How It Works

Cara Bradley

Written by

Cara Bradley

7 min read

Updated: 2nd January 2024

We get it: searching for a loan can be confusing.
From loan amounts and durations to soft and hard credit searches, we’re here to help you understand the process from start to finish so you know what to expect every step of the way.

The Process

  1. Let’s get started
  2. How much money do you need to borrow? Choose your loan amount and term and fill in our straightforward online form.

  3. The search begins
  4. Based on the information you’ve provided, we’ll run a soft search, scanning our panel of lenders for a suitable loan. This should take no longer than 60 seconds.

  5. A few more things
  6. If we’ve managed to match you with one of our lenders, you’ll be redirected to their website to complete a full application. You’ll need to complete some further checks, including a hard credit search.

  7. The final steps
  8. If the lender is happy with the results of these checks, they’ll send you a loan agreement. Be sure to read this carefully before signing.
    Once the agreement has been signed and returned, the money will be transferred to your bank account.

  9. Repayment
  10. Pay back the loan in monthly instalments. Your repayment will include the interest charged on the amount borrowed.

The Credit Check Process

What is a credit check?

A credit check is a way for credit brokers and lenders to take a look into your credit history. This gives them an understanding of your financial behaviours and habits, and how you’ve managed any borrowing in the past. A credit check helps lenders decide how affordable a loan is for you, and whether or not to approve your application.

What’s the difference between a soft and hard credit search?

Affordability Check

What is an affordability check?

An affordability check gives credit brokers and lenders an insight into your financial circumstances. Knowing what money you have coming in and, just as importantly, what money you have going out, a lender will be able to understand if you can afford the credit product you have applied for - in this case, a loan.

What information might I be asked to provide for my affordability check?

You’ll be asked questions about your income, including any benefits you receive.
Additionally, the lender may ask for recent copies of payslips and bank statements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are Viva Money?

Viva Money is a credit broker working with a panel of lenders.
Using soft search technology, we search for a loan with no impact to your credit score.

Does Viva Money charge a fee?

No. You can browse our site and make an application with the peace of mind that we do not charge any fees for our credit broking service.

Who can apply for a loan?

Our lenders have their own criteria when considering loan applications but, generally, you should:

  • Be aged 18 or over;
  • Be a UK resident with a UK address;
  • Have a UK bank account and valid debit card; and
  • Have a regular income paid directly into your bank account.

Lenders will also take a look at your credit score, financial history, and employment status before making a decision.

How much money can I apply for?

Viva Money work with a trusted panel of lenders who offer loans between £100 and £10,000.
It’s really important that you never borrow more money than you need or can afford to repay.

What loan term can I choose?

Depending on how much money you are approved to borrow, you could repay your loan in monthly instalments over 3 to 60 months.

What information will Viva Money ask for?

You’ll be asked to provide the following:

  • Your full name, email address, and telephone number;
  • Your current address, and how long you’ve lived there;
  • Your relationship status;
  • The number of dependents you have;
  • Your employment status;
  • How often you get paid, and when;
  • What you’d like to use the money for;
  • Your monthly outgoings, including any credit cards or loans you currently have; and
  • Your bank account number and sort code.

Viva Money ask for your bank details to check you have a UK bank account. Without your bank details we are unable to process your application. Please be assured that we do not use your bank details to take any payments from you.

Viva Money will not ask for your debit card details.

Viva Money will never ask you to send us any money, or other form of payment.

We store your personal data in accordance with UK GDPR guidelines.

You are welcome to contact us at any time and request that we delete your personal data from our system.

If you are matched with a loan and go on to complete further checks directly with the lender, you might be asked to provide proof of identity, proof of address, or for a recent payslip or bank statement.

What does APR stand for and what does it mean?

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, and refers to the overall annual cost of the loan, including interest fees.
It’s important to remember that the APR does not include any additional fees or charges, such as late repayment fees.

What is interest?

Interest is the money you are charged on top of the amount you have borrowed. It will be shown as a percentage rate and is included in your monthly repayments.

How much does it cost to take out a loan?

The overall cost of the loan will depend on the APR you are offered.
Here’s an example:

  • You take out a £1,000 loan over 12 months.
  • You are offered an APR of 75%.
  • In this instance, the total interest charge would be £451.01.
  • The annual cost of your loan would be £1,451.01, and your monthly repayments would be £120.92.

What can I use a loan for?

You may be applying for a loan to cover the cost of an unexpected bill, or to fund urgent car and household repairs. A loan is a serious financial commitment, so whatever your reason for applying, think carefully beforehand – are you sure you can comfortably afford your monthly repayments without this affecting your other priority bills, such as rent, food, and utilities?

I’ve completed the application form – when will I find out if I have been matched?

It takes just 60 seconds for us to run our soft search and scan our panel of lenders for a match. If we’re able to find you a suitable loan you will be redirected to the lender’s website to complete your application. This will include a hard credit search.

My application for a loan was unsuccessful; what happens now?

We’re really sorry that we weren’t able to match you with a loan on this occasion.

If your application is unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply again for a lower amount, or you may want to check your credit score, which you can do for free at Experian or for a monthly fee at Equifax.

One of the reasons a loan application might be declined is due to a low credit score. Improving your credit score could increase your chance of approval in the future.
There are a number of ways to boost your credit score, including registering to vote, checking your credit report for errors, and ensuring all of your bills and current credit commitments are paid on time.

If you’re looking for help and advice on all things financial, you may want to take a look at StepChange’s free online quiz. Whether you’re worried about debt or need help with budgeting, StepChange can offer impartial and confidential advice for your situation.