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~~~~ Update~~~~~ Cahoot are offering you the chance to earn £50 paid into your Cahoot Felxible Loan. All you have to do is transfer a balance of £1500 or more from another credit or store card before the end of December and you will earn the £50!
The cash gets paid in February so you must still have the balance outstanding then. This applies to both exisiting and new customers so if you haven't arranged a loan yet, get cracking! The same offer also applies to new or exisiting credit cards, check out the T&C's at www.cahoot.com ~~~~~~~
Ok, you may or may not have read my previous op about the basics of loans; I will now tell you about Cahoot. I wrote the other review and posted it separately as otherwise it would have been too long. I also think it is important to know the basics about loans before taking one out. It might also help you understand why I chose Cahoot above other lenders.
Cahoot could offer me the amount I wanted at a rate I could afford, with daily calculation on interest and above all FLEXIBILITY!
THIS IS WHAT CAHOOT OFFER(as stated on their website)
**** Borrow any amount up to your credit limit and Only get charged interest on the amount you actually use. Withdraw additional funds using our online transfer facility, Pay off your credit, store card or other existing loans to make the most of our excellent rates ****
They offer loans from £1000 to £15000 and the amount you apply for doesn’t have to be the amount you withdraw. You may need to borrow £2000 now for example but you know you will need another £1000 in 3 months time. You simply ask for a credit limit of £3000 of which they will either approve or not. You arrange to withdraw £2000 instantly and you then withdraw the other £1000 when you are ready. This works like a credit card or bank account and the best of all you are only charged interest on the amount that you withdraw not on the £3000 that you were approved. This simply sits in your Cahoot account until such times, as you need it. You never have to withdraw this money if you don’t want but it is there just in case. This is far more convenient than having to apply for another loan and going through the application/credit checks again.
It is so easy to withdraw funds by logging on to your Cahoot homepage and inputting the account details of the bank you wish the money to go, this can be done the same day with a Cahoot account or within four working days for other accounts. At the time of applying for the loan you can request an initial transfer amount, this will be actioned as soon as the loan is up and running.
As stated you can use the money to pay offer other cards or loans.
~~~~CAHOOT ALSO SAYS~~~~
****Your interest rate remains the same however much you borrow. Reduce your repayments when demands on your income are high. Low minimum monthly repayment of £50 or 1.75% of the remaining balance, whichever is the greater†
Increase your payments if you want to pay more.
Pay back your loan in full at anytime without penalties****
Once your interest rate is agreed it doesn’t matter if the whole amount is withdrawn, you pay that rate regardless. The ‘ typical’ APR at the moment is 7%; this DOESN’T mean that you will be offered this rate. It is dependent upon your credit rating, credit history AND the amount you borrow. Remember what I said in my 'credit in the form of a personal loan' op about the more you borrow the better the rate? Well although this isn’t set in stone, I was offered a rate of 10% borrowing £3000 and a family member was offered 7% on £4000, I’m pretty sure this was more to do with the amount rather than the borrowing although his income IS HIGHER than mine. It will tell you the APR you are being offered before you proceed to tailor the loan or arrange any withdrawals. When the paperwork comes through you can also see that the APR has stayed the same of that offered.
You can pay whatever you want each month providing it is a minimum of 1.75% of the amount outstanding or £50 whichever is the greatest. Therefore you can arrange to pay £200 per month on a borrowing of £3000 initially but pay the minimum payment if income is tight for a short period without penalty or having to make any agreements. Just make sure that you go back to your regular amount as soon as possible as otherwise it will take forever to pay off. You can work out before proceeding with the loan how much you will need to pay in order to finish the loan at a set date, if you check out other company’s first, bear this in mind. Many companies only allow you to repay back your loan in six monthly blocks i.e. 12,18,24,36 months, without Cahoot this is not the case, you can choose any time in one month increments.
The opposite also works; if you get a pay rise or you have some spare income you can pay one off amounts or increase your regular monthly payment. This will enable you to repay the loan off earlier and also save the amount of overall interest you would pay. As the loan is flexible and interest is calculated daily there is no messing about with interest refunds or penalties, you can pay the loan off at any time. Even if you pay back all that you borrowed your Cahoot account remains open should you wish to withdraw again, if after 12 months there has been no account activity they have the right to close the account. Making additional payments is easy and done on line by accessing your Cahoot Homepage and clicking making payments, you can change the regular amount or make a one off payment at any time. You can also check easily when your payment is due and how much you are currently paying. When applying for the loan you can choose your own payment date, another fantastic feature that makes this loan all the more easy to operate.
You can of course apply for repayment protection on your loan should you wish, full details are available on the website.
HOW DO YOU APPLY
As Cahoot is an online bank you need to go to www.cahoot.com and on the homepage you will see the advertisement of 7.00% APR for loans. If you click on the banner it will tell you a little more about it and the option to calculate your repayments or apply. I wouldn’t apply straight away, find out as much as you can about the loan, work out your payments and then apply. Always read the small print! Before you apply you have to meet certain criteria.
You must be over 21 years of age, have been permanently resident in the UK for at least 3 years, not currently bankrupt or have a court order against you, have a valid email address and a 128 bit encryption on your pc. You can see that a young person or anyone with poor credit is unlikely to be accepted.
You will need to follow a 3-stage application process; the first stage is where you create a username, password and memorable data. You will need to hand, your mother’s maiden name, your income and employment information, address details for the last 3 years and your bank details.
You then need to choose your products; although you may wish to only apply for a loan you will have the opportunity to apply for other products and repayment protection insurance. You will know within minutes if you have been ‘conditionally accepted’ full acceptance will depend upon final credit checks and you supplying proof of address. You will receive the completed application form through the post after you have submitted it online. You need to check all the details and then return it with the 2 proofs of address, originals and not copies. These are returned promptly within a couple of days. Only when you agree to the terms and conditions and return the form will the loan be set up. You do not have to proceed if you have changed your mind.
Step 3 is to tailor your chosen products by selecting when you wish your statements to be produced (the payment is due 15 days after the statement date) what account you wish the direct debit to come from, how much you wish to initially withdraw etc.
That’s it! You will be sent an email confirming your ‘conditional acceptance’ and it will give you instructions on what to do next. This email is almost instant and myself and a member of my family received the application pack within 3 days. Within a couple of days of returning it the account was set up without any problems. I opted to have some money transferred to my bank account as soon as the loan was active. This was done without any further correspondence from myself and I received the money after 3 days of my loan being active. The family member opted to wait until the loan was accepted before deciding how much to withdraw; this was partly due to a settlement figure being required to pay off another loan. For this you need to access your account online using the previously created password etc and request the amount to be sent to a bank of your choice. This was done without any problems, remember you only pay interest on what you withdraw not on the amount of agreed credit limit.
As this is an online company you will get notification by email of your statements and you can review them online. Your debit balance will appear in red and you can see exactly how much interest has been charged along with when payments are due and what has been paid. Statements appear online for 12 months and you are advised to print a copy. You can request a copy statement but this will cost £2, any actions you may wish to take will have the charge clearly stated before you proceed with the request.
Once you have returned the forms and the account is set up you will receive a confirmation email. With my loan I received the email before I revisited the website. With the family member we checked to see if the loan was set up in order to make a withdrawal and it was, at this point we hadn’t received the email confirmation but it arrived the next day.
You can in the future request an increase in credit limit but not in the first 3 months.
You can change your details online.
You can withdraw and make additional payments online.
No paper statements will be posted to you; statements are available to view online.
You can contact Cahoot online or via phone. I had to contact them as I forgot my account details and I did have to wait around 10 minutes but I remembered the details as they answered! This was longer than I would have liked to wait to be answered but he was friendly and ensured that I had solved the problem before disconnecting. They do have an online help facility but if all else fails give them a ring on: 08706000655
You can opt to receive email and text messages notifying you of any account transactions or messages that are posted for you to read online. Due to privacy they will post messages online rather than email them to you. The email you receive will only be a notification of the message, not the message itself.
Cahoot supports 128-bit encryption technology and you need to make sure your browser or wap mobile support this. Encryption is a means of encoding information in to unrecognisable data as it is transferred to and kept on the Cahoot system.
Each time you access your account you will need your username, password and be able to answer a security question.
Cahoot guarantees that you will never have to pay for a banking activity that you haven’t approved.
Cahoot offers many other products including bank accounts, savings account, credit card, share trading, insurance and mortgages.
Cahoot is a division of Abbey National.
Recommended for flexible personal loans.
(please note there is no reward scheme but it wouldn't allow me not to answer this)