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Common questions

Help and advice about our loans

Loans

Personal loans

Homeowner borrowing

Applying

Approval

Repaying

Loans

What's APR?

APR is the Annual Percentage Rate. This is the total cost of the loan - interest plus any charges or fees.

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What's credit scoring?

When someone applies for a loan or to open an account, lenders need a way to help them decide if the customer will be able to manage their credit. Lenders use credit scoring to help them reach this decision. It's a proven technique which is widely recognised as one of the most consistent, accurate and fair forms of credit risk assessment.

We calculate your credit score from:

  • information you give in your application
  • credit reference data - such as paying your credit card bill on time and not missing your mortgage payments
  • how you've managed other credit or loan accounts with us.

For us to be comfortable about lending you the money you've asked for, your score needs to be above a certain level.

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What's a credit reference agency?

Lenders look to credit reference agencies to help them assess credit applications. The agencies hold records which enable lenders to check:

  • electoral roll status
  • bankruptcies and insolvencies
  • county court judgements or court decrees
  • performance of previous and existing credit accounts
  • details of searches carried out by other organisations
  • names of anyone you're financially associated with

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Where can I find details of your current loan rates?

As the interest rate for personal loans is calculated based on your personal circumstances and the amount and term of the loan, we are unable to provide the rate of interest until your application is credit scored.

If you're a homeowner looking for additional borrowing secured against your property, see borrowing for homeowners.

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Personal Loans

Who can apply for a NatWest personal loan?

To apply for a NatWest personal loan, you must:

  • be a NatWest customer
  • be 18 or over
  • have a regular income
  • have a good credit history - no outstanding CCJs or bankruptcy

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How much can I borrow with a NatWest personal loan?

You can apply to borrow any amount from 1,000 to 25,000.

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What if I want to borrow less than 1,000 or more than 25,000?

For less than 1,000, an overdraft may be the answer.

For more than 25,000, ask about our flexible term loan.

If you're a homeowner, you could consider releasing some of the equity in your property. See borrowing for homeowners.

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What can I have a personal loan for?

You can borrow for almost any purpose, but you'll need to tell us what you want the money for when you apply.

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Do I need to apply for a separate loan for each thing I want the money for?

No - simply tell us what you plan to use the main part of the loan for. For example, if you want to borrow 11,000 - 6,000 for a car and 5,000 for home improvements, the main purpose of your loan is 'Car'.

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Can I take out a personal loan to pay off my debts?

Yes, you can.

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What are the interest rates and charges on a NatWest personal loan?

See our loan rates and charges.

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Homeowner Borrowing

How much can I borrow with a further advance?

You can apply to borrow any amount from 1,000 to 25,000.

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What can I use a further advance for?

You can borrow for almost any purpose from home improvements to a holiday, but you'll need to tell us what you want the money for when you apply.

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I have a mortgage with NatWest. Do I qualify for any special deals if I want to borrow more?

Yes - we have a range of options for additional borrowing secured against your property. These are called further advances and are exclusive to NatWest mortgage customers.

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What's a further advance?

If you have a mortgage with NatWest, you can apply for a further advance. This is an additional loan secured on your property.

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What's an agreement in principle?

This is a provisional approval of your application for a loan. We still need to carry out a credit search, check your details and finish processing your application before we give you our final decision.

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My loan is for home improvement. How long can I have to repay?

You have a little longer when you borrow for home improvement than for other reasons - up to 10 years when you borrow over 15,000.

However much you borrow, you always have at least 12 months to repay the loan.

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Is my home at risk if I can't pay back my loan?

Yes - your home is always at risk with any loan or mortgage secured against your property. Your home may be repossessed if you don't keep up your repayments.

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Applying

How do I apply for a personal loan?

Please call us to discuss your requirements.

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How do I apply for a further advance?

Please call us to discuss your requirements.

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How soon will I get a decision on my loan application?

Whether you apply by phone or at your branch, we'll usually give you a decision straight away. Sometimes we give an 'agreement in principle' - which means the final decision will be made after we've completed our assessment.

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What can I include as income in my loan application?

You can include:

  • salary (after tax)
  • pension
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • court-agreed child maintenance
  • long-term town, housing or shift allowances from your employer
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit (if not already included in net salary)

Under 'Other monthly income' you can include:

  • child benefit
  • any other state benefits
  • any other regular income (after tax)

If you include income that's not paid into your NatWest current account, we may ask for proof.

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Will I have to pay a loan arrangement fee?

We don't charge arrangement fees for our fixed rate personal loans. For other types of loan, there may be a charge, so please ask for details.

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I am a Work Permit holder, can I still apply for a loan?

Yes you can, however the term of the loan must not exceed the expiry date on your Work Permit Visa. The loan must also be paid in full six months before this date.

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Approval

Why might you decline my loan application?

Usually, for one of two reasons:

  1. Your credit score was too low.
  2. You didn't meet all the criteria in our lending policy.

As a responsible lender we cannot offer credit to applicants who may find it difficult to meet the repayments. If we decline your application because of a policy rule, we'll tell you why.

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Can you decline my loan application because of where I live?

No - it's against the law to discriminate in this way.

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I have other credit accounts with you. Why haven't you agreed my loan application this time?

Most likely because your circumstances have changed. When we assess your application we look at current information. Something in this led us to decide against lending you the money you've asked for.

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Another member of my family has a bad credit record. Will that affect my loan application?

Not unless you have a financial association with that person - either you or the other person has told the credit reference agency you have such an association or you've made a joint application for credit or a bank or savings account.

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Can I be refused a loan because of the credit history of the previous occupants at my address?

No - not unless you have a financial association with the previous occupants. We don't use the credit history of anyone who lived at your address before you in deciding on your loan application.

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Can I re-apply for a loan if my application wasn't successful?

Yes - we never refuse an application simply because we declined a previous one. But if your circumstances are the same, it's likely our decision will be too. You'd be better off waiting until things have changed, as re-applying too soon can lower your credit score.

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Can I appeal against your decision not to give me a loan?

Yes - but our decision may stand. You'll need to support your appeal with any additional relevant information that wasn't part of your application. For full details of our appeals procedure ask at your local branch or call us.

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You've declined my loan application. Does this mean other lenders will decline me too?

Not necessarily. Each lender has their own lending policies and credit scoring system. However, your file with the credit reference agency we used will record the search we carried out in your name and other lenders will be aware of this.

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What can I do to give my loan application the best chance of success?

There are several things you can do to improve your chances:

  • Pay credit card, loan and mortgage repayments on time - it shows you're reliable.
  • Don't keep re-applying for credit - it lowers your credit score.
  • Make sure you're on the electoral register - banks and retailers check this.
  • If you've moved a lot in the last three years, don't be tempted to miss out previous addresses - lenders will think you're trying to hide something.
  • Be up-front about past difficulties as this information is easily traced.
  • Settle any bad debts - although unpaid credit records stay on file for six years, if the debt is cleared, lenders will take this into account with new loan applications.
  • Do your own credit search - apply to a credit reference agency for a copy of your file and check to see if it's accurate.

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You've declined my loan application. What other options do I have?

It depends on why we declined your application. Why not call us or visit your branch and talk about how we can help.

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Repaying

How long can I have to repay the loan?

  • Up to 5 years when you borrow less than 15,000.
  • Up to 7 years when you borrow 15,000 to 25,000.
  • Up to 10 years when you borrow over 15,000 for home improvements.

However much you borrow, you always have at least 12 months to repay the loan.

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Can I make one-off payments on my loan?

Yes you can. For more information ask at your local branch or call us.

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I already have a loan with NatWest. Can I borrow more?

You can certainly apply to borrow more. You'll need to put in a new application though - we can't simply add to your existing loan.

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How do I make my loan payments?

You pay monthly by Direct Debit. We'll ask for your account details when you apply.

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Will you charge me if I miss a loan repayment?

Possibly - please check your loan agreement.

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Can I pay off my loan early?

Yes - you can repay the whole loan early or make overpayments at any time without notice. However, if you clear your loan early, you'll need to pay an early settlement fee. For more information call us or visit your branch.

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Can I postpone my loan repayments for a month or two?

No - we don't usually allow this. However, see What if I'm having difficulty making my loan repayments?

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What if my circumstances change after I take out the loan?

Let us know as soon as you can about any change in your circumstances.

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What if I move house or change my name after I take out the loan?

Let us know as soon as you can about any change in your personal details.

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What if I lose my job or can't repay the loan?

You'll need to talk to us so we can look at your options.

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What if I'm having difficulty making my loan repayments?

You'll need to let us know if you can't meet your repayments for any reason. It's also a good idea to tell us if you think this may become a problem in the near future. Call us on +44 (0) 1534 282300 and we'll talk about how we can help.

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