Compare Doorstep Loans: Bad Credit Direct Lenders
Doorstep loans (aka home collection loans) have a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. The now defunct Greenwood arrived first in 1877 targeting the North West region. Greenwood’s long running rival Provident who had followed shortly after in 1880 would eventually acquire them in 1977. They too have recently closed! Morses Club who are now the biggest firm can be traced back early to 1878, although this was as a general drapery store. They became a much greater force when they merged with Shopacheck. Provident’s level of dominance hadn’t really been troubled throughout their long history. Before closing they had approx 440,000 customers (was 697,000) and 3800 staff. Morses Club have moved forward as #1 with 180,000+ customers.
Loans at Home, Mutual and Naylors are other notable sector brands, but outside of these you’ll tend to find very small localised firms. Doorstep lenders haven’t tended to modernise their products in this internet era. In the old days, home collections were made on vouchers that could be exchanged for coal and food. Today, you’ll receive a cash loan or an alternative pack of high street vouchers. The odd lender may offer the option of a no agent loan, but in most cases the providers aim to keep their self-employed agents as an integral part of the business. The lender sites in focus are mostly under-developed and web traffic performance is often poor that is evident below.
Doorstep lending is subprime specialised, where people with bad credit and low incomes are the target audience. The product cost is competitive, but many customers fall into a continual borrowing cycle that can be tricky to escape. When applications are processed, a designated agent would usually visit within a few days to run through the documents and complete the payout. They are operating on commissions and so it is always in their best interest to say yes. It is very common for a customer to be started off on just £100. High street vouchers are often offered instead of cash. This is always in the form of Love2Shop vouchers that can be spent in 20,000+ stores.
A small handful of repayment terms will be offered at application stage. These are always packaged in weeks rather than months. The same fixed terms don’t tend to be available across brands. The reason why they likely do this is so that they can’t be benchmarked against their rivals. Payday and instalment loan products are much more efficient and so doorstep lenders tend to overlook very poor credit whether that’s CCJs or defaults. Low incomes and even unemployed loans have been a past target. These are scenarios where payday firms would typically say no. The biggest sector brands tend to launch web equivalents. Morses operates with Dot Dot (and before closing Provident had Satsuma).
1) Morses Club | #459,025
£100 to £1000 (£1500)
35w to 52w
Entire UK. No agent option
2) Loans at Home | #3,610,858
£100 to £600
14w to 34w
England, Scotland, Wales
3) Skyline Direct | #6,649,208
£150 to £500 (£1000)
20w to 30w
Northern Ireland & Scotland. No agent option
4) Street UK | #8,523,612
£200 to £1000
26w to 78w
W-Mid. Must complete in-branch (6 network). No agent option
5-25) Arena Personal Credit
£50 to £500 (£800)
14w to 51w
E-Mid. Required age (21+)
5-25) Bee Finance
£50 to £400 (£1000)
12w to 50w
Mon/Fri (9am-5pm), Sat (9am/1.30pm)
5-25) Brantwood Finance
£100 to £500
24w to 28w
N-West. Required age (21+)
5-25) Bristol Finance
£30 to £1000
14w to 43w
5-25) Careys Personal Credit
£50 to £200 (£1000)
14w to 56w
Mon/Thu (8.30am-4.30pm), Fri (8.30am-1.30pm)
5-25) CLC Finance
16w to 23w
Mon/Thu (7am-6pm), Fri (8am-6pm)
E-Mid, N-West, Y&Hum
5-25) Cockle Finance
5-25) Diamond Financial Services
£100 to £500
15w to 32w
Y&Hum. Required age (21+)
5-25) E2 Finance
£100 to £200 (£300)
15w to 26w
Y&Hum. No agent option. Required age (21+)
5-25) Ealing Trading Company
E-Mid, E-of-Eng, S-East
5-25) Estone Personal Credit
£50 to £1000
12w to 102w
Mon/Thu (9am-5pm), Fri (9am-1pm)
W-Mid. Pause on lending (covid)
5-25) MH Finance
£50 to £1000
15w to 52w
£100 to £1000 (£2500)
26w to 102w
E-Mid, E-of-Eng, S-East, W-Mid, Y&Hum
5-25) Naylors Finance
E-Mid, N-East, N-West, W-Mid, Y&Hum
5-25) Pinewood Finance
£100 to £200 (£500)
15w to 34w
£100 to £2000
4w to 52w
Mon (9am-5pm), Tue/Thu (9am-6pm), Wed (10pm-5pm), Fri (9am-4pm)
Entire UK. No agent option
5-25) Short Term Finance
£100 to £200
S-East, S-West, W-Mid, Y&Hum. No agent option
5-25) Stewart Finance
20w to 28w
£50 to £1600 (£3000)
14w to 52w
E-of-Eng, N-West, S-East. No agent option. Pause on lending (covid)
5-25) Valleys Finance
£50 to £100 (£1000)
14w to 21w
Mon/Wed (8.30am-4.30pm), Thu/Fri (9am-5pm)
S-West, Wales, W-Mid. No agent option
Agents: Optional no agent doorstep loans are available from E2, Morses Club, Short Term Finance, Skyline, Street UK, SwiftDL and Valleys. An initial home visit may be required. Payments would be collected weekly from your bank this way (perhaps even monthly with select providers).
Alexa.com: Comparison listings are sorted by global traffic rankings. Those unranked are sorted alphabetically (a large portion in this sector).
Amounts: Borrowing amounts displayed are complete ranges (across every term available).
Closures: Carson Finance, Eccles Finance, Greenwood, Provida Loan, Rhodes Finance & Shopacheck. More recent: Central Finance, Provident & Provident Ireland.
Coverage: General coverage is highlighted in the comparison above. Shortcodes used: E-of-Eng (East of England), E-Mid (East Midlands), N-East (North East), N-West (North West), S-East (South East), S-West (South West), W-Mid (West Midlands) and Y&Hum (Yorkshire and the Humber). East of England coverage often extends to London. The specific locations catered will be explored in the profile listings. Some firms now offer an online process, but they may still be exclusive to a specific region.
Examples: Price comparison is tricky with doorstep lending due to the wide variation in fixed terms. There are usually 3 such options available and these tend to differ across competitors. To compare pricing, our aim was to pick out the nearest term sitting between 20 and 30 weeks for £100 (when available). To get a better idea on value, we calculated the daily rates below to identify the leading deals.
Products: Some product specs aren’t confirmed. Sometimes the info simply isn’t disclosed on the sites. To help fill in the blanks we usually added details from LendersCompared.org.uk. This comparison service was created by the government’s Competition Commission.
1) Street UK: £55.44 /£200 [£27.72] (26w) (0.152%)
2) Mutual: £30 (26w) (0.165%)
3) Stewart Finance: £40 (28w) (0.204%)
4) Estone Personal Credit: £41.75 (27w) (0.221%)
5) Cockle Finance: £50 (30w) (0.238%)
*Daily rates to 3DP were calculated to sort the rankings across varied terms.
Feefo.com (5* Percentage + Exact 5* Counts)
1) Street UK: 89.0% (1030/1157)
2-3) No listings
Trustpilot.com (All-Time Data)
1) Skyline Direct: 98% (2180+)
2) Morses Club: 92% (2100+)
3) Scotcash: 76% (30+)
*Very few lenders use external review portals.
Mutual doorstep loans are competitively priced and crammed with features handing them the recommendation. On pricing, for £100 they charge £30 (26w), £40 (51w) and £55 (102w). For a sizeable £1000 that’s just £400 at 51 weeks that is one of the cheapest bad credit loans across all sectors. Mutual’s experience is extensive, dating back to 1898. Over the years they have managed to build up a loyal customer base of 40,000. Some key features include the potential £1000 (£2500 on reloans) and repayments can be spread out fortnightly, monthly or weekly. Unfortunately, coverage is an issue. The popular cities Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham are served as well as various towns, but they’ll surely need to expand to challenge the top firms.
National: Morses Club
Provident’s recent closure (resulting from compensation claims) is likely to greatly benefit the small localised firms who can now fight it out for doorstep loan market share. It is however Morses Club that takes on the top spot and they were already making impressive gains across the past year. They have excellent agent coverage across the UK. We appreciate their recent addition of online account management and the option to repay without agent visits. The product flexibility isn’t extensive here. This is where Provident stood out with their 13w to 52w (and 104w reloan) choices. They are also closed at weekends. Overall though, this is the best all-round service and it is certainly well received on Trustpilot where they now rate at 92%.
Last Update: June 17th, 2021