Best Doorstep Loans: Direct Lenders Compared

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Last Update: August 23rd, 2016

About:

Doorstep loans can be traced back to the late 1800s and this sector remains popular despite the online lending boom over the past decade. As the naming suggests, cash is delivered to the customer and the repayments are then collected on a weekly basis by a local agent. The terms are typically spread over several months and so affordable bitesize payments are made on collections. Bad credit is commonly approved and the service pricing is competitive. The companies involved in this space however haven’t adapted through the growth of the web. Select lenders run very basic websites and it is only the dominant lender that promotes their service extensively online and on the TV.

Dominance:

Provident has always been the dominant doorstep lender. They were established by Joshua Waddilove in 1880 and today have a huge network of agents although this was recently cut in half from 11,000 to 5500. Their customer base of 900,000 is scattered across the UK (and Ireland at www.providentpersonalcredit.ie). In the early days their product worked as it does today with the exception that vouchers were exchanged for coal, clothing or food. Their notable acquisition of Greenwood who had been a major early competitor helped to secure their dominance further. There hasn’t been a significant challenge to their market share, but Shopacheck has been the nearest contender in recent years. They of course merged with Morses Club in March 2015. Collectively they now have 2250 agents.

Eligibility:

Target audiences are generally those on low incomes or those with a bad or non-existent credit history. The market leader has for instance historically approved applicants with CCJs and defaults. Being in self-employment or having no bank account has also seen approvals. It is understandable that greater risks are taken and that lower rates are provided, as an applicant could otherwise choose a more hassle-free online solution such as a payday loan. There are of course basic eligibility requirements such as being a UK resident at the age of 18 onwards. It would also have to be demonstrated that the repayments can be met and so they may ask to see bank statements, payslips etc.

Market Size:

How many doorstep loan companies are currently in operation today is unclear. There are around a dozen or so firms that haven’t been profiled to date. The reason for this is that they may have zero web popularity or they may not have any website for their service. Some of these brands will be added in time, but for now we have compared 18 of the most well known active firms. It is worth noting that there has been some recent closures. This includes Greenwood who were mentioned above and also SFS Loans.

We Have Compared:
Cost (C): Total cost of a £300 loan. The weekly term is 32 weeks, unless otherwise stated
Locality (L): A reference is made to catered regions and also to (A) for the agent tally
Operations (O): Opening days and times
Sums (S): How much can be borrowed (New = N and Return = R)
Terms (T): The selectable repayments in weeks

Notes:
– Listings are sorted alphabetically.
– There is often a variation on the terms that can be selected. The aim was to compare each at 32 weeks or as close to this period as possible. If the lender is scored on a different period then this will be marked below.

Best Doorstep Loans: Direct Lenders Compared:

AJ Cockle Finance (1966)
AJ Cockle Finance
C: £135 (29)
L: Essex and parts of London | ? (A)
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5pm)
S: £100 to £1000 (N and R)
T: 29

Bristol Finance (1978)
Bristol Finance
C: £165 (31)
L: Bristol and Walsall | ? (A)
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5pm)
S: £30 to £1000 (N and R)
T: 14 to 43
* Finance goods and vouchers also available

Carson Finance (1932)
Carson Finance
C: £180
L: Ashby de la Zouch, Burton on Trent, Derby, Lichfield, Swadlincote and Uttoxeter. Also parts of Birmingham and Nottingham | ? (A)
O: Mon/Thu (8.30am/4.30pm), Fri (8.30am/4pm)
S: £100 to £500 (N and R)
T: 14, 24 or 32
* Vouchers also available

CLC Finance (1953)
CLC Finance
C: £217.50 (23)
L: Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire | ? (A)
O: Mon/Thu (7am/6pm), Fri (8am/6pm)
S: £50 to £200 (N) and £500 (R)
T: 21 or 35
* Vouchers also available

Ealing Trading (1955)
Ealing Trading
C: £179.70 (26)
L: Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire. Also Leicester | ? (A)
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5pm)
S: £100 (N) and £500 (R)
T: 15 or 26
* Vouchers also available. Must be 21+ to qualify

Eccles Finance (1967)
Eccles Finance
C: £168.96 (27)
L: Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and North Staffordshire | ? (A)
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5pm)
S: £50 to £200 (N) and £500 (R)
T: 14, 27 or 54
* Vouchers also available. Must be 21+ to qualify

Estone Personal Credit (1999)
Estone Personal Credit
C: £152.43 (33)
L: West Midlands | ? (A)
O: Mon/Thu (9am/5pm), Fri (9am/1pm)
S: £50 to £1000 (N and R)
T: 12 to 102
* Shopping/vouchers also available

LoansatHome4U (1975)
LoansatHome4U
C: £195 (33)
L: UK | 500 (A)
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5pm)
S: £150 to £500 (N) and £2000 (R)
T: 24, 33, 42, 50 or 75
* Vouchers also available. Must be 21+ to qualify

Morses Club (1860s)
Morses Club
C: £210 (34)
L: UK | 2250 (A)
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5pm)
S: £100 to £200 (N) and £1500 (R)
T: 34 or 50
* Must be 21+ to qualify

Mutual (1898)
Mutual
C: £90 (26)
L: East Anglia, East Midlands and South Yorkshire | 240 (A)
O: Mon/Fri (8.30am/5pm)
S: £100 to £1000 (N) £2500 (R)
T: 26, 51 or 102
* Catalogue shopping also available

Naylors Finance (1978)
Naylors Finance
C: £168 (26)
L: UK | 140 (A)
O: Mon/Fri (8am/4.30pm)
S: £50 to £200 (N) £500 (R)
T: 26

Pinewood Finance (1980)
Pinewood Finance
C: £210 (34)
L: London | ? (A)
O: Mon/Fri (8.30am/5.30pm)
S: £100 to £200 (N) and £500 (R)
T: 15 or 34
* Vouchers also available

Provident (1880)
Provident
C: £180
L: UK and Ireland | 5500 (A)
O: Mon/Fri (8am/8pm), Sat (8.30am/5pm)
S: £100 to £1000 (N) and £2500 (R)
T: 14, 23, 32, 52 or 110
* 110 week term is for existing customers only

Rhodes Finance (1980s)
Rhodes Finance
C: £150 (15)
L: London area | ? (A)
O: Mon/Fri. Times unknown
S: £100 to £200 (N) £1000 (R)
T: 15

Shopacheck (1980s)
Shopacheck
C: £210 (34)
L: UK | 2250 (A)
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5pm)
S: £100 to £200 (N) and £1500 (R)
T: 34 or 50
* Must be 21+ to qualify. Morses Club issues the funding

Short Term Finance (2003)
Short Term Finance
C: £199.98 (25)
L: Midlands, North and South | ? (A)
O: Mon/Fri (9am/5pm)
S: £50 to £100 (N) £1000 (R)
T: 25 or 34
* Vouchers also available

Skyline Direct (1950s)
Skyline Direct
C: £150 (30)
L: Northern Ireland and Scotland | ? (A)
O: Mon/Thu (8.30am/5.30pm), Fri (8.30am/3pm)
S: £100 to £200 (N) £1000 (R)
T: 20 or 30
* Vouchers also available

Stewart Finance (2006)
Stewart Finance
C: £120 (20)
L: Manchester | ? (A)
O: Mon/Fri. Times unknown
S: £100 to £500 (N and R)
T: 20

Comparison Insights:

Cheapest Doorstep Loans (/£300 for 26, 29 or 33 Weeks):

1) Mutual: £90 (26) (0.165%)
2) Estone Personal Credit: £152.43 (33) (0.220%)
3) AJ Cockle Finance: £135 (29) (0.222%)

Note: Rates shown to 3DP. Unfortunately, these top options have limited coverage across the UK. You can actually access improved deals over much longer terms. We’ll add that data here soon once we have run updates on all of the lenders listed today.

Experience: Provident

The market leader was formed in 1880. In essence, their history dates back a little further to 1877 through Greenwood who they acquired. That service was however closed down (essentially merged into their existing service). Morses history is the longest at 1860s, although this was through Levi Morse’s drapery store. They appear to have attacked this niche recently in 2002. Mutual’s experience is also commendable that heads back to 1898.

Flexibility (Product): Mutual, Short Term-F, Skyline Direct, Stewart-F

Asides from calling at your home, both STF and Skyline allow repayments to be collected by debit card on an arranged date. Stewart accepts standing orders and is planning to upgrade to web payments in the future. Mutual’s product also has added flexibility whereby the customer can repay weekly, fortnightly or monthly (also seen with Stewart).

Flexibility (Terms): Estone

Most home collection loan lenders only offer 2 or 3 initial options for repayments. These are always promoted in the weekly form. Estone offers a huge spread of 12 to 102 wks. Also of note is Provident’s terms of 14 to 52 wks plus 110 when returning. It should be noted that this is a minor service quality since across most companies you are offered the chance to extend over long periods. You can also settle up when you please.

Loans on Saturday: Provident

There are no options for Sundays that has been skipped. There is however some Saturday coverage between 8.30am and 5pm. It is unlikely that home visits are made on this day, but you could receive online funding from them on this day through Satsuma. Every other sector lender operates between Monday and Friday only and so there are always delays. The period between application and payout varies, with the agent visit usually taking place between a few days and a full week. Cash is handed over then or you may be issued a temp card with the funds loaded on it.

Payouts (24/7): Non

No companies offer 24/7 payouts or support.

Sums (Smallest): Bristol-F

Hands out cash from just £30 onwards.

Sums (Largest When New): AJ Cockle, Bristol-F, Estone, Mutual and Provident

You can access as much as £1000 on the very first loan taken out.

Sums (Largest When Returning): Mutual and Provident

These stretch to £2500 for return customers.

Note: Through the listings above you will commonly see vouchers mentioned that are typically with Love2Shop. Sometimes selecting this option will grant lower rates whilst sometimes they may be higher. It is often the case that no such price breakdown will be provided. This type of voucher can be spent at many leading retailers. It would however be recommended to just access cash. As has been addressed above, there is a pool of companies that we’ll be hoping to include here soon and so this page is likely to take on frequent updates.

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