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Without a doubt obtaining a loan through Lloyds TSB is the worst thing I have ever done in my life. At the time of getting the loan I was a very naive 21 year old and going through a few temporary money troubles that looking back werenít so bad. The thing that makes me more angry is that I feel I was more or less pushed into taking out the loan. I originally rang my bank to increase my overdraft limit by £200, well it was January and everyone knows how long a month it can be! The clerk on the phone was very helpful as I explained my situation, he said I had a good rating with the bank but asked if I could make an appointment to go and see him and bring statements in for all my bills. Still thinking this was just to increase an overdraft I agreed and went to my branch of Lloyds TSB the following day.
Upon arrival I was taken into a private room to discuss my application for a loan! Now this is completely my own fault and I know I should have been much stronger but I could only see as far as the end of the month and worrying about how I was going to feed myself so I went along with it. The clerk took all the usual details such as address, work place & earnings and details of all my outgoings. All seemed to be going well and he suggested that I take out a larger loan and pay of everything else so as I only had one payment each month, its what is known as a consolidation loan. I wouldnít say I was in huge trouble with my debts but it was messy as I owed a few catalogues and store cards and the main one being a Lloyds TSB credit card. Also I owed my parents money which was worrying me most as they were not in a great position themselves. The sales pitch worked really well and when I was told I could draw the money that day if accepted I was sold.
It was agreed that to clear my bills and also take a little extra I would borrow £5,800. I donít consider myself to have been an immature 21 year old but I didnít really have much financial sense shall we say and I think that banks often take advantage of this. I was earning brilliant money working full time and a part time as a barmaid and hadnít been in arrears with any companyís but had just lived above my means and was very generous at Christmas (I am sure a few of you are the same). Because I had a good job I was confident that it would be fine and I knew that I had more than enough to cover the re-payment each month. I wish I had of had time to read the paper work and think it through but I really do feel as if I was pushed into this and also the clerk took the payment slips from all my bill statements and paid them there and then. This meant that I couldnít cancel the loan as half of it had been paid out already!
The first main complaint I have about Lloyds TSB is that I had to take out insurance with the loan, I had no option as it is compulsory that you take out Their insurance with this loan. Now to some people insurance is a piece of mind, protection for any unforeseen circumstances and a sensible thing to have. Believe me when I say this that they are very reluctant to pay if such a thing should happen. I will briefly try to tell you my encounter with the Insurance Department:
In January 2002 I took the loan out in good faith, had a full time permanent job and never failed to make the payment. In May the same year I applied for and got a new job with a different Company, more money and greater responsibility. Four months later I was made redundant! (thatís right could only happen to me). No problem I thought my loan is covered as I have been paying the insurance premium. I put in my claim and was told that I wasnít eligible to claim as I hadnít been in my last job for 6 months even though I had been made redundant, they werenít prepared to take the matter any further until I made a fuss at which point it was explained to me that they would have to send a questionnaire type form to my previous employer and if I had been given any sort of discipline within the previous two years I would also lose my right to claim. I had never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life and to top it off the customer service was absolutely appalling with every person giving you different information. I did eventually receive the money for the insurance but it took 7 months for them to process, by this time I had a job. What use is this service to anybody? In my opinion there should be a law against this.
The second complaint is you have to hold a Lloyds TSB Select account which costs you £5 each month for the privilege of well errÖÖ.absolutely nothing! For the duration of the loan you cannot close this account and the re-payment must be made by direct debit from this account. Now at the time this didnít seem to be a great hassle but recently I have moved to Northern Ireland and there isnít a branch of Lloyds over here which means I cannot quickly put money into my account. While looking for work over here I was relying on my husbands wage which was more than ample for us to get through but which meant I didnít have any money going into my account. I have spoke to many people regarding this and under no circumstances will they let me change my direct debit to another account which in turn means I get charged £30. They showed no flexibility whatsoever and would not take my husbands debit card details even with his authorisation to pay some money in, so how was I supposed to get any money into my account??? I would like to point out that I also have an account with Woolwich and they do have branches over here so I could have easily set a direct debit with them to pay back this loan had Lloyds been a little more flexible, but hey they make more money when they charge donít they.
The third complaint is the amount that I have to pay back, as I previously mentioned the amount borrowed was £5,800. The APR is 16.9% which is higher than most anyway but with the added compulsory insurance I am having to pay back a total of nearly £11,000 (thatís right your eyes do not deceive you). My payment is £169 per month and I have been paying this for exactly two years now and after a recent request for a full balance statement I was shocked to discover that I still owe £5,436. So two years down the line I have cleared exactly £364. To me this is absolutely disgusting and in just over three years time when I have cleared this completely I will give no business to Lloyds whatsoever.
The fourth complaint is the so called customer service, it is a disgrace. Most of the time you will get to speak to cocky teenagers who have no idea of the Company policy, do not want to help and who want to get you off the phone as quickly as humanly possible. Only recently I rang them to be asked a million and one security questions only to get a digit wrong on my account number by mistake, with this the stupid boy on the other end of the phone just hung up after saying he couldnít validate my identity so therefore could not speak to me. Fair enough they have the security and Date Protection etc, but I do not appreciate having the phone put down abruptly.
To sum up they are absolutely the worst loan Company I have ever encountered and go out of their way to charge you money for terrible service and no flexibility. The customer service is non existent and you will pay through the nose for this terrible service. I wish I had something good to tell you or something positive to say about this Company but I donít.
*big sigh of relief after getting it off chest, back to being nice bubbly Claire xx*
Wow, nice story you shared with us. Such a shame you had to go through this with LTSB, you didn't deserve to be treated that way by those adolescents. It seems no one who has a good, clean job with a nice atmosphere and a comfy chair with coffee on their table - wants to work, let alone those who work hard as slave-labour in factories/potteries and places where you have to work non-stop until break time. LTSB is never honest, never helpful and never concerned about other people's lives that are at stake when in debt - let alone having a loan. Hang in there, LTSB has attracted way too much bad-Karma - just sit back and watch the company's fall, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
faith44 28.05.2004 00:23
I think it depends on your bank manager. I had a loan with Lloyds TSB, and I didn't take out the insurance as it is not compulsory and I didn't want to pay extra. After about a year I found that I could get a much cheaper deal with Goldfish, so I took a loan with them and paid off the Lloyds TSB loan with absolutely no problem.
tyllwyd 25.02.2004 07:25
I've got a lloyds current account which is no hassle, but when I was your age I let them talk me into opening a personal pension with them, and l think they took advantage of me. Is there really no way you could borrow the money elsewhere and get rid of Lloyds?