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In-store loans vs online loans – what’s the difference?

Published: 30 Mar 2017

If you’re looking for a personal loan to cover a small shortfall or financial emergency, then you may have realised by now that there are a lot of options to choose from. Working out the best lender for your needs is an important step in the process, and if you’re considering the services that H&T offer, then you may want to check out our in-store loan benefits when compared with applying online.

There is no doubt that applying for a personal loan online is very convenient, and if you are very busy with no time to visit a branch, then this is a good option. However, if you’re able to come and visit us in person, there are many additional benefits to applying for a loan in-store.

Our personal loan offering is separate to our pawnbroking service, and you can still borrow from us even if you are not looking to pawn valuable items. Our personal loans work much the same as other lenders in the industry, but while many lenders are online exclusive, you have the option of an in-branch face-to-face application with fantastic benefits. Find out more in this quick and simple guide to H&T personal loans.

In-store vs online loan amounts

Our personal loans are available for those who want to borrow £500 - £5,000 and pay it back over a number of instalments, rather than in one lump sum. We can sometimes offer a higher loan amount in-store, depending on your needs, your credit score, and other factors.

Although our online application includes a thorough ID check, a face-to-face meeting with one of our helpful and professional team can confirm this important application stage straight away. This allows us to process your application quickly and get to know you a bit better. Where a higher loan amount may be available, we’ll explain your options and the repayment terms in a clear and concise fashion.

Of course, how much you borrow is entirely up to you and even if you are offered more based on your application and credit score, you do not have to take the full amount available to you. What’s important is that you choose a loan amount which meets your needs and where the repayment schedule feels most comfortable for you.

In-store vs online loan rates

Our personal loan interest rates are measured in APR, which stands for Annual Percentage Rate. This shows you exactly how much you would pay back on top of the loan amount when borrowing over 12 months. The amount is shown as a percentage of the full loan amount.

Our rates vary based on your desired loan amount, the loan period, and your credit score, among other factors. However, as a guide, our representative example is 99.4 %APR when applying online.

Of course, many of our loan customers want to pay their loan back over a shorter period of time, so it’s important to remember that the APR shows an amount which would only be paid if the loan is taken over a year. Taking the loan out over a shorter period would still carry the same APR, but the interest paid would be a proportion of this.

How long does it take to get a loan?

Our loan process is quick and easy whether you decide to apply online or in-store, however, you may find that it is quicker when applying in one of our branches – particularly if you make an appointment.

Once you have completed your online loan application and it is approved, the money will be paid directly into your bank account within the hour. In-branch, the process can take just 30 minutes, meaning that you could even complete your application and have your money within your lunch hour.

This is a convenient service that ensures our personal loans can really help when you’re faced with an unexpected shortfall, allowing you to take control of your finances with as little hassle as possible.

How is the loan paid?

As mentioned above, when applying online the money will go straight into your bank account once approved by us. The transfer is completed quickly and should appear on your bank balance straight away. When you apply in-store, we can pay your loan to you money in hand, right then and there. This is more convenient for many of our customers, particularly if the loan is to cover vehicle repairs or similar.

How do I make payments?

Your full repayment schedule and terms will be fully explained to you as part of the application process and it’s important to ensure you understand all aspects of this before signing on the dotted line.

Repayments on all personal loans are set up as an agreed Direct Debit at the time of application. Should you wish to make additional payments, check your balance, or ask any questions, online loan customers can do so in ‘My H&T Account’, which can be activated via an email we send you upon completion of the loan.

In-store customers can come into any of our branches or call us on 0800 838 973. We keep all of our customers updated and our friendly team are always happy to help in any way they can.

What you’ll need to apply for a loan in-store

If you’ve decided to come and visit us in branch, you’ll need to bring a few things with you in order to complete the application quickly and successfully. Please bring along original copies of the following:

  • A full bank statement dated within 1 month
  • Your most recent payslip dated within 1 month OR 2 full month’s bank statements
  • A utility bill, tenancy agreement or similar which shows your name and address, dated within 3 months
  • Photographic ID, such as your passport, drivers licence, Government photo ID card, European ID card, Government or HMRC Correspondence, British Armed Forces card, Inland Revenue Contractors card, union card, disability badge or Hackney licence

Where are H&T stores?

There are 250+ H&T branches spread across towns and cities the UK, so it’s likely you’ve got one relatively nearby should you wish to visit. To find your nearest H&T Pawnbrokers store, you can use our store locator here. Simply input your postcode or your nearest town, and we’ll let you know where your closest branch is located, complete with map.

Our branches do not look like what you may imagine when thinking about pawnbrokers. Our branches are professional and bank-like, with uniformed, knowledgeable staff and a wide range of products and services on offer.