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Sainsbury's Bank

How to apply for a loan

All your questions about applying for a loan answered

Your loan application checklist

Applying for a loan has never been easier, you can complete an application and start the process in minutes. Whatever the reason you’re applying for a loan, it’s good to know the facts before you start.

Most lenders will give you the option to apply for a loan online rather than visiting a branch or speaking with an advisor. While this helps to speed up the process, you can miss the chance to ask the right questions.

Our guide can help you answer those questions and remind you of the key things to consider before applying for a loan.

What do I need when applying for a loan online?

Here are some things to have to hand that you’ll likely need when applying online:

  • Details of your monthly income and spending
  • The address of your employer
  • Details of any other credit you have including other loans, credit cards and store cards
  • The account number and sort code of the account you’d like your loan paid in to
  • To get access to our Nectar rates, you must be a Nectar member - when you apply, remember to give us your Nectar card number if you have one

Things to consider

We’ve answered the most common questions our customers ask when applying for a loan and covered some things that will help you make your decision.

Is a loan the right choice?

Loans are a great way to make a financial decision a reality, whether it's completing a home improvement job or paying for your dream wedding. Remember there are other ways to finance events and you may not need to apply for a loan.

For example, you could simply set yourself a saving goal and put money aside each month. Or explore options with your bank and look into taking out a credit card to cover the costs.

How much should I borrow?

Use our calculator to work out the total amount repayable and see if you can afford to pay the monthly repayments of a personal loan.

We offer six different levels of borrowing, from £1,000 to £40,000 for Nectar members, non Nectar members can borrow up to £25,000. See our banded loan options for the total repayable amount, APR representative rate and monthly repayments.

Note that credit is subject to status. And the rate you may be offered will depend on your personal circumstances, credit assessment procedures and other related factors.


What’s the eligibility criteria?

All banks and lenders will have requirements you should meet before you apply for a loan.

To apply for a loan with us you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a phone number
  • Have a gross annual income of over £7,500
  • Be a UK resident (excluding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)

Also, have a quick check for any exclusions. You can check out our exclusions here.

Understanding rates

The Representative APR (annual percentage rate) allows you to compare loans from different providers. The lower the APR, the less interest you’ll pay.

Bear in mind that the actual rate offered to you will depend on your personal circumstances, credit history and other related factors. At least 51% of customers who receive a loan will get it at the advertised Representative rate.

Understanding and checking credit scores

A credit score is used by lenders to access the likelihood of a person's ability to repay their debts. This will influence whether your loan application is successful and the rate you’re offered.

You can check your credit rating before you apply for a loan to give you a better idea of what to expect and to correct any errors in your records. Applying and being refused multiple loans in a short amount of time can signal financial trouble. So, it’s best to only apply for loans you believe you'll qualify for, based on your circumstances.

For more information, read our guide to managing and improving your credit score.

Is it safe to apply for a loan online?

Yes, applying for a loan online is safe. Most lenders will give you the option to apply online and complete the application at any time, at your own pace.

You can check whether your information is secure by looking for the padlock icon before the URL.

The padlock tells you that the information on the page is encrypted. If anyone were to intercept the information, they wouldn’t be able to read it without the encryption code.

Often when applying for a loan online, you’ll be logged out if you are inactive for a long time.

This is an additional security measure, so make sure you have all your information to hand and give yourself enough time to complete the application fully.

Will I get an instant decision?

Some lenders will give you an immediate decision when you reach the end of the application, while others might take a few days.

If I apply for a loan, can I cancel it?

Most lenders will allow 14 days to change your mind and decide you don’t want to take the loan. If you do change your mind, contact the provider directly.

Can I only take out a loan with my current bank?

No, you don’t have to take out a loan with a bank or building society where you’re already a customer. You can shop around and find the right one for you.

When shopping around for the best loan option, compare the APR, look out for any initial set-up costs and check for penalties for missed or late payments. Another thing to look out for is early repayment options.

Helpful guides

Credit reports

Find out how to check your credit report and how it may affect your application.

Can I afford a loan?

If you’re unsure if you can afford the repayments of a loan, our guide can help.

More tools & guides

Everything you need to know from planning your financial future to switching loans.

Not answered your question?

Check out FAQs where we’ve answered the most commonly asked questions about loans. You can also get in touch if you need to talk to our friendly team.

We treat all our customers and their applications on an individual basis. The APR we offer is determined by the details you supply and the loan you are applying for, along with an independent verification of your credit and repayment.