M&S personal loans review November 2019

As well as being a stalwart of the British high street, Marks and Spencer also offers personal loans with competitive rates. What's more if you already bank with M&S you could get an even better rate on selected loan amounts.

M&S Bank

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.

How do M&S loans compare against the competition?

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first

Before you take out a personal loan, it’s smart to read up and shop around. You can use the cost estimating tool below to see how much you’d be likely to pay for your loan from some popular lenders.

Name Product Total Payable Monthly Repayment Representative APR
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 5.5% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 5.5% and total payable £10,848.60 in monthly repayments of £301.35.
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.4% and total payable £10,524.24 in monthly repayments of £292.34.
Representative example: Borrow £15,001.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.1% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.1% and total payable £15,718.32 in monthly repayments of £436.62.
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.4% and total payable £10,524.24 in monthly repayments of £292.34.
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.9% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.9% and total payable £10,601.64 in monthly repayments of £294.49.
Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 2.9% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 2.9% and total payable £10,447.20 in monthly repayments of £290.20.

Compare up to 4 providers

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

Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. See our debt help guides.

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.

  • Loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Or 1 to 5 years if you’re borrowing over £15000.
  • Loan amounts from £1,000 to £25,000.
  • Loan eligibility checker. M&S provide a simple online checker so you can see the sort of loan you could receive without your credit rating being affected.
  • Fixed monthly repayments. The amount you pay will be fixed every month, so there are no surprises and you know how much the loan is going to cost you overall.
  • Option to defer your repayments for 3 months. Although this will cost you more overall, as you’ll still be accruing interest during this period.
  • No set-up fees.
  • Preferential rates. If you bank with M&S you could grab an even better rate on selected loan amounts.

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:

  • You must be aged over 18.
  • Have an annual income of at least £10,000.
  • Be a UK resident.
  • Have a UK based bank or building society account that can pay direct debits.
  • Be willing to undergo a credit register search and credit scoring.

Then make sure you have the following information handy for your application:

  • Your address details for the past three years.
  • Your current income and details of your monthly outgoings.
  • The sort code and account number of your bank or building society account.

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.

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though 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, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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