- Borrow £2,000 to £10,000
- Representative 49.9% APR
- Aim for Simplicity
- No Fees at all
- 375,000 borrowers
Amigo Loans is the UK’s largest guarantor loan lender. The brand started in 2012 but the business goes back even further to the advent of guarantor loans in 2005. Through the use of high profile TV advertising, it has grown rapidly since 2012. By 2017 it had lent £1 billion to consumers. In 2018 Amigo floated on the London Stock Exchange (see https://www.amigoplc.com/). It has now lent to over 375,000 people.
Amigo believes that the old fashioned values of trust and relationships should mean more than simply relying on a computer credit score. Their guarantor lending model is based on this principle. They have always sought to provide a slick, simple application process based around leading-edge technology. These days there are numerous competitors in the guarantor loan market and many offer similar levels of service. In fact, most offer better financial terms than Amigo so it is worth comparing lenders.
|Representative APR||Loan Term (months)||Loan Amount (£)|
|49.9%||12 – 60||2,000 – 10,000|
Amigo scores 4.6 out of 5 based on 23,000 reviews on TrustPilot. This score puts Amigo squarely in the middle of the pack of guarantor lenders. Rate and review them now.
Compare Amigo to Others
For clarity here are the key differences of Amigo to the “typical” or “average” guarantor loan lender:
- The same APR% regardless of loan size and loan period which could be an advantage if you need a smaller loan for a shorter period.
- Full online account management (inc. via app) is available, unlike some other lenders.
- The online application process is relatively fast.
- There are 8 lenders with a lower APR% available dependent on loan value and duration.
- The maximum loan size of £10,000 is lower than many.
- The average customer rating is marginally lower.
Amigo Loans’ representative APR is 49.9%, but we have lenders who offer guarantor loans starting at 19.9%. As a broker with access to multiple lenders, we may be able to find you loans like Amigo’s at a lower rate.
Amigo’s Representative Example
Borrow £4,000 for 36 months. Representative 49.9% APR fixed. Monthly payment £195.16. Interest payable £3,025.76. Total repayable £7,025.76.
We’ll Find Your Loan
Why trudge from one lender website to the next when Solution Loans can find you the cheapest deals instantly? It’s simple to see why using our comparison service makes sense:
- We’re free to use and there’s no obligation!
- We have the widest choice of UK lenders
- An enquiry typically generates 3 to 4 loan offers (in principle)
- Our form takes just 60 seconds to complete
- It’s quick and easy to compare lender offers
- The same deals as going direct, but quicker!
- Instantly complete your chosen loan(s)
- Sign your loan agreement online to get the funds fast
Amigo Loans Ltd is registered at Nova Building, 118-128 Commercial Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5LT. Company registration number 04841153.
Amigo Loans is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with firm reference number 708284.
ICO Data Protection Registration
Amigo is registered with Information Commissioner, registration number Z8738456.
News about Amigo
Click here for coverage of Amigo in our blog.
4 September 2019
Amigo Loans has become something of a poster child for the guarantor loans industry. Ever since the business was established in 2005 it has been a pioneer of the guarantor loans concept. It’s also one of the industry’s most successful lenders, was the first dedicated guarantor lender to obtain FCA authorisation and is even trading on the London Stock Exchange. However, Amigo seems to be about to hit some rather choppy waters with recent announcements indicating that the lender is expecting “broadly flat” results for the rest of the year.
The latest figures from Amigo
According to the latest results from Amigo Loans, the business saw an increase in both revenue and pre-tax profits in the first quarter of 2019. In the period up to 30th June, revenue increased from £62.9 million in the same period last year, to £71.3 million in 2019. Profits also rose, increasing from £17 million to £22.6 million for the same period. Not only has Amigo seen positive growth in its figures for the first quarter of the year but it continues to attract more customers too. It revealed a rise in its customers to 210,300 from 179,300. However, despite these apparently incredibly positive figures, shares in Amigo have plunged in value – so, what’s going on?
Regulatory reform and Brexit
At the end of August this year, shares in Amigo – which is a FTSE 250 company – suffered a big dip. In fact, the value dropped by in excess of 40%. There are two key reasons that have been identified as being behind the loss of confidence that triggered the reduction in the value of the shares.
- A regulatory crackdown. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently raised concerns over the business model employed by guarantor lenders like Amigo. A senior official from the FCA warned earlier this year that the regulator would be closely monitoring the industry, in particular, because guarantors were more frequently being relied upon to pay off borrowers’ debts. The regulator has also voiced concerns about the interest rates being charged by guarantor lenders – these typically range from 39.9% to 59.9%. Amigo itself has acknowledged the “potential for regulatory change” that may be incoming and has set plans in motion to adjust its business model as a result. Amigo chief executive Hamish Paton said Amigo was being “proactive and pragmatic” by changing its strategy before an FCA intervention.
- Operational challenges. Potential problems for Amigo have also been identified by its management team as operational challenges in the form of impairment costs. The lender said that these had been increased in response to the situation that was likely to arise in the event of a No Deal Brexit and the impact that this was likely to have on consumer confidence.
Can Amigo survive?
The short answer is: probably yes. Although many commentators have identified the dire warnings from the company for the rest of 2019 as problematic – as well as the slide in the value of shares – it’s unlikely to be the end of the road for Amigo. According to analysts at RBC:
“Whilst these actions will likely adversely impact short-term profitability, we see them as sensible for ensuring longer-term sustainability of a business that remains a leader within a global market.”
The fact that Amigo is being so proactive in terms of taking steps to try and pre-empt the changes that are likely to be the result of Brexit and/or any regulatory changes that are made by the FCA is likely to be seen as very heartening by many.
Why are guarantor loans so popular?
Amigo has built its business on offering guarantor loans to customers who have bad credit and would be unlikely to obtain finance on their own. The loans are designed to be supported by a guarantor – a friend or family member who effectively agrees to take over repayment of the loan if the original borrower is unable to do so. This model appeals to a very wide range of borrowers, from students with no credit record at all to individuals who are trying to repair their credit history by making regular repayments on a loan. Amigo’s CEO has continued to make the point that guarantor loans fill a gap in the market for many consumers today. There are large numbers of borrowers who simply wouldn’t be able to obtain traditional finance from a bank or building society and it’s these people who may find Amigo’s guarantor finance particularly helpful.
The latest results from Amigo indicate that the business has done well so far this year but is anticipating some tough times in the near future. From FCA intervention to the impact of Brexit there are certainly some challenges ahead.
20 June 2019
Amigo has been a publicly listed company in the UK now for a year and things appear to be going well for the guarantor loans lender. In June 2018, Amigo Loans listed on the main London stock market at a £1.3bn market value. One year on, its first set of results as a public company indicate a thriving business that isn’t suffering either as a result of the rumours surrounding its lending practices or the scrutiny of the FCA. So, what does this mean for the guarantor loans industry, for Amigo itself – and what is the business planning to do about all that negative press?
Amigo Loans results
For Amigo, the first set of results as a public company show a lot to be happy about. Amigo is a guarantor loans lender, set up to provide finance to consumers who either have a low credit score or not much of a credit history. The business model works by allowing a trusted friend or family member to stand as guarantor for the borrowing for which the customer might not otherwise be eligible. Amigo’s results show that its customer numbers now stand at 224,000, up from 182,000 a year ago. As of March 31, 2019, the company had a loan book of £707.6m, a 17.4% increase year on year. Revenue across the 12 months increased from £210.8m to more than £270m, a rise of over 28%. The numbers indicate a business that is thriving, despite its impairment charge of 23.7% of revenue. And the figures come after a fairly challenging year for Amigo in which its approach to the lending market has been called into question by a number of those within it – and outside.
There is no doubt that the market for guarantor loans in the UK is currently thriving. And with Amigo going public last year there has been a much bigger spotlight on the sector. This has attracted the attention of the industry regulator and in March this year a Financial Conduct Authority official warned that the regulator would be closely monitoring guarantor loan providers. As a result, at the time, Amigo’s share price took a hit. One of the main reasons for the interest of the regulator was concern that the interest rates being charged for guarantor loans are too high. Despite the fact that borrowers are supported by a guarantor they may still be charged 39.9% to 59.9% APR with the average lender charging 48.9% APR. Christopher Woolard from the FCA also said that there seemed to be a worryingly high number of guarantors who were being called upon to repay the loans of borrowers, indicating that the loans being approved might be unaffordable.
Dispelling the myths
At the same time as releasing the yearly figures, Amigo’s Chairman Stephen Wilcke said:
“Arguably, Amigo being a publicly listed company has raised the profile of the guarantor loan product and fuelled some urban myths about us and our customers. In future we will work harder to dispel those myths and take the time to ensure our evolving stakeholder universe fully understands the service we offer.”
Wilcke made the point that the proportion of payments made by a guarantor on Amigo loans was fairly constant at around 10%. He said that the lender provides “great service” to its customers and the number of consumers using Amigo certainly supports its Chairman’s point. Although Wilcke didn’t give much away in terms of how Amigo is going to do better at dispelling the myths that have surrounded its lending practices, he did make a point of saying that the business will be focused on engaging with the FCA to ensure that its approach, systems and processes remain compliant.
Why are guarantor loans so popular?
The main reason for Amigo’s success is that consumers are taking out guarantor loans in record numbers – so, why is that?
- A way to borrow money for those with a poor credit rating
- Some people use guarantor loans to rebuild a bad credit score – which is possible as long as all the payments are made on time and the guarantor doesn’t have to step in
- Many high street banks simply don’t offer options for credit compromised borrowers
- It’s possible to borrow up to £15,000 with guarantor loans (£10,000 with Amigo)
The first set of results for Amigo Loans indicate that the company is thriving – whether it continues to do so, or becomes another Wonga, will depend substantially on its discussions with the FCA and what the regulator decides to do next.
Guarantor Loans Guide
If you’re uncertain which type of credit might suit you or you have a money problem then one of guides may help you. We summarise each type of loan and their pros and cons, and address issues regarding debt and credit ratings.
FAQs about Amigo
Amigo prefers your guarantor to own their home. But, if your guarantor does not then Amigo may accept them if they have a strong credit score and can demonstrate that they pay their bills on time. We have more information about non-homeowner guarantors. You may find other lenders are more flexible about property ownership.
You can apply to Amigo so long as you satisfy some criteria: you live in the UK – are aged 18-75 – are not currently bankrupt or on an IVA – can comfortably afford the repayments. You also need to be able to provide an acceptable guarantor. Amigo won’t make a lending decision based on your credit rating – this is a trust-based loan instead.
The APR is fixed at 49.9% regardless of the amount you borrow or the length of time you borrow it for. Amigo’s rate is a little higher than most other lenders. We work with some lenders who vary the APR so that it is higher for smaller amounts and lower for a larger amount. So, it could be that for smaller loan amounts (say £2,000 or £3,000) Amigo is a reasonable option. Conversely, on larger loans (over £7,500) we could have lenders that offer a lower APR. The lowest APR from any of our lenders in 29.9% for loans over £10,000. If this is of interest then apply here.
Repayments are set up using a direct debit and paid on a monthly basis. The amount you repay will be specified by Amigo before you sign any agreement. They will also take your debit/credit card details as a backup in case the direct debit fails. You can also make extra payments (overpayments) to help reduce the balance more quickly, and Amigo won’t penalise you for doing this. You can make these payments via their app, by phone, by text or online. You can also make cash payments using one of over 28,000 PayPoint stores.
The first thing to do is let Amigo know you have a problem. They will always work with you to get things back on track without needing to involve your guarantor although they will always notify your guarantor if you miss a payment. If your account remains in arrears and you and Amigo can’t agree on a new repayment plan that works then they may ask your guarantor to step in to help out. This would prevent the arrears from becoming unmanageable.
You will be credit checked before any documents are signed as Amigo needs to know you are creditworthy. But once the agreement is signed and the borrower starts to make their monthly repayments you should hear nothing from Amigo Loans. However, if the borrower is struggling to make payments and then fails to keep in touch with Amigo or defaults then you will be needed to step in. If you fail to help bring the loan up to date then this will be recorded on your credit file too. Also, read this.
Yes, Amigo Loans is very happy for you to make overpayments or indeed settle the whole loan early. They do not charge any fees for this. So, if you should suddenly be able to pay off a chunk of your loan then that will save you further interest costs and reduce the overall cost of your loan. We’d always recommend doing this if you can afford it.
Amigo aims to payout a loan within 24 hours or the guarantor being accepted. This will depend on what if any documentation is required. Once your loan is approved the money is transferred to your guarantor’s account who then passes it to you. Money is paid via your guarantor as part of anti-fraud processes.
You could apply direct but then you’d be missing out on seeing whether you could get a better deal from other lenders. Our free enquiry service can tell you instantly which of the many lenders we work with, including Amigo, could lend to you in principle – and many of these other lenders can offer lower APRs and larger amounts than Amigo Loans. If you’d rather maximise your chances of a guarantor loan then use our enquiry service – no fees, and exactly the same deals as going direct!
Typically you need to find someone who knows you well enough for them to trust you – this is a form of “trust-based” lending. So with this in mind your ideal guarantor is likely to be: Parents, Brothers & Sisters – Aunts & Uncles – Sons & Daughters – Grandparents – Boyfriend or Girlfriend – Work Colleagues & Friends. Unlike some lenders Amigo will consider people who are financially linked to you, but they will conduct some extra checks. Guarantors can also live at the same address as you. Amigo will need to speak direct to your guarantor as part of the application process.
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