CHESTER, England, November 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- Average rates for loans between GBP 7,500 and GBP 15,000 at lowest levels in four years
- Loan rates have continued to fall since peak in 2010
- Rates on the average GBP 3,000 loans are creeping back up
Unsecured personal loan rates for those borrowing over GBP 7,500 have hit their lowest levels since the start of the credit crunch, according to analysis from Britain's number one comparison site, MoneySupermarket. However, consumers looking to borrow smaller amounts are still paying considerably more, with average rates on loans for GBP 3,000 at the highest level for six months.
The analysis found the average rates on the top 10 unsecured personal loans over GBP 5,000 have dropped, after rising to record highs in the first half of 2010. The most significant drop is among rates for loans between GBP 7,500 and GBP 15,000, which have fallen to their lowest levels since November 2007 - just as the credit crunch started to take hold. Currently, the average rate for the top ten GBP 7,500 loans is 6.79 per cent, a 1.48 per cent drop since the same time last year. In November 2007 the average rate was 6.72 per cent. However, anyone looking to take a loan for GBP 3,000 will pay an average of 15.15 per cent, a staggering 4.55 per cent higher than the average rate four years ago.
The change in rates means those borrowing GBP 3,000 will now pay GBP 701 more in interest than in 2007 - an 8.66 per cent increase, while someone borrowing GBP 8,000 now will pay, on average, GBP 385 less compared to the market high in 2009. Additionally, for someone borrowing GBP 10,000, the percentage paid will be 1.72 per cent lower than in 2009.
Tim Moss, head of loans and debt at MoneySupermarket.com, said: "The cut in Bank of England Base Rate to a record low in March 2009, led to reductions in mortgage and savings rates, yet loan rates remained high. Banks and building societies took the opportunity to decouple unsecured loans from Base Rate changes, leading to the rapid increase in the costs of borrowing, particularly for those looking to borrow less than GBP 5,000.
"Consumers have continued to feel the pinch with an increase in the cost of living, the rising price of fuel and with Christmas approaching, and many may look for ways to increase their purchasing power. We have seen providers dropping rates across the board to attract new customers and average rates have dropped right down to levels not seen since as far back as 2007- this can only be seen as good news for consumers. However, as we move into the Christmas period, it is likely that we will see rates rise as lenders tighten their books before reducing rates again in the New Year, when we can expect to see some more inventive propositions entering the marketplace for 2012 as competition increases.
"The decision to borrow should never be taken lightly; consumers needing an injection of credit should keep an eye on rates, particularly at the moment. Remember, the best personal loan rates are still reserved for those with excellent credit records and the introduction of Consumer Credit Directive (CCD) rules earlier this year means that only 51 per cent of consumers will get the advertised rate."
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PR Manager (Financial Services)