If you grant it access to your internet banking, SafetyNet Credit will make a secure and ongoing connection to your bank account and use this connection both to assess your credit and to track your balance – lending money when you need it (hence the “safety net”), and taking repayments only when you can afford it.
Because it’s open-ended and ongoing, this is described as a revolving line of credit.
Underlying this innovative approach, however, is high-cost, short-term credit that’s not dissimilar to typical payday lending – with similar eye-watering interest rates and similar amounts available to borrow.
When you apply for a credit facility through SafetyNet Credit, along with all the usual info you’d expect to be asked for, you’ll be asked to give the company your internet banking log-in details.
SafetyNet Credit will then be able to use this visibility of your account, together with your credit history, to assess whether short-term credit would be affordable for you. Provided it is, SafetyNet Credit will then make a certain amount of credit available to you, which you can use at any time. You’ll probably want to download the app to make this process easier, but alternatively you can log into your dashboard online.
Additionally you can set up automatic borrowing for when your linked account drops to a pre-agreed level. The purpose of this is to avoid going into unauthorised overdraft (exceeding your authorised overdraft limit). You’ll want to look at your account’s overdraft rates and fees to weigh up the overdraft costs vs using SafetyNet Credit, and the point at which to set the pre-agreed level for automatic deposits.
Repayments can be made manually at any time, or automatically when money comes into your account.
Can SafetyNet Credit affect my credit score?
Like the vast majority of lenders, SafetyNet Credit reports details of your repayments to credit reference agencies (CRAs). Provided you make all repayments in full and on time, using credit responsibly helps to build a positive credit history. By contrast, if you miss repayments, then that’s also reported back, and will have a negative impact on your credit record.
SafetyNet Credit will run a check of your credit record as part of the application process. This check will leave a footprint, and will also cause a slight (and usually short-lived) negative effect on your credit score, so you shouldn’t apply for too many loans in a short space of time.
Is SafetyNet Credit safe and legitimate?
SafetyNet Credit is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), so it’s bound by the same rules and regulations as pretty much all reputable lenders in the UK. You should never borrow from a company that isn’t FCA-regulated and authorised.
You’re essentially giving SafetyNet Credit “read-only” access to your internet banking, so you need to be sure that you’re comfortable with that. Realistically it’s probably not something that your bank would approve of, but SafetyNet Credit isn’t breaking any laws. The company that helps SafetyNet Credit to do this is Yodlee. Yodlee helps a number of companies in this way, and has done so for a number of years.
Remember, if you’ve signed up for the credit facility from SafetyNet Credit, that shouldn’t stop you from shopping around to get the best rate on a loan.
How do SafetyNet Credit’s loans hold up against the competition?
Table: promoted deals, sorted by total payable
As well as comparing short-term loans with other types of credit, before you apply for a loan, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare a range of lenders. You can use the table below to get an idea of how much the loan that you have in mind might cost.
How much do you need to borrow?
How long do you need to borrow for?
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
Pros and cons of borrowing with SafetyNet Credit
Speed. It can take up to a day for new customers to get the credit facility set up, but once it’s in place, it’s very quick (even automatic) to access credit from then on.
Convenience. Once the credit facility is in place, you can use the online dashboard or app to request credit whenever you need it, or set up automatic deposits when you’re nearing the limit on your authorised overdraft.
No fees. Provided you make repayments on time, then there are no costs other than the interest.
High rates. At 0.8% per day, this credit is sitting right on the legal maximum, and should only be considered as a last resort. You should look for a better overdraft facility first, and ask yourself if the spending is absolutely essential.
Privacy. Many people will be uncomfortable with the idea of giving out their internet banking details.
Too convenient. Could this service’s convenience also be its downfall? If you forget that you’ve set up automatic deposits, you could effectively end up taking out a loan without meaning to. And for some people, the ease of securing credit could make it harder to resist frivolous spending.
How do I apply?
It’s straightforward to apply online, and for new customers it can take about a day to set up the facility.
To apply to SafetyNet Credit you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
Aged 18 or over
Have a salary or other regular income
Have a current account with internet banking
What information will I need to give?
Bank account sort code and account number
Debit card details
Internet banking log-in details
Frequently asked questions
SafetyNet Credit requests access to your internet banking for three main reasons:
To assess how much credit to offer
To automate the issuing of loans when you’re close to going over your authorised overdraft limit
To automate the collection of repayments when there are sufficient funds in your account
Provided you make repayments on time, then the only cost is the interest that you pay. This is a rather painful 0.8% per day however.
If you set up an automatic borrowing payment with SafetyNet Credit but would like to cancel this payment, you should inform both your card provider and SafetyNet Credit by writing. Keep a record of your written cancellation and all other communications to avoid any disputes.
SafetyNet Credit specifies an amount of credit that you’re approved for, and you can request access to some or all of this credit at any time through the app or the online dashboard.
It’s part of London-based Indigo Michael Limited (IML) which also owns Tappily and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
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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