Oakam short-term loans review

Oakam offers loans of up to £1,750 repaid over 3, 6 or 12 months, for short-term financial emergencies. Oakam also rewards loyalty and what it calls "positive credit behaviour" with access to larger, longer loans, better rates and Oakam Grow points.

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Oakam is a direct lender, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It was launched in 2006 after its founder, Frederic Nze, recognised that lower income customers were unable to access affordable and convenient credit. Its aim was to bring simple and transparent financial services to those overlooked by traditional banking institutions.

Oakam has high street stores across London and the Midlands, and also offers a complete online service.

warning icon Warning: late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

warning icon 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.

Is high-cost, short-term borrowing a good idea?

Payday/short-term loans offer a fast fix when you get into difficulty with your finances, but are a very expensive method of borrowing. Therefore, you should only consider this as a last resort. Short-term loans are unlikely to solve your money problems in the long term, and aren’t suitable for borrowing over longer periods, or for sustained borrowing. Before you apply for a short-term loan, make sure you have considered all other options carefully. Read about alternatives to payday loans at moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

Key features of an Oakam loan:

  • Build your credit rating. As a first-time customer, you can take out an “Oakam Loan” of £200 to £1,750 over 3 to 12 months. If you make the repayments on time and in full, you are eligible for a “Lift Loan” of up to £5,000 to be repaid over 24 months. Your repayment history is reported back to credit agencies, allowing you to build your credit rating.
  • High, variable rates. Interest rates vary greatly depending on loan amount and term, credit history and personal circumstances. Oakam rewards loyalty and positive credit behaviour, so the better your repayment history, the lower your interest rate will be on further loans.
  • Repay in weekly or two-weekly instalments. Fit your repayments around your pay days.
  • Quick decision. Oakam aims to make a decision the same day, although you may be required to send supporting documentation depending on your circumstances. Once approved, have the money in your bank account the same day.
  • Multiple languages. Oakam has advisors which speak 27+ languages, including Polish, Romanian and Portuguese.
  • Award-winning app. The Oakam app allows you to earn points for paying on time, referring friends and logging in to the app. Rewards can include cash, high street vouchers or a cheaper interest on a future loan.
  • No late fees. Oakam will not charge you a penalty if you are late with a payment, although you will pay extra interest. Always speak to an advisor if you run into difficulties with your repayments as it will harm your credit rating if you are late.
  • Early repayment. You can pay off your loan in part or in full at any time without being penalised. Doing so can also save you money in interest.
Oakam LoanOakam Lift Loan
How much could I borrow?£200-£1,750£2,000-£5,000
For how long?From 3 to 12 months24 months
Ways to applyOnline, by phone or in-storeOnline, by phone or in-store
Minimum monthly income required to apply?£400 (via benefits, salary or self-employment)£700 (via salary, or self-employment)
What are the benefits of the loan?
  • Earn better pricing over time
  • Flexible repayment plan
  • Top-up your loan
  • Same day loan
  • No late or early settlement fees
  • Build your credit history
  • Flexible repayment plan
  • Same day loan
  • No late or early settlement fees
  • Build your credit history
Residency requirementsResident in the UK for at least 6 monthsResident in the UK for at least 6 months

Oakam believes you shouldn’t be barred from accessing a loan simply because your credit history is less than perfect. You can build a more positive credit record with Oakam if you make repayments on time and in full, which can make your financial future feel much brighter.

How do Oakam loans compare against other lenders’?

Table: promoted deals, sorted by total payable

If you’ve used the Oakam site to get a quote and want to see if you’re getting a good deal, find out how much a comparable loan is likely to cost you from some popular short-term lenders:

How much money do you need to borrow?

How long do you need to borrow over?

Name Product Available Amounts Monthly repayment Total payable
£50 to £800
Representative example: Borrow £200 for 6 months at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative 1,333% APR and total payable £386.61 in 6 monthly payments of £64.44.
£300 to £800
Representative example: Borrow £400 for 4 months at a rate of 255.5% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 939.5% and total payable: £597.48 in 4 payments of £149.37.
£100 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £400 for 6 months at a rate of 229.95% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 720% and total payable: £707.01 in 6 monthly payments of £117.83.
£50 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £250 for 74 days at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 1300.5% and total payable: £398.00, in 1 payment of £74.00 and 1 payment of £324.00.
£300 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £500 for 5 months at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 1,297% and total payable: £867.05 in 5 instalments of £173.41.
£100 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £480 for 9 months at a rate of 133.1% p.a. (fixed). Representative 535% APR and total payable £959.04 in 9 monthly payments of £106.56.
£100 to £2,500
Borrow £100 for 8 months at a rate of 204% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 567% and total payable £199.33 in 8 monthly payments of £19.93. You can repay this loan early.
£250 to £1,000
Representative example: Borrow £500 for 6 weeks at a rate of 255.5% p.a. Representative APR 839.20% and total payable: £647 in 1 payment.

Compare up to 4 providers

Important information: You should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts as they may vary from our results.

We compare payday/short-term loans from

Lending Stream Instalment Loan
Moneyboat Short Term Loan
Peachy Loan
QuickQuid Short Term Loan
QuidMarket Short Term Loan
Satsuma Short Term Loan
Sunny Loan
The Money Platform Short Term Loan

How does a short term loan from Oakam work?

  1. You can apply for a loan from Oakam online, by phone or by going in to one of its high street stores.
  2. Choose how much you want to borrow for and the length of term you wish to pay it back in.
  3. Complete the simple online application form, providing your contact details and monthly income and expenditures.
  4. You don’t need a good credit rating, and can even be on benefits, new to the UK or have a CCJ to be considered. However, a credit and identity check will be performed and a customer advisor may call you to discuss your personal financial circumstances and affordability in more detail.
  5. Once you have been approved, if you have applied before 4pm, the money will be deposited into your bank account the same day.

How do I pay back my loan?

Oakam uses a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA) to collect the repayments from your bank account on your chosen dates. Alternatively you can pay by cash at one of the Oakam stores.

What is a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA)?

With a CPA you give a company permission to withdraw money from your account on a regular basis.

CPA’s differ from a direct debit because they give the company being paid the ability to withdraw money from your account whenever they wish, and to take payments of different amounts without consulting you. Most payday loan companies will use a CPA to collect your repayments, however you can cancel this at any point by either consulting with the lender or your bank.

What are the eligibility requirements?

You should only apply for an Oakam loan if you are certain you can meet the repayment terms. You must also:

  • Be over 18
  • Have been a UK resident for at least 6 months
  • Have an income of £400+ (salary and benefits)
  • Have a debit card and bank account

In some cases you may also need to provide:

  • Proof of address
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of ID

Unlike many short-term lenders, Oakam considers customers with a bad credit rating or previous CCJ.

  • Have been turned down for credit before
  • Have recently moved to the UK
  • Are self employed
  • Had CCJs in the past
  • In debt management
  • Bankrupt or have an IVA

Additional Borrowing Options


    If you have had an Oakam loan for at least 60 days, and are up to date with your payments, you can apply for a “top-up”. This will be offered at a lower interest rate. If approved, your current loan will be closed and you will be issued with a new loan agreement to include the additional money you borrow. You are only allowed to apply for 2 top-ups while you have an existing balance.

Did you know?

In 2015 the Financial Conduct authority (FCA) capped interest and fees on all high-cost short-term credit loans at 0.8% per day.

They additionally capped all default charges at £15 and the total cost (interest, fees) of loans at 100% of the original sum. This means you’ll never have to pay more than double the amount borrowed.

Frequently asked questions

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    We exist to help you find better. The offers we've compared on this page are from a range of products whose details we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own financial circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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