Advantages Good speedy service
Disadvantages Wait until you try and repay early
Another one of my earlier efforts that has had a complete overhaul
MBNA also provides unsecured loans and insurance products, and therefore as it was the company that I had my first credit card with, it seemed to me only common sense that they were the first company I approached when I was seeking a loan to meet a few unexpected expenses a couple of years ago.WHAT DOES THE LOAN-ARM OFFER?
o Repayment periods between 1 and 5 years (Marbles currently offer repayment periods between 1 and 7 years.o APR’s between 8.9% and 15.9% dependent on how much you are borrowing – as the amount goes up, the APR reduces.
NOTE: MBNA have been known to offer rates up to 1% less than these for existing credit card and loan customerso Payment protection to protect you again redundancy (maximum of 12 months unemployment), sickness and death. A word of caution is advised here – check your eligibility.
I am not saying you shouldn’t take it, but you also do not want to be paying out for a service you find you can’t utilise when you most need it. This protection will cost you just over £10/month for a loan of £2,000 over 5 years and a whapping £78/month on a £20,000 loan over the same period – although I should imagine that the larger the loan the more the company could possibly be within their ‘nervous’ rights to refuse you a loan without the knowledge that you have someway of repaying it – I believe that companies can take you to court and put a charge on your property should you default on the payments
Then……. (I discovered one of the additional angles that MBNA use to retain their customers)About 3 years ago, whilst preparing to move house, I was again looking for a loan to consolidate a few debts. For some reason this time I didn't even consider going back to MBNA, maybe I was a little more worldly wise in respect of consumer credit (not)
I applied on-line to another well-known finance company and got an 'agreement in principle' for the required sum. I then contacted MBNA to obtain a settlement figure for my existing loan and was amazed to discover that the settlement figure would be higher if I refinanced through another company than if I refinanced through them, one very good reason for staying with them I guess. The gentleman was determined I wasn't going to leave them without a discussion on the matter.I duly provided them with the information, terms and conditions from the competitors loan offer and within half an hour later they were offering me the same amount for £12 a month less (c.10% APR), this doesn’t sound a lot of money, but over the full period would save me around £700, I duly accepted and they cleared my relevant MBNA credit card accounts and the remainder of the money was in my bank within 3 days. The service was helpful, friendly, competitive and speedy.
However, and this is the crunch, fairly recently I had a bit of spare money and decided it would be a good idea to clear the loan, I contacted MBNA at which point I discovered that for the last 3 years I had merely been repaying the interest on the loan and that the amount actually outstanding was not much lower than that I had originally borrowed – not so much penalties but an assurance on their part that they were going to recoup every last penny of interest from me irrespective of whether the loan went to term. It was at this point I elected to keep the loan until it has is cleared, but I can guarantee that if I ever consider taking out a loan with anyone again, I will explore all the options and small print before signing anything.REPAYMENT
This can be done both on-line at www.mbna.co.uk, or by contacting them direct on 0800 551 441. A decision will usually take around 24 hours.
Incidentally, when I first contacted them to obtain the settlement figure, I was refused one and advised to write in.
With interest rates being at their lowest for 40 years, the time had come to refinance. Having a look around at a few companies I came across someone who could reduce my repayments by around £20/month, whilst clearing a rather heft credit card bill. I contacted MBNA to obtain a resettlement figure and upon receiving this and doing some sums, I discovered I was saving the measly sum of £300 over the term of the loan despite repaying it 2½ years early. I was so disgusted that I have decided, despite the extra cost to take the refinancing option and send MBNA to the big bank heaven in the sky.
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR CIAO –03/01 - UPDATED 06/02 - 08/02
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