Trezeo review 2020

If you're self-employed and struggling with irregular payments, Trezeo can help you even out your income.

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Trezeo

It can be hard to draft a budget when one week you’re earning the equivalent of two months’ salary and the next you get barely enough to do your grocery shopping.

Trezeo has a somewhat innovative solution to the problem: it wants to act as an “income smoother”. Let’s see exactly what that means and how it works.

What is Trezeo?

Trezeo is a peculiar hybrid between a credit card, a current account and a budgeting app. It’s basically a digital account that connects to your regular current account through Open Banking and manages your income for you.

Based on your previous earnings, an algorithm calculates how much you make a week and transforms it into a weekly paycheque.

If you make more, it’ll put the extra money aside; if you earn less, it’ll take the rest from your savings or, if you don’t have any, it’ll offer you an advance. In a way, it’ll be like having a regular salary.

Trezeo is meant to be used mostly by freelancers and gig economy workers (such as Uber drivers or Deliveroo couriers) whose income can be a bit bumpy.

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How does Trezeo work?

In order for Trezeo to work, you need to have all your income paid into your Trezeo account (it has its own account number and sort code).

Trezeo then pays your average weekly salary into your regular current account and keeps the rest in your Trezeo account. By doing so, it provides the following services:

  • Income smoother. You know exactly how much you’ll get every week and how much you can afford to spend.
  • Savings account. Trezeo will help you save by automatically putting aside any extra cash you earn. For now, you don’t earn any interest on your savings, but Trezeo says it’s looking into offering it. You can get your savings back into your regular current account anytime.
  • Credit. It doesn’t automatically come with the membership and you need to apply for it. If you’re accepted, Trezeo will top up your paycheque on those weeks when you earn less than your average, even if you don’t have any savings aside.

You can keep all this under control directly from the Trezeo app.

How much does Trezeo cost?

Trezeo costs £2 a month. It’s a fixed account maintenance fee and Trezeo doesn’t charge for anything else.

Even if you get credit, you won’t be charged any interest.

Applying for Trezeo

You can apply from the Trezeo website. You’ll need your personal details and your current account details.

Trezeo connects to your current account using True Layer, a tool that uses Open Banking connections to get data from your bank account. True Layer is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a third-party provider.

Once the registration is completed, you’ll be able to download the app.

How does the top-up functionality work?

In order to get interest-free credit from Trezeo, you’ll have to apply for it. It doesn’t automatically come with the initial sign-up process.

When you first sign up, Trezeo carries out a soft credit check to establish your credit profile without impacting your credit score. After your first Trezeo paycheque, the app will tell you if you’re eligible to apply for credit.

If you decide to do it, Trezeo then carries out a full credit check, after which it’ll let you know if your application has been approved and what your credit limit is.

You’ll then be granted a so-called “rolling credit”, which is basically an ongoing credit line. After a four-week waiting period, you’re entitled to receive income top-ups and you can get one-off advances four weeks after that.

Pros and cons of Trezeo

Pros

  • It helps you even out a fluctuating income.
  • It lends you money without charging any interest.
  • It automatically saves for you.
  • It can help you improve your credit score.

Cons

  • You’ll have to change your payment details with the companies you’re working for.
  • You can’t make payments and it doesn’t offer a card to go with it.
  • It doesn’t offer any other budgeting features.

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The bottom line

Trezeo has an innovative and clever way of looking at credit. Gig economy workers can have a hard time organising their finances and most traditional lenders don’t have dedicated lending services that suit their needs, so Trezeo can be a smart solution to even out your income.

However, it’s still a bit impractical. You must have your income paid into it if you want to use it, but you’ll still need a regular current account to do everything else, from the actual budgeting to making payments to using a debit card. It’d be much better if you could have all those services directly in the Trezeo account.

Finally, it’s true that it doesn’t charge any interest, but there’s still a monthly fee to take into account. If you don’t actually need to borrow money, but only to improve your money management practices, you may be better off with a free current account and an equally free budgeting app.

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