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I have a graduate account with barclays with a lot of debt (£3000 overdraft and £3000 personal loan) and was finding the repayments on my loan quite high, so I approached barclays with the intention of consolidating loan, overdraft and £1000 credit card with another loan with lower repayments. I am employed and have been with barclays for 7 years. Seems reasonable? Well, see my other opinion (which I will write next) about my fiasco with Barclays. No really, you would not believe it!
Anyway, fuming about Barclays, I went searching for another loan provider, planning to consolidate and leave Barclays forever.
I felt quite dejected when I was rejected by Lombard direct, due to a low credit score. This was due to me not having worked for long I think.
Ciao was my next port of call, and I was glad it was. My attention was drawn to Cahoot straightaway as they have the highest rating, but still feeling worried about my credit score, I thought it would not accept me. So I looked at Intelligent finance, as someone in a similar position (student debts etc) had posted a positive opinion about them. However, I was refused by them too.
By now feeling dejected, and resigned to being drained financially by barclays every month, I carried on with my life. I was paid, and I paid £200 into my credit card hoping to be able to do this regularly and pay them back. But, alas, after I had paid all my rent, loan, bills etc I was left with just £150 to last me all month, so I had to use some of my credit card once more.
Late one night I thought, what the hell, it's worth a try, so I filled in the online form, which takes a while, and clicked on submit, and I was told that I had been conditionally accepted. Not being one to count all my chickens (have become cynical) I didn't believe that it meant anything. Oh no, I'll just get refused again, I thought. I signed the credit agreements, sent proof of my identity and tried to forget about it.
You are able to choose during application between paying as much as you want every month (minimum £50) or using their calculator and paying a set amount every month. I chose to pay £150 a month, which means that the £7000 I asked for would be paid fully after 5 years. The interest rates are very competitive in Cahoot, unlike some other loan companies. There are no penalties if you want to pay more money in or pay of the whole thing early. Once you pay back the money, the account remains open for a year since you last accessed it so you can take the money out again if you like. What a flexible loan!
A few days ago, I received an email from Cahoot to say "Your account is now ready for use". I couldn't believe it. I had been accepted! I went to the site and tried to log in. Oh no! I remembered all of the 'memorable information' that I had given to cahoot (for secure login) but I couldn't seem to remember my username. What would I do? I thought it would be impossible to get hold of an internet company like this by phone so I felt silly dialing the number and waiting on hold, but after only 2 minutes, I was actually put through to a human being. At half past eight at night! Cheers cahoot I was TRULY impressed then! They sorted out my problem very quickly, I went back and logged in with no problems.
I decided to transfer £4500 into my current account straightaway. The process is instant if your current account is also Cahoot, but it takes 4 working days for other bank accounts. I then transfered £700 into my partner's account, which I owe, and they were pleased to at last receive. I am now in the process of transfering the balance of my Barclaycard. If you transfer a balance like this, you receive £125 (I think?) off your next holiday. Going to look into this, sounds like it can only be a good thing!
So far, I would highly recommend Cahoot as a seriously good option if you want a loan! Will keep you posted of course!
Good review of your circumstances. However my debt is a lot higher than yours. Thank you for your opinion on cahoot.
m.lyon 25.06.2003 20:42
I have a Cahoot current and savings account and have no problems whatsoever. Great op. Marc
Collingwood21 22.06.2003 17:35
This was a good review, but you missed out one vital point - you did not give us a current APR, so we had no means of assessing whether your opinion of them as being competitive was true or not. If you add this and let me know in my GB, I will happily upgrade this rating to VH.