Loan try to stop complaints being investigated by communicating directly with the borrower, and offering £500, when typically, an investigation and eventual uphold of the complaint would have resulted in a much higher claim pay-out – so be warned!
If either the borrower or Guarantor feel that Guarantor My Loan lent you money and you believe they did not undertake in-depth checks to see if you could afford the loan, then we can help by assessing your claim to see if you were mis sold the service they offer. Or if you feel that you have been treated unfairly, for example if your financial circumstances have changed, and Guarantor My Loan have not tried to help you in any way, then please go to www.redbridgefinance.co.uk and register.
Our claims experts can take on your case and make a claim for a full refund of all the interest and charges that Guarantor My Loan has charged. If you want to make a complaint against Guarantor My Loan, the process is very straightforward. All you need to do is sign up on our site and let us know which lenders you want to make a claim against. We then assess the information you have provided and take your claim forward by making a complaint on your behalf. We deal with the responses from guarantor My Loan, and of course will keep you informed every step of the way.
If you have had problems repaying your loan or think you might have been mis-sold a loan, then you could be entitled to a refund. Contact us today by going to www.redbridgefinance.co.uk and signing up, and we can assess if you have a claim.