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Doorstep loan debts and door to door lenders

Doorstep loans are also known as home collection loans and home credit loans. They are a type of personal loan and, as the name suggests, they are delivered to your home. Agents from the lenders call round to your house to deliver the loans in cash or vouchers and to collect repayments.

Some larger doorstep loan companies such as Provident, Greenwoods and Morses Club operate across the UK and Ireland. There are also lots of smaller regional doorstep lenders.

Doorstep loan costs

The rate of interest or APR on a doorstep loan is usually 200% or more, and they’re normally paid weekly back over six to nine months. As a rough example, you can probably expect to pay back £150 to £180 for every £100 you borrow.

Doorstep loans are an expensive way to borrow money so think carefully before taking one out.

This APR is lower than a typical payday loan, but because doorstep loans are paid back over a longer time the total amount you’ll pay can be similar.

Is a short term loan right for you?

Buy now pay later, payday loans and doorstep loans can be convenient, if you need money fast. These types of loan are an expensive way of borrowing and can leave you worse off financially.  You should make sure you can afford to repay the full amount – including the interest. You also need to think about what might happen if you fall behind with payments.

Relying on short term, high interest credit to pay for essentials is a sign that you might need help. If you’re struggling with money, find out how we can help you.

There are cheaper ways of borrowing, including arranged overdrafts and credit unions. If you're on a low income and need emergency help with money, you may be able to get support from a trust fund or your local council.

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What are the alternative to doorstep loans?

If you’re thinking about taking out a doorstep loan, consider these cheaper options instead:

  • Try your local credit union. They issue small loans paid back over a similar time to doorstep lenders. But interest on credit union loans is capped at a much lower 42.6% APR
  • If you’re on benefits and you have an emergency expense, you may be able to get a budgeting loan. Find out more on the GOV.UK website.
  • Many local authorities offer help to people in emergencies. This may include cash loans or food vouchers. What’s available varies a lot from area to area, so contact your own local authority to check if they can help

What happens if I have doorstep loan arrears?

If you miss payments to your doorstep loan the agent will ask you to catch up. There may be extra charges added if you miss payments, although some doorstep lenders don’t add any.

Sometimes you may know the agent personally. This can make it harder to explain if you can’t pay. But remember that your doorstep loan is the same as any other debt, and they don’t have any extra legal powers. The agent isn’t a bailiff, and they can’t come into your house or take anything from you. They can’t force you to pay money you don’t have.

If you don’t pay back the arrears you’ll get a default notice. By this stage, larger doorstep loan companies will usually deal with your loan from their head office and you may find the agent stops calling. This can make it easier to deal with the debt.

After the default notice, the doorstep lender can then take further action. For more information on what action a doorstep lender can take to collect a debt, read what your creditors can do.

Doorstep loans and loan sharks

Some illegal lenders or loan sharks operate in a similar way to legitimate doorstep lenders. For example, they may call at your home and record your loan in a payment book.

If you think your doorstep lender may be a loan shark, get specialist advice before you consider stopping your payments.

Doorstep loan debt help

Taking out expensive types of credit like doorstep loans can be a warning sign that you have a debt problem.

If you’re considering taking out a doorstep loan, or if you’re struggling to pay a doorstep loan, we can give you free and impartial debt advice. Use our online debt advice tool, or contact us (free from all landlines and mobiles).

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