118 118 is probably best known for two things – directory inquiries (yes, it’s still a thing) and adverts with two annoying mustachio’d men who run everywhere. However, in recent years you may have noticed a change in product, and now 118 118 have ‘got your money’ as well as the telephone number for the local dentist.
118 118 Money has made quite a big impact on the lending scene, with high profile advertising and an easily identifiable branding that everyone is already familiar with. It’s a winning formula, because 118 118 Money is now one of the UK’s largest short-term lenders. Trustpilot gives 118 118 Money a 5-star ‘excellent’ rating, and it’s generally regarded highly as a trustworthy lender with transparent policies and a simple, no-nonsense approach to loans. Launched in 2013, they’ve moved up the rankings and now offer a choice of loans and credit cards. The company was the first to offer a subscription-based credit card, and is constantly tweaking and improving its service.
What they offer – Loans
118 118 Money offers short to medium-term loans with a Representative APR of between 39.9% to 99.9%, which is higher than some companies but much, much lower than your usual short-term lenders. They put the emphasis on managed, fixed schedule repayments over a set term of 12, 18 or 24 months. Loan amounts range from £1000 to £5000 pounds. You can apply if you meet the following criteria:
- are between 18 and 70 years old
- are resident in the UK
- have a UK bank account and debit card
- have a monthly net income of more than £700
- are employed or self-employed
That last point is an interesting USP for 118 118 Money over many of the other lenders, who won’t offer loans to anyone who is self-employed. You may, though, have to provide more details of your average income if you are self-employed. All applicants have to provide a detailed breakdown of their finances, including net monthly income, outgoings, employment history, and your bank details.
118 118 Money does not offer ‘payday’ loans.
They don’t take telephone applications, so you’ll need to apply online. However, if you do have any queries about your loan application (and any questions during your loan period) their telephone line is open 24/7 (the number is a free 08000 number, although mobile providers may charge for their alternative 02920 number at the UK national rate).
Paying back your loan
You won’t get constant hassle reminders with 118 118 Money, as part of the loan agreement is the setting up of a monthly Direct Debit facility. If you miss a payment then they may use your debit card details to take the payment.
You can pay back your loan early, but you cannot extend the length of time on the original agreed loan period.
Introductory interest-free offers are always attractive, but you’ll find that once the honeymoon period is over, the interest gets piled on. 118 118 Money went in a different direction with their credit card (underwritten by MasterCard). You don’t pay any interest at all, but instead pay a fixed monthly subscription fee of £17. If you use your credit card frequently then this works out much cheaper than interest charges. However, if you’re a light user then the £17 a month will be more than your standard interest payments on other cards. It works out at a Representative APR of 34.5%.
There are no late payment fees, and no balance transfer fees, overlimit fees, purchase or, in fact, any fees of any kind. That does make the card attractive, as long as that £17 a month subscription charge is less than you’d pay normally. For regular users, it’s a good option.
Where are they?
118 118 Money are based in Cardiff. Their Customer Services phone lines are open 24/7, while assistance with loan applications and help with loan repayments dedicated lines are open from 8am Monday-Saturday and usually stay open to between 8pm to 10pm. The Loan Repayments help line closes early on a Saturday at 1pm. You can email the company’s customer support team, or write to them at their address in Cardiff.
As with all FCA-regulated lenders, 118 118 Money will respond to all complaints within 5 working days, and aim to resolve any disputes within 8 weeks. If the situation is not resolved, you can talk to the Financial Ombudsman to escalate the dispute.
Because you’re offering up so much important personal information, it’s vital to make sure that you password-protect your log-in page properly with a strong password that’s hard to predict. A mixture of random letters and numbers is best, but make sure you don’t forget your password!
Find out more about 118 118 Money at www.118118money.com