You must have met Dr Moore-Money by now – he’s Covered mag’s in-house comparison doc.
He has one simple mission statement: to take the sting out of comparing stuff online for everyday folk who write in to us in their droves to seek out his sage-like wisdom.
This month, he’s tackling the issue of loans head on.
So, over to you, M-M.
Dearest Dr Moore-Money,
I’ve just started seeing a new girl. She’s a real looker, intelligent, sophisticated… but she’s not half demanding.
In fact, I’m often finding myself worn out from seeing to her many whims.
It’s approaching her birthday, and she’s expecting something big. The only problem is, I don’t think I can deliver.
I’m losing sleep at night worrying how I’m going to satisfy her with something suitably eye-popping, so I’ve been considering taking out a loan to pay for it.
Any tips on how to go about it?
Dr Moore-Money says,
First of all Gavin, some guidance.
Loans are not something to be taken lightly, and should most certainly not be used for frivolous matters such as this.
However, it’s not unheard of for people to take out loans for something serious – an impressive extension, for instance.
If you and your partner are meant to be, then she’ll surely understand that size of the package she’s going to receive on her birthday really isn’t what’s important – it’s the thought that counts.
Perhaps wow her with a sausage surprise – a nice, home-cooked meal could be just the ticket to curry her favour without splashing out. Or how about a day of lusty outdoor thrills by the seaside?
There are many different ways to impress a loved one that won’t break the bank.
In fact, it’s an oft-overlooked and irrefutable fact that financial responsibility is a powerful aphrodisiac – just ask Mrs M-M.
I suggest boning up on the topic before making any rash decisions, and Gocompare.com's extensive loan guide network is the perfect place to start.
To the esteemed Dr Moore-Money,
I’m absolutely gagging for a new kitchen, but my husband isn’t so sure. Mainly because of financial constraints.
I’ve suggested a loan, but he’s swatted the idea away.
He reckons that it’s too much fuss, and that applying for a loan will make a mess of our credit records.
How can I get him to change his mind?
Dr Moore-Money says…
It very much sounds like you and your husband have some disagreements that need seeing to.
He’s right to voice his concerns, but you could help allay his fears by using Gocompare.com’s ‘soft search’ to help ease you both in, before indulging in a full application.
It allows you to take a ‘suck it and see’ approach to borrowing, allowing you to easily peruse what you’re most likely to be accepted for.
Suggest that you spend an evening of no-pressure comparison together in soft mode, and see if he can be swayed.
He might like what he sees, and best of all, there’ll be no nasty stains left on his credit record.
Dear Dr Moore-Money,
I am writing to you about a terrible mistake I think I may have made.
Last Friday night, I was just desperate for it.
I’d just got back from a night with the boys, greedily tucking into a mutton phaal and keema naan, washed down with a fortifying can of Tizer, while I watched late-night TV.
My wife was away on a ‘girls weekend’ in Weston-super-Mare, and as I idly flicked through channels and browsed on my so-called ‘smart phone’, my mind began to wander.
Tantalised by the gaudy adverts and promise of a quick and easy no-hassle fix, I picked up the phone. Minutes later, it had all been arranged. I licked my lips and salivated with anticipation.
The next morning, in a groggy fug, the enormity of what I’d done hit me. I felt dirty and cheap.
Moreover, I was terrified at what would happen if my wife found out. How could I have been so stupid?
I’m beginning to wonder what knock-on effects this incident might have – in fact, I’m very worried that my credit score may be affected… or worse.
Dr Moore-Money says….
You’re certainly not the first person to have a moment of madness and apply for a payday loan on a dark, lonely night, and you certainly won’t be the last.
Yes, they can provide ready cash in an instant, but the consequences can be devastating.
The interest can be staggeringly high, and you may find out that you end with a lot more than you bargained for.
What’s more, it can cause serious damage to your credit score if you haven't taken precaution.
Contrary to popular opinion, getting a payday loan or other expensive short-term form of finance won't necessarily disqualify you from getting a loan or mortgage in the future.
However, if you repeatedly use them and consistently fail to pay them off sufficiently quickly, then it might be a different story.
Payday loans also have a 14-day cooling off period, where you can withdraw from the agreement.
So, you might be able to cancel the loan, give back the money you borrowed and only pay interest on the days you had it. The lender would also have to refund any arrangement fees. My esteemed counterparts at the Money Advice Service have more information, and I suggest you familiarise yourself with it.
Above all, be straight with your wife. Admit what you’ve done. Perhaps even conduct a financial health check, too, to make sure you haven’t picked up anything nasty in the process.
Ensure the balance of what you’ve borrowed is paid off as soon as you can to avoid the interest fees stacking up.
With mutual trust and a diligent financial plan I’m confident that this misdemeanour can be addressed.
Join us next time for another surgery session. In the meantime, send the doc your letters and we'll get him to answer them for you.