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What is Marks and Spencer?
In case by some miracle you haven’t heard of it, Marks & Spencer (AKA M&S, AKA Marks & Sparks, AKA St Michael) is a British institution, founded in Leeds in 1884. Best known for its homewares, clothing and luxury foods, M&S now also provides a range of financial services including travel money, current accounts, credit cards and personal loans.
Whether you’re looking to buy a new car, consolidate debt, refurbish the kitchen, or take that desperately needed holiday, Marks and Spencer offers competitive, flexible, fixed-rate loans. It’s quick and easy to apply online via the M&S Bank website and you can check your eligibility beforehand without affecting your credit score.
Key features of M&S loans at a glance
M&S offers unsecured personal loans – meaning they’re be based on creditworthiness, rather than the use of property or other assets as collateral. Its loans are available over a period of 1-7 years for amounts between £1,000 and £15,000, or over a period of 1 to 5 years on amounts between £15,001 and £25,000.
While M&S rates are generally competitive, the representative APR specified may not be the actual rate you’ll receive: M&S will offer you a rate based on assessment of your personal financial circumstances.
All interest rates are fixed for the duration of your repayment period, however the rate you’re offered will depend on factors like the amount you apply for, the term of the loan, your credit rating and your income. It may differ from the advertised “Representative APR”.
What is APR?If you’re comparing any credit-based products, it won’t be long before you’ll come across the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This figure is designed to provide an annual summary of the cost of a loan. It takes into account both interest and any mandatory charges to be paid (for example an arrangement fee) over the duration of a loan.
All lenders must calculate the APR of their products in the same way, and must tell you the APR before you sign an agreement, so for consumers it can be a handy tool for comparison.
Bear in mind, however, that lenders are only obliged to award this rate to 51% of those who take out the loan – the other 49% could pay more. That’s why it’s often referred to as the representative APR.
Unlike some other providers M&S doesn’t charge an arrangement or set-up fee. Additionally there are no fees for paying back some or all of your loan early, however this will not necessarily save you money in interest – check the early repayment terms before applying for an M&S personal loan.
M&S also offers customers the chance to defer their payments for the first three months, so you can have a bit more time to sort out your finances. Bear in mind this will cost you more overall however, as you’ll still be charged interest for this period.
How can I apply for an M&S loan?
First check your eligibility with the following criteria:
Then make sure you have the following information handy for your application:
Then simply fill in the application form on the M&S bank website and wait for a response.
M&S states that these loans should not be used for funding or part funding a property, gambling, business purposes or share dealing.
M&S loans and your credit score
M&S Bank offers some of the best rates available on the market, but like any lender, it has a finite pool of funds to lend out. Because of this it will lend to those that it deems safest first. This means that to qualify for M&S loan, you’ll need a good credit score.
The “Eligibility Checker” on M&S Bank’s site is the smartest way to find out if you’re likely to be approved, and whether you’ll get M&S Bank’s best rate (the advertised “representative APR”). You’ll need to provide your address details for the last three years, which it will use to run a “soft” search on your credit file – meaning that the search won’t affect your credit score, and won’t be visible to other lenders.
If you then decide to apply, like any responsible lender, M&S Bank will run a “hard” credit search. This will usually have a very slight adverse effect on your credit score – this is normal, and the effect is normally short-lived.
When you take out a loan, the repayments are reported back to credit reference agencies (CRAs) like Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Provided you stick to the agreed repayment schedule and clear the loan in full and on time, this will demonstrate responsible borrowing, and can have a positive impact on your credit score.
M&S Bank customer reviews
Customers in Finder’s 2021 customer satisfaction survey were generally positive towards M&S Bank, with some praising its easy application process. One customer said it was “quick and easy to get accepted and I got the rate advertised.”
M&S Bank also scored 3 stars out of 5 in our 2021 customer satisfaction awards. 73% of M&S Bank customers also said they would be happy to recommend the brand to a friend.
Frequently asked questions
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