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.
Important: Provident is no longer taking new loan applications. This page has been preserved for historical purposes, and you can compare a range of short term loans here.
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What is Provident?
Definitely one of the older companies in short term loans, Provident Financial was founded in 1880 with the aim of helping working families provide for themselves. It’s also the parent company of a number of popular credit providing brands, like Vanquis Bank, Satsuma and Moneybarn. Here’s our review of Provident’s best known service – its doorstep loans.
Key features of Provident doorstep loans
- Borrow £100–£1,000 for 13, 26 or 52 weeks. Larger sums may not be available over 13 week terms.
- All situations considered. Provident will consider applications even if you are self employed, on benefits or have poor credit.
- Finish your application with a home visit. A member of Provident’s team will visit you in person to ensure your loan is a manageable and sustainable option.
- Fixed, high interest rates. Because the interest rate is fixed for the duration of the loan, you’ll know in advance exactly what the loan will cost you. However with high rates, this is a very expensive way of borrowing.
- Cash delivered to your door. If approved, your loan will be delivered directly to your door.
- Repayments collected from your home. Provident’s CEM’s will collect your repayments from your home each week. It is still possible to pay online and via phone.
- Personal support. Throughout your loan Provident’s CEM’s will provide personal, face to face support and advice.
How much does it cost?
Provident loans have a representative APR of 535.3%, but the rate you receive will be based on factors such as your loan size and term, as well as your credit history.
Representative exampleRepresentative example: Borrow £260 for 26 weeks at a rate of 112% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 535.3% and total payable: £405.60 in weekly instalments of £15.60.
Am I eligible?
To apply for a Provident loan you must:
- Be a UK resident, aged between 18 and 74
- Have a contact telephone number and your address details for the past 3 years
- Agree to home visits and affordability assessment
Do Provident do credit checks?
Provident take your credit history into account when considering whether to give you a loan, but it’s not the only thing they look at. You’re still able to apply for a Provident loan if you have bad credit, but will also need to meet Provident’s lending criteria.
Provident pros and cons
- No hidden fees
- Flexible eligibility criteria
- Available to those who are unemployed or have bad credit
- Weekly repayments
- Requires regular house visits
- There may be other cheaper options open to you
What is a doorstep loan?
A doorstep loan is an unsecured personal loan where funds are both issued and collected in person, at your home.
Doorstep loans have come under attack recently as they are not subject to the same restrictions as payday loans. After payday loans received a huge amount of bad publicity, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) put limits in place to protect borrowers who used high-cost, short-term credit, but these restrictions did not cover the provision of “home credit” (doorstep loans).
How does a Provident home collected loan work?
Borrowers can begin their loan application online and receive a provisional loan agreement. Next, a face-to-face affordability assessment will be conducted by an agent, which Provident calls the Customer Experience Manager (CEM), at the borrower’s residence. The agent can also answer any questions the borrower might have. The agent will then return at prearranged times each week to collect repayments until the loan is paid off.
If you already have a Provident loan, Provident is willing to offer additional borrowing options. Be advised however, that at the time of writing, home credit is not covered by the same restrictions as many other forms of high-cost, short-term credit as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – meaning that if you roll an existing loan over into a new loan, you could end up paying more back in interest than you initially borrowed. If the loan is not affordable, or you fail to keep up repayments, you could end up with mounting debts in this way.
If you’re experiencing difficulty paying back your loan or would like to take out a bigger loan then you should call Provident’s customer service team or chat to your Customer Experience Manager (CEM) in person. Your CEM is the member of Provident’s team that visits your home. They are there to answer any questions you have.
Provident provides loans for those who are unlikely to be approved for regular personal loans, including those that are unemployed, self employed, have poor credit or even received county court judgements (CCJ) in the past.
While it may be attractive for those who need to borrow money and have limited options, you’re going to pay for the privilege, and are likely to end up paying a lot in interest. As with any short term or bad credit loan, a Provident loan should only be considered as a last resort.
Before you take out a loan, first ask yourself if the expenditure you’re planning is urgent and essential. If you’re struggling to pay a bill for example, you could try talking to your utility provider about a payment plan. There’s a wealth of free information on alternatives at the government’s moneyadviceservice.org.uk, plus sound advice on managing debt generally.
Other financial products available that you may wish to consider include credit builder credit cards, guarantor loans, logbook loans (secured against a vehicle), high street money shops and online short-term loans.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Sites like Provident
Formed in 1880, Provident was one of the UK’s longest standing providers of short term loans. Today a number of similar lenders exist – here’s our list of lenders providing a comparable service.