Unregulated Loans Can Be a Trap

By: Alison White

The unregulated loans owe its origin to the Consumer Credit Act 1974 which covers all loans up to a value of ? 25000. Unregulated Loans are those loans that, at present are from ? 25000 to ? 100000. Normally, loans in UK start from the nominal amount of ?1000 and are charged high interest rates. In the Unregulated Loans, the interest rates may be arranged on the lower note and the amount starts from over ? 25000. This is a scenario which is quite applicable to UK.
The two leading debt charities, Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) and Credit Action, are combining talents in order to offer consumers better ways of dealing with debt. CCCS will run all Credit Action's help lines and counselling services. In return, Credit Action will provide education and training programmes aimed at debt prevention on behalf of both charities.

Consumer Credit Counselling Service advised that the number of people whose are spending out of control is increasing. On average, people who turn to them for advice owe about ?30,000 not including their mortgage - compared to around ?28,000 in 2004.
These figures are a signal that more people need to reduce interest and actively manage their debts. The large sums involved also mean that are a lot of people whose are involved in the dangerous territory of unregulated loans. This should be a warning for the ones attempting to take control of their debts as they can find themselves locked in for years and this will leave them at the mercy of high exit charges.
As the personal loans for amounts below ?25,000 are subject to the Consumer Credit Act lenders cannot impose excessive fees or conditions on their customers for this type of loans. Interesting to know is that if borrowers want to pay off debts early, the Act says lenders cannot charge a fee of more than one month's interest. Where the term of the loan is one year or less, no early repayment charge can be made.
For mortgages which are usually higher amounts, protection is also provided. The Financial Services Authority limits the charges to the costs the lender incurs in case borrowers repay a mortgage early or fall into arrears.
All those that fall into the trap of unregulated loans can't benefit of these safeguards. When dealing with unregulated lenders you will face complicated and costly repayment penalties included in the small print of their contracts. The contracts will include arbitrary charges for early repayments and penalties can lock borrowers in for years.


Debt, Loans & Business Cashflow
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