The innovative short-term lender Creditspring offers customers a new way to deal with unexpected expenses. In return for a fixed monthly membership fee of either £6 or £8, you can borrow £250 or £500 up to twice a year at 0% interest.
Borrow up tor £500 twice a year, available on demand.
Monthly membership fee of £6 or £8.
Repay each advance in up to 6 monthly payments.
0% interest rate – only pay back what you borrow plus the monthly fee.
Representative example: Total amount of credit of £1,000 over 12 months. The first payment for each advance is £83.35 followed by 5 monthly repayments of £83.33. 12 monthly membership payments of £8. Representative APR 38.6% and total payable: £1,096.
Please note: High-cost short-term credit is unsuitable for sustained borrowing over long periods and would be expensive as a means of longer-term borrowing.
What is Creditspring?
London-based Creditspring, which launched in September 2018, was founded by two former bankers. Their stated aim was to give consumers access to credit in a simpler, safer and cheaper way. Instead of paying interest on money borrowed, customers pay a fixed membership fee which amounts to £72 or £96 per year – a bit like an insurance policy.
Creditspring is a trading name of Inclusive Finance Limited, and is a direct lender authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
How does Creditspring work?
Creditspring lets you borrow a set amount, either £250 or £500, twice per year. You’ll have either 4 or 6 months to pay back each advance, starting one month from the day you receive it. This means if you borrowed £250 today, Creditspring would collect £62.50 for the next four months on each monthly anniversary.
You can take out your second advance as soon as the first one is repaid in full and on time. and members have access to two advances per year.
Creditspring is limited to those with an annual income of at least £20,000. After becoming a member there is a 14 wait period before you can draw your first advance. You’ll also be subject to credit and affordability checks.
Key features of Creditspring membership
Creditspring offers two levels of membership:
With Creditspring Core, you’ll be able to borrow £250 twice per year, and pay it off each time over 4 monthly payments.
Creditspring states that you will never pay more than £96 over any 12 months, however if you opt not to take out any loans, you will still pay the full membership fee.
The facility comes with a 14-day waiting period before you can take out a loan. The aim is for people to use their advances as a back-up plan for future emergencies, not to use immediately.
What are the eligibility requirements?
You should only join and borrow from Creditspring if you are certain you can comfortably meet both the monthly payments and the loan repayments. To become a member you must also meet the following criteria.
Applications from self-employed considered
Applicant with CCJs
Creditspring states that you must not have recent CCJs.
Applicant with bankruptcy
Creditspring states that you must not have recently had an IVA or been bankrupt.
If you apply and aren’t eligible, your application won’t affect your credit score. It will leave a “soft footprint” on your credit report that only you will be able to see.
How do I apply?
If you’d like to become a Creditspring member, simply complete the application form on the website. You will be asked to provide some personal and contact information as well as details about your employment and outgoings. Creditspring will run a “soft” credit search that won’t affect your credit score.
If you’re approved, and opt to become a member, Creditspring will then run a “hard” credit check, which will be visible on your credit record. You can then take out your first cash advance after a 14-day cooling off period. You can expect the money in your account within 24 hours of your request (payments are made between 8am and 8pm seven days a week, excluding bank holidays).
Could I lose my access to credit from Creditspring?
Yes. There are some key circumstances that could invalidate you during your membership:
If you fail to pay monthly membership fee on time.
If you fail to pay a loan repayment payment on time.
If you don’t inform Creditspring immediately when you leave your job; or when your income reduces; or there is any other negative change to your finances.
If you lie in your application.
If, without Creditspring’s consent, you cancel or don’t complete a valid Direct Debit instruction.
Pros and cons of a Creditspring membership
This is a non-exhaustive selection of the advantages and disadvantages membership brings.
You can access the Stability Hub, which offers tips and tools to help you build your financial stability.
For most people, the monthly fee should be comfortably manageable.
When a financial shortfall strikes, you won’t lose time searching for and applying for credit.
If you do end up using the loans, it’s likely to be a lot cheaper than an equivalent high-cost short term loan would have been.
Both the membership subs and the loan repayments can help to raise your credit score – meaning access to even better interest rates in the future.
You can cancel your membership at any time.
You can repay some or all of your loan early at any time, without penalty.
Waiting 14 days to draw down the loan may not be an option if you need money fast.
If you end up not needing to borrow, you’ve still lost the membership fees.
When a financial emergency strikes, if you need more than that £250/£500 sum, you’re out of luck. If you need less, it won’t change the overall cost.
The minimum income requirement of £20,000 p.a. may put the service out of reach of some who might benefit most.
If you’re late paying your monthly membership fee it could hurt your credit score.
Can I modify my loan?
You can repay all or part of your advance early at any time. Your monthly repayments would then be adjusted according to your new remaining balance. You can also cancel your membership at any time. If you choose to do so while you have a loan outstanding, you’ll need to contact Creditspring to request an early settlement figure.
You will not be charged for any late payments for your membership or loan repayment. Although Creditspring will try their best to find a repayment plan that works for you, if you do make late payments, it could harm your credit rating. This can make it more difficult for you to obtain credit in the future.
Option to change repayment date
Repay early at any point
Repaying early can reduce overall interest
Interest is only applied to days where funds are outstanding
Innovative lenders like Creditspring offer an alternative to those urgent, payday-style loans. It doesn’t charge interest, but the cost of credit is covered in the membership fee.
If you’ve found yourself taking out short term loans on a semi-regular basis, and you meet Creditspring’s eligibility criteria, then this facility is likely to make sense financially.
If you don’t take out a loan during the year, then you’ve effectively paid an interest rate of, erm, infinity percent. But if you use the facility just once in that period, you’ll have beaten the payday lenders’ rates – and by a healthy margin too.
Creditspring is for people who plan ahead and are forward thinkers. There is a 14-day waiting period because Creditspring aims for people to use their advances as a back-up plan, for future emergencies. The idea is to encourage people to prepare for unexpected expenses. You have a statutory right to cancel your membership at no cost to you as long as you tell Creditspring within a 14-day period, starting from the day after your agreement was made.
Creditspring offers only one option, which is to borrow the full amount. However, you can repay early at any time, so if you only need £100, you could borrow £250 and repay £150 right away. In this example, your subsequent monthly repayments would then be £25 per month (not including the cost of your membership).
You can take out the second advance as soon as the first one is repaid in full and on time. You can get two advances per year.
You can repay all or part of your advance early at any time. If you choose to repay part of your advance early, your monthly repayments will be adjusted according to your new remaining balance. Repayments of your advances are always paid in equal instalments. For example, on a six-month repayment plan, making an additional payment of £30 during the first month will then reduce all six of your monthly repayments by £5.
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
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