We recently applied for a loan through Sainsbury’s Bank. The only reason we picked them over our own bank was because according to some loan comparison websites, they were in the top three for offering the best APR (as the image to the left suggests 7.8%APR). Obviously this depends on your circumstances but still, it was worth a try out.

FairInvestment.co.uk said the following about Sainsbury’s Bank.

Advantages of a Sainsbury’s Bank loan include:

  • Easy to apply and you’ll get a decision in minutes.
  • Choose a repayment period to suit you.
  • Protect your personal loans against the things that worry you.
  • Apply for an instant personal loan online today.

It might be easy to apply for a loan, but you most certainly DO NOT get a decision in minutes.

There are over 7 pages of forms to be filled in and each form is on a timer, so if one takes to long filling in the information, the page times out and you have to close down the browser window and start again.

You DO NOT get a confirmation email letting you know the application is complete, nor do you know when the decision will be made.

After 3 days I decided to call Sainsbury’s Bank to find out if they had received our loan application, having heard nothing, received no emails, or had any left messages for us. After 12 minutes of hanging around on the phone I finally got through, only be asked a whole bunch of similar questions as the original application. Once I got through those I was told the loan application had been denied. The gentleman on the phone could NOT give any explanation as to why the loan application had been denied and that was that!

What a waste of time?

Further more I got an annoying email today from Home Shopping Personal Finance who got my details from Sainsbury’s Bank, even though I opted out of Sainsbury’s Bank passing on my details to a 3rd party company. They had the cheek to tell me Sainsbury’s had denied my application for a loan. No sh*t Shurlock.

Suffice to say I logged into my online bank at Lloyds TSB and applied for the same loan amount, didn’t have to fill in forms etc and within 5 minutes had the loan approved and the money in my bank account and at a better APR than Sainsbury’s Bank was offering it.

The moral of the story – Stick with the banks you know, give your own bank a chance before looking for cheap alternatives. Cheap is often expensive in the long run. There are advantages to using your own bank namely;

  • Your bank should know you and your credit history,
  • Your bank has all your information already,
  • Your credit history is already known,
  • If your loan application is accepted, payment into your account can be instant.