New for 2016: Wonga Flexi Loan and Wongability
Back in December 2015 we briefly covered Wonga’s 90 day loans that were being piloted on existing customers. The way it came across, we were expecting terms between 1 and 90 days, but it turns out that they have now fully rolled out a set 3 month product. Change was critical for the market leader after it was announced in 2015 that they had made heavy loss across 2014. They had issued 2.5 million loans (down from 3.7) and had lost some of their user base. There was a few scandals and they had a to adapt to industry price capping. It is worth updating that the latest financials report on an after tax loss over 2015 of £76.5 million.
Things have however been pretty plain sailing since their troubles. There has been no more controversies and their advertising efforts have continued to pick up, although they’ll naturally be disappointed with Newcastle United’s shambolic season that hasn’t handed much screen time for their kit sponsorship on Match of the Day. You’ll soon be seeing lots of advertising introducing the Wonga Flexi Loan alongside Wongability that has become a saying, similar to “Credit for the Real World”, yet it is also an ethos of 3 things that you can expect when using them. There has been no change to their standard flexible short term product. You can still borrow funds between 1 and 30 days.
The sums here remain at £50 to £400 for newbies and then £1000 when you re-loan. There is now an addition tab that skips to Flexi Loan that has a set 3 month term. The option is there to choose a specific date when each of the 3 repayments will be taken, you can also go with the last Friday or with the last working day of the month. This time around the sums start higher at £150 to £500, but existing users can access up to £1500. We would have liked to have seen a complete span of 1 to 90 days, although you can settle on any day. Perhaps 1 to 180 would have been an idea.
Most of their key rivals generally go much further. You can for instance head as high to 6 months with PaydayUK and Sunny extends to 14 months. The pricing depends on your pay schedule. When picking out being paid 30 days from application the £300 charge now comes in at £149.79 (update: £155.97). This is good value with QuickQuid in comparison charging £216 (meeting the cap). This however drops down to £205.20 with their 5% Promo Code. On Flexi’s page you’ll also spot the notice of Wongability. Its aim is to minimise your stress by bridging the gap between an unexpected cash crisis and when you’ll be able to sort your finances. There are 3 guidelines put forward that will help them to achieve this.
The first is based on knowing all costs up front with no nasty surprises. On this page they note the 0.8% daily interest rate and the missed payment fee of £15. Next up is the ability to save money if your circumstances change. This is through the choice to settle the entire loan or part of it and only pay interest up to that point. Finally, tying in with the late payment fee (£15), they actually give you 3 extra days to repay on a missed repayment before this is charged. Finally, some bad news on the customer service front. Their support team is no longer 24/7. The new times between Monday and Sunday are 7am to 10pm.