George Banco: Providing UK Borrowers with an Affordable Alternative to High-Interest Payday Loans

George Banco: Providing UK Borrowers with an Affordable Alternative to High-Interest Payday Loans
BLOG
Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Posted: April 20, 2018
Experts share their tips and advice daily on BadCredit.org, helping subprime consumers navigate the world of personal finance.

In a Nutshell: When bills are due and there’s a need for timely access to cash, many consumers turn to payday lenders. But what may seem like a short-term solution can evolve into a long and expensive debt cycle if you’re not careful. George Banco is a UK lending firm specializing in providing guarantor loans at affordable rates, with fast approval and hands-on customer service. A guarantor-backed loan can mean avoiding payday loans with exorbitant interest rates and can help consumers get back on track with their credit through responsible repayment.

While economic conditions around the globe may have improved since the financial crisis of a decade ago, many of us remain just one misfortune away from financial catastrophe. Take David and Claire, an average middle-class couple in the UK, who suddenly found themselves with less than half their former income. Claire had been the primary wage earner in the family, when the company she worked for was bought out, and she was suddenly out of a job.

The couple had been able to meet their financial obligations on two incomes but were now struggling to make minimum debt payments on David’s income alone. Claire eventually found work, but at a lower salary, and the interest on their credit cards and a payday loan were becoming too much to bear. Their payments were barely covering the interest on their debt, and they couldn’t see a way out of the cycle.

With bankruptcy a serious consideration, the couple happened across the website for George Banco, a guarantor lender with strong reviews and plenty of positive customer feedback. A personal loan through a guarantor would allow them to pay off their credit card and payday loan debt, and, without those burdens, they would have manageable monthly payments.

George Banco LogoDavid’s father co-signed on the loan, allowing the couple to be approved and receive the funds they needed within 48 hours. Having David’s father as guarantor meant an extra incentive to make timely payments, and it was the helping hand they needed to get back on track.

Guarantor loans, like those offered by George Banco, are a way out of the payday loan trap for many UK consumers. We recently spoke with a representative of this top-rated lender, George Thomas, who is Director of Sales for George Banco.

“We started lending in 2014, and we now have 12,000 customers on our books,” Thomas said. “Our goal is taking people out of the payday lending cycle and putting them into longer-term, lower-cost loans, with more affordable payments.”

Why a Guarantor Loan Might Be the Right Choice

To qualify for a traditional bank loan, a borrower often needs to have a good to excellent credit score, a steady and well-paying job, perhaps collateral, and some money in the bank. In other words, you need to show you don’t actually need the loan. A guarantor loan, on the other hand, is one in which the borrower might not qualify for a traditional loan but has someone who trusts them and is willing to guarantee the loan’s repayment.

“The use of a guarantor allows us to offer larger loans over longer periods of time, and it helps customers who have had financial difficulties out of any bad debt cycles,” Thomas said.

Just to be clear, George Banco is lending to the borrower, and not the guarantor. To qualify, a borrower must show they have the means to pay back the loan and must pass a range of financial checks to be considered. There must also be assurances that the repayment structure is affordable to them, given their circumstances and current income.

Portrait of George Thomas, Director of Sales for George Banco

George Thomas, Director of Sales for George Banco.

“We look at both applicant and guarantor in equal measures as both have to be responsible for agreement. We make this very clear to both the borrower and the guarantor, along with what we expect should the borrower fall into arrears.”

This type of guarantor-backed loan is ideal for someone to pay off high-interest debt and end up with a lower overall monthly payment.

And, since George Banco reports payment information to the rating agencies, timely payments can lead to improved credit scores.

Guarantor loans from George Banco range from £500 to £10,000, and the average amount is around £3,500. Time to repay can be between 12 and 60 months, depending on the circumstances of the borrower. George Banco takes pride in its reputation as a responsible lender, adhering to the strict guidelines laid out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Borrow from a Direct Lender, Not a Broker

George Banco is not a broker or affiliate, but rather lends directly to borrowers. With its own internal underwriting department, the company has much more flexibility in deciding who qualifies, and for what loan amount and terms. The firm considers all circumstances and works with an applicant to match the individual’s credit profile. There are also no hidden fees, and a fast-track same-day payout is available in many cases.

The advantages of borrowing directly from a lending institution are many. First, there is no confusion over who to contact should you need assistance with your loan process or in making a payment. Borrowers also have more flexibility should they need to adjust their payment date or schedule, as representatives are willing to work to accommodate special circumstances.

The process of applying for a loan with a direct lender, like George Banco, is also smoother and easier than using a broker. After filling out a simple online application, a representative will contact the applicant and verify details about work, income, and financial circumstances. The next step is providing details about the applicant’s guarantor. If necessary, a representative will offer information about who should be a guarantor and help the applicant to decide who is best suited.

“Once we have both parties’ applications, we then talk to our underwriting department, who goes through all the relevant checks in parallel with our adherence to the FCA rules and regulations,” Thomas said. “If they pass both the tests, we then send out e-signature links.”

High Marks from Thousands of Satisfied Customers

Based on online reviews of George Banco’s services, past clients seem to be especially grateful. After more than 2,400 individual reviews, TrustPilot rated the lender with a TrustScore of 9.7 out of 10. And 91% of responding customers give George Banco a score of “Excellent.” When we asked Thomas his thoughts on why the company receives such high marks from its customers, his response was direct and sincere.

“Why do we have such great reviews? Because we have a whole team of professional and friendly staff on hand,” he said. “When you’re dealing with people who have quite often been in a distressing or difficult situation, it’s very important to treat them with respect.”

It’s this commitment to customer service and friendly treatment that is echoed throughout the comments on the George Banco website and on TrustPilot. “Smooth process,” “friendly staff,” and “highly recommended” are just some of the oft-repeated praise from satisfied customers.

Anyone can find themselves in financial difficulty at some point in their life. It’s good to know there are companies out there, like George Banco, that provide an alternative to high-interest payday loans, debt restructuring, or worse.