Payday Loans

Payday loans have become a popular financial solution for many people in the UK. These loans provide temporary financial relief, catering to those with short-term financial needs. As some of the biggest lenders in the market, such as Wonga, Sunny and Peachy, have ceased trading recently, borrowers have relied on a new set of leading UK payday lenders like Mr Lender, Lending Stream, and QuidMarket.

Typically ranging from £50 to £1,000, payday loans are small unsecured loans borrowed over a short period, usually less than nine months. Due to their less strict eligibility criteria, they have become a preferred choice for people needing immediate financial assistance. However, it’s important to consider that these loans come with high-interest rates and should be viewed as a last resort.

Before resorting to a payday loan, it’s crucial to understand the real cost involved, as charges vary from company to company. The average cost is around £24 per month per £100 borrowed. Shopping around and comparing loans are essential to ensure the best and most suitable deal is found. Responsible borrowing is crucial for payday loans; only a well-informed decision can ensure a positive outcome.

Payday loans

What Are Payday Loans

A payday loan is a short-term borrowing designed to help individuals cover emergency expenses or meet financial needs until their next payday. These loans are typically for smaller amounts, ranging from £100 to £1,000, and have a short repayment period, usually two to three weeks.

The availability of payday loans has expanded in recent years, with high-street shops and online lenders offering these unsecured, high-cost loans. While payday loans can be obtained easily, borrowers should be aware that the interest rates for these loans are considerably higher than those of standard personal loans.

Short-term loans, such as payday loans, are commonly used to tackle unexpected expenses like broken appliances or car repairs, which might be difficult to afford with a monthly salary or savings. However, due to the high-interest rates and short repayment terms, borrowers should carefully consider other options before resorting to a payday loan.

Many reputable payday lenders in the UK include Mr Lender, Lending Stream, QuidMarket, and Fund Ourselves. When searching for the most suitable payday loan, potential borrowers should consider factors like the overall cost, repayment terms, and eligibility criteria to ensure they are making an informed decision.

It is important to note that payday loans are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Lenders must follow specific rules and guidelines, providing borrowers with some level of protection. Borrowers can file a complaint with the relevant authority if a lender fails to follow these guidelines.

In summary, payday loans are short-term, high-interest loans that can provide quick financial assistance in urgent situations. Most pay day loans are no credit check loans. However, their high cost and short repayment duration should encourage borrowers to explore alternative options whenever possible.

How Payday Loans Work

Application Process

The application process for payday loans in the UK typically begins with a borrower completing an online application form or visiting a lender’s website. Here, the applicant provides their personal and financial information, including the amount they wish to borrow and their bank account details. Borrowers can apply through direct lenders or brokers who may help them find the best-suited loan option.

Loan Approval

Once the application form is submitted, the lender conducts an affordability assessment to determine the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. In some cases, lenders may offer loans to individuals with bad credit, as the focus is on the applicant’s current financial situation rather than their credit history. After the assessment, the lender will decide whether to approve or reject the loan application. The funds are quickly transferred to the borrower’s bank account if approved.

Repayment Terms

Payday loans are short-term loans, and the borrowing durations are generally between two to three weeks or up to a month. The repayment terms include the principal amount borrowed, interest, and additional fees. The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for payday loans can be quite high compared to standard personal loans.

Repayment is typically made through a continuous payment authority (CPA), which allows the lender to automatically withdraw the funds from the borrower’s bank account on the scheduled due date. However, some lenders accept other payment methods, such as direct debit or manual transfer.

Borrowers also have the option to repay the loan early, which can help save on interest charges. Borrowers must clearly understand their repayment plan and the terms associated with payday loans to ensure they do not face difficulty during the loan cycle.

Types of Payday Loans

Types of payday loans

Payday loans in the UK provide small amounts of money to borrowers, usually ranging from £100 to £1,000, to be repaid upon their next paycheque. Several types of payday loans are available, each with its unique characteristics and target audience. This section will explore three popular types of payday loans: Online Payday Loans, Direct Lender Loans, and Short-Term Loans.

Online Payday Loans

Online payday loans can be applied for and managed entirely through the Internet. They offer a quick and convenient option for individuals needing financial assistance. These loans often have a simple application process and faster approval than traditional payday loans from high street shops. Some benefits of online payday loans include:

  • Convenient application process
  • Fast approval times
  • Can be managed from home or on-the-go

However, it’s important to remember that online payday loans can come with high-interest rates. Read the terms and conditions carefully before applying for an online payday loan.

Direct Lender Loans

Direct lender loans are payday loans provided directly by the lender without involving a third-party broker. This can result in a quicker and more transparent lending process and lower fees. Some advantages of direct lender loans include the following:

  • No additional fees from brokers
  • Clear communication with the lender
  • Greater control over loan terms and conditions

Despite the benefits of direct lender loans, always compare multiple lenders to find the best loan product for your specific needs, and be aware of the potentially high interest rates.

Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans are payday loans designed to be repaid within a few months or sooner if the borrower can repay the balance plus interest. These loans tend to have lower amounts, usually between £100 and £1,000, and cater to borrowers with emergency expenses. Some characteristics of short-term loans include:

  • Smaller loan amounts
  • Quick repayment terms
  • Can help with emergency costs

While short-term loans can be useful in certain circumstances, they can also come with high interest rates. It’s crucial for borrowers to carefully consider their ability to repay the loan before applying.

In summary, payday loans in the UK can be found in various forms, such as Online Payday Loans, Direct Lender Loans, and Short-Term Loans. When considering a payday loan, always research different lenders, compare loan terms, and be mindful of high interest rates. By doing so, borrowers can find the most suitable payday loan.

Interest Rates and Fees

APR and Interest Caps

Payday loans in the UK can have high-interest rates, but there are caps enforced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to protect borrowers. The interest cap is set at 0.8% per day of the amount borrowed. This means that for every £500 borrowed, there will be a £4 interest charge per day.

The FCA also enforces a cap on the total cost of payday loans, including interest and fees, at 100% of the original loan amount. This ensures that borrowers never have to pay back more than double what they initially borrowed.

Default Fees

If borrowers fail to repay their payday loan on time, they may be charged a default fee. The FCA limits this default fee to a maximum of £15. However, interest can still be charged on the outstanding amount, but it must not exceed the 0.8% daily cap.

Overdraft Charges

When comparing payday loans to overdraft charges, it is important to consider both options carefully. Overdraft charges can vary depending on your bank and the terms of your account. While some banks may offer interest-free overdrafts up to a certain amount, others may charge significant fees for going into an overdraft.

In conclusion, borrowers must know the interest rates and fees associated with payday loans and compare them to other short-term borrowing options, such as overdrafts. By understanding the caps set by the FCA and the potential default fees and overdraft charges, borrowers can make informed decisions that best suit their financial situation.

Loan Amounts and Repayment Options

Loan Terms

In the UK, payday loans enable borrowers to access funds ranging from £100 to £1,500, with loan terms varying between 1 and 12 months. Payday loans serve as a convenient solution for individuals seeking emergency cash without the lengthy application process of a traditional bank loan. Companies such as Peachy offer loans from £100 to £1,000 for 1 to 12 months. It is essential to compare different loan providers to find the best terms for your situation.


Repaying a payday loan comprises a series of instalments, generally split into equal amounts. For instance, if you borrow £300 for 3 months at a rate of 292% p.a. (fixed), with a representative APR of 1297.6%, the total amount payable would be £454.37. This sum would be divided into three instalments of £151.46 each. Considering the interest rates and representative APR when selecting a loan is crucial, as they can significantly impact the total repayment cost.


Making overpayments when repaying a payday loan can help reduce the overall interest amount and shorten the loan term. Most payday loan providers allow borrowers to make additional payments without incurring extra charges. However, it is recommended to check your chosen loan provider’s specific terms and conditions to ensure there are no hidden fees or penalties related to overpayments.

The UK payday loan market offers various options regarding loan amounts, repayment instalments, and loan terms. To secure the best deal, compare different providers and consider factors such as interest rates, representative APR, and overpayment possibilities. Doing so lets you make a well-informed decision and select the most suitable loan product for your financial needs.

Eligibility Criteria and Application

UK Resident Requirements

To apply for a payday loan in the UK, you must meet some essential criteria. These requirements ensure the lender that you are in a stable financial situation to repay the loan. The key requirements are:

  • You must be 18 years old or older.
  • You need to be a UK resident.

It is important to confirm your residency by providing accurate information and documentation, as this will impact your loan eligibility and application process.

Current Account Requirements

Your current account also plays a vital role in determining your eligibility criteria for a payday loan in the UK. Lenders will typically assess the following factors:

  • Having a valid bank account and an active debit card
  • Being in permanent employment or receiving various allowances
  • Meeting credit and affordability criteria set by the lender

A current account with a good credit history shows that you have been financially responsible, which increases your chances of being approved for a payday loan. It is important to remember that each lender may have their specific requirements, so ensure you meet the necessary criteria before submitting your application.

Top UK Payday Loan Companies

The UK payday loan market has witnessed several changes recently, with some prominent lenders exiting the industry. However, some reputable companies still offer short-term loans to borrowers needing a quick loan. Here, we discuss two top UK payday loan players: Cashfloat and QuickQuid.

Cashfloat is a direct lender known for processing applications quickly and efficiently. They consider all credit scores and offer loans up to £1,500. Approved loans are usually funded the same day, allowing borrowers to access funds promptly. Users can choose to repay their loans in up to 9 monthly instalments, providing flexibility in managing repayments. Their user-friendly website makes it easy for borrowers to apply for loans online.

Key features of Cashfloat include:

  • Loans up to £1,500
  • Same-day funding for approved applications
  • Repayment terms up to 9 months
  • All credit scores considered

It is important to note that Cashfloat’s Representative APR stands at 1333%. For example, if you borrow £200 over 6 months at 292% p.a. (fixed), you would owe 6 equal repayments of £64.44.

QuickQuid was one of the leading payday loan providers in the UK until October 2019, when it ceased lending following a surge in customer complaints relating to its affordability assessments. It is no longer active in the market. Before its closure, QuickQuid provided short-term loans to borrowers with a focus on speed and efficient customer service. However, given its inactive status, it is not a viable option for borrowers seeking payday loans in the UK.

In conclusion, when seeking a dependable UK payday loan provider, Cashfloat is a strong candidate, offering flexible repayment terms and a user-friendly platform. Remember to exercise caution when using payday loans, as the high APRs and short repayment terms can lead to debt spirals if not managed responsibly.

Alternatives to Payday Loans

Personal Loans

Personal loans are an alternative to payday loans for individuals requiring cash for short-term needs. These loans often have lower interest rates than payday loans, allowing individuals to borrow larger amounts over a more extended period. Borrowers typically need a good credit score to secure a personal loan, but some lenders may offer loans for people with average credit.

The monthly repayments for personal loans are usually more manageable and predictable than payday loans. It’s essential to compare different loan offers from various lenders to find the best terms and interest rates.

Secured Loans

Secured loans can be an option for those with collateral to put up against the loan, such as a property or vehicle. Since an asset backs the loan, it often comes with a lower interest rate than payday and personal loans.

However, it’s essential to remember that defaulting on a secured loan can result in the loss of the collateral provided. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that monthly repayments are affordable and budgeted correctly.

  • Benefits of secured loans:
    • Lower interest rates
    • Longer repayment periods
    • Larger loan amounts

Credit Cards

Credit cards offer another alternative to payday loans, enabling individuals to access funds easily. Credit cards have preset limits based on credit scores, and users can spend up to that limit, making minimum monthly repayments.

Being responsible with credit card usage is important, as high balances and late payments can negatively impact credit scores. Some credit cards are specifically tailored for individuals with poor or limited credit, making them an option for those who may not qualify for a personal or secured loan.

  • Factors to consider with credit cards:
    • Interest rates
    • Credit limits
    • Annual fees
    • Balance transfer options
    • Reward programmes

Using Payday Loans Responsibly

Emergency Situations

Payday loans can be a quick and convenient option for emergencies where you need access to funds immediately. Speed and security are two key advantages of this type of borrowing. In unexpected medical expenses or urgent car repairs, turning to payday loans can help you cover the costs without further delay.

However, it’s important to remember that payday loans should only be used for true emergencies and not for discretionary spending, like family vacations. The high interest rates and fees associated with payday loans make them an expensive choice for non-urgent expenses.

Managing Finances

Using payday loans responsibly starts with proper financial management. To avoid relying on payday loans, consider the following steps:

  • Budgeting: Create a monthly budget to track your expenses, identify areas where you can cut costs, and make informed decisions about your spending.
  • Building an emergency fund: Set aside a portion of your monthly salary for unexpected expenses. This will help you avoid resorting to payday loans when emergencies arise.
  • Prioritising debt repayment: If you have multiple debts, focus on paying off those with the highest interest rates first to minimise your overall interest payments.
  • Avoiding unnecessary borrowing: Utilise payday loans only for essential expenses, such as medical emergencies, and avoid using them for non-essential costs like leisure or entertainment.

In summary, while payday loans can be helpful in certain situations, using them responsibly requires diligent financial management and prioritising emergency expenses. By being mindful of your financial needs and planning, you can avoid reliance on this costly form of borrowing.

Lending Regulations and Consumer Protection

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the payday loan industry in the United Kingdom. The FCA implemented rules to protect consumers and ensure responsible lending practices are followed by payday lenders, which includes companies like Lending Stream.

One of the significant regulations introduced by the FCA is the price cap on high-cost short-term credit loans. The cap ensures that interest and fees must not exceed 0.8% per day of the amount borrowed. This regulation aims to protect consumers from excessive charges and make the cost of borrowing more transparent.

In addition to the daily interest cap, the FCA also imposes rules on default fees. If borrowers do not repay their loans on time, default charges must not exceed £15. This rule protects borrowers struggling to repay their loans and prevents them from further financial difficulties.

The FCA’s regulations require payday lenders to undertake proper affordability checks before approving loans. This involves assessing potential borrowers’ creditworthiness and ensuring they can repay the loan without causing undue financial hardship.

Lending Stream, a popular payday loan provider in the UK, adheres to these regulations and offers short-term loans while providing a clear and transparent pricing structure. It is essential for consumers to only deal with FCA-regulated lenders like Lending Stream to ensure the regulations protect them and have recourse if their rights are infringed upon.

In summary, the FCA is committed to safeguarding consumers in the payday loan market by enforcing fair lending practices and providing transparency. Through regulations like interest rate caps, default fee limitations, and mandatory affordability checks, borrowers in the UK are better protected from the potentially harmful impacts of payday loans.


Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)