With us, your loan application will be considered by an expert member of our team, not just a computer. The advantage of this is that we can look at your application as an individual, and take a wide range of factors into account so that you have the best possible chance of being accepted.


Because of this, we can't say for certain whether your application will be approved until you actually apply. Below, you can see some of the things we consider, which will affect your chances of approval. 


Please remember that this is not an exhaustive list, so there may sometimes be other reasons we have to turn down your application that are not listed here.


Affordability

It's really important—for us, and for you—that you are able to afford the loan repayments each month. That's why affordability is one of the key things we check for, and one of the main reasons we sometimes have to turn people down.


When you apply, you will be asked to upload evidence of your income (such as a payslip or benefits letter), as well as details of your recent expenditure. These two items allow us to get a good idea of how much you have leftover each month after essential costs like rent, transport, insurance and groceries. 


If the monthly repayments are larger than the amount you have available each month, or if it looks like you may struggle, we are unlikely to be able to offer you the full amount you have asked for.


Tip: Check that you can comfortably afford the monthly repayments before you apply


Credit history

Unlike some lenders, a less-than-perfect credit score is not a deal-breaker, and your credit history does not have to be perfect. However, we will carry out a credit check when you apply. This allows us to get a better picture of how much you owe to other lenders (which could affect affordability), and to see if you have had difficulties repaying loans you have taken in the past. 


The credit check will also flag issues like County Court Judgements (CCJs). Again, while these are not necessarily a deal-breaker, we may ask you to explain them to us, so we can understand what happened.


Tip: Make sure you provide a full address history when applying, as well as declaring and providing details of any CCJs when asked for them.


Existing loans with us

If you already have a loan with us, you are much more likely to be able to increase the amount or apply again if at least one third (1/3) of the current loan is paid off. We also take into account any other borrowing you have with us, such as Commodo, Salaryflex, Forces Finance Card, or an overdraft, which might affect the affordability of loan repayments.


Tip: To check if you may be eligible to apply for a new loan, text CANITOPUP to 80011.


Your sources of income and employment history

To get a loan with us, you will need to have some sort of regular income from which the repayments can be made. This could be:

  • Salary or wages from employment
  • Any benefits you receive
  • A pension
  • Income from self-employment.

As well as using the amount of income you receive to decide affordability (see above), we will also consider how secure your income is, and whether there is a chance that you might lose your income or see it reduced before your loan is fully repaid. To do this, we may take into account:

  • How long you have been in your current job
  • Whether you are on a permanent or temporary contract
  • Whether your eligibility for any benefits you receive is in doubt
  • How close you are to your contract expiring
  • Whether you work in an industry or job which is particularly vulnerable to economic shocks



Tip: We can only take into account the income you receive right now. So even if you are expecting a promotion or pay rise, we won't be able to consider this until it has actually happened.


Risky financial behaviour

We don't aim to be killjoys, and the occasional flutter is no problem. However, habits like heavy gambling can negatively affect your financial well-being, and bring into question your ability to repay, even if you are on a good income. 


Because of that, if we see evidence of compulsive or risky financial behaviour, we may need to turn down your application, as giving you a loan may not be in your best interests. If we do this, it's not personal, and we will recommend other sources of advice and support. Ultimately, it's about doing right by you. 


Tip: If you are struggling with gambling, alcohol or other addictions, taking a loan is unlikely to be in your best interests. Instead, you should look for alternative sources of advice and support.


Conclusion

As a credit union, our aim is to work with you towards a positive income wherever we possibly can. Sometimes it just won't be right for us, or in your best interests, for us to approve your loan. But often, we can come up with solutions such as offering you slightly less than you asked for or asking you to save with us for a while. 


Another possible option is asking you to open a current account with us and paying some income (such as a benefit or salary) into it directly. These options will be explained to you after you apply.


Ultimately, we take an approach that is as individual as our members are!