loqbox

LOQBOX review May 2019

LOQBOX offers a unique, cost-free way to build or rebuild your credit history while you save.

Is it a loan? Is it a savings account? Well, actually it’s effectively both, and it’s the name of the company too – so you could be forgiven for getting confused. We’ll try to cut through some of the confusion surrounding this innovative credit builder.

Explain LOQBOX to me in 3 sentences

If you decide to “buy” a LOQBOX, you’ll set up a direct debit to save a regular amount each month. LOQBOX cleverly treats these direct debits as finance repayments and each repayment is reported to a credit reference agency – showing lenders that you’re responsible with finance and boosting your chances of getting good deals on credit products. You can “unlock” your LOQBOX at anytime to get all your money back and walk away.

Build your credit history while you save with LOQBOX

  • Choose what you want to save – from £20 to £200 a month.
  • Build your credit history with the credit reference agencies.
  • Leave with an improved credit history, plus all your savings.

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Video interview: co-founder Gregor Mowat on how to use LOQBOX

How does it work?

  1. Choose to make regular monthly savings of anywhere between £20 and £200 over a year to “buy” a LOQBOX. You can sign up online in under five minutes and have your LOQBOX account open in another five minutes, and you won’t be subjected to a credit check.
  2. Your monthly savings become repayments on a finance agreement. Instead of buying your LOQBOX upfront, you’re using interest-free credit to pay for it over 12 months. Each repayment (effectively what you are saving each month) gets added to your credit history.
  3. You can then pull out at any time or let the 12 months run its course. If you change your mind, or think you might struggle to make a payment, you can “unlock” your LOQBOX any time. You’ll get back everything you’ve paid in. This means you won’t have to miss any payments, which would in fact harm your credit rating.
  4. When you unlock your LOQBOX and get all your money back (either after the 12 months are up, or sooner, if you decide to pull out), you’ll be asked to open a bank account or ISA with one of LOQBOX’s partner banks for it to pay your money into. This is how LOQBOX gets paid – earning a referral fee from its partners for bringing in new customers, which is in turn how it makes the service free for you. If you don’t want to do this, you can pay your savings into an existing account for a £30 charge.

Who is behind LOQBOX?

LOQBOX was founded in 2012 by Tom Eyre and Gregor Mowat with the mission to help people who have found themselves excluded from accessing fairly priced credit either because they are young with little or no credit history, or because they have made past credit mistakes.

It’s worth noting that LOQBOX isn’t actually a lender – it acts as an “introducer”. Credit is provided by DDC Financial Solutions. If you take out a LOQBOX, you are effectively accepting a finance agreement from DDC financial solutions. Your monthly savings are the repayments on that agreement, which will build up your credit history over time. The finance that DDC provides has no charges or interest, essentially making it a cost-free way to improve your credit rating. However, you must be prepared to open an account or ISA with one of LOQBOX’s partner banks at the end of the term. Or, you can pay a fee to use one of your existing accounts.

LOQBOX is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

What’s good or bad about LOQBOX?

Pros

  • It’s free.
  • There’s no credit check involved.
  • You’ll build up some savings.
  • It can help build a positive credit history.
  • You can pull out of the arrangement at any time and get all your money back.
  • Your funds are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”) up to the tune of £85,000.

Cons

  • You’re saving, but without earning any interest.
  • If you miss a payment, you’ll actually damage your credit record.
  • At the time of writing, it’s not possible to move your monthly payment date (other than cancelling it altogether).
  • At the end of the 12 months you’ll end up with a new account that you might not have wanted, or alternatively you’ll incur a £30 fee.

You’ll also receive emails with expert tips on money management and how to continue saving. Pro or con? You decide.

Am I eligible for LOQBOX?

Because there’s little risk involved, there aren’t many eligibility requirements. To be accepted you must:

  • Have a bank account which allows direct debits.
  • Have an email address, phone number and residential address.

You must also be willing to open a savings account or ISA with one of LOQBOX’s partner banks, or otherwise be willing to pay a £30 fee.

Other frequently asked questions

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