Can Loan Rates Continue to Fall?

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Paul Schofield, Head of Personal Finance at http://www.uSwitch.com, comments on the latest loan rate decrease from Northern Rock

“Despite all the base rate rises over the past few months, and the fact that some of the bigger banks are raising their credit card rates, loan providers seem to be bucking the trend by announcing ever decreasing rates, even though many industry commentators predicted that such low APRs could not be sustained.

Last week Cahoot announced its market leading fixed-rate loan of 5.7%, and now Northern Rock has matched it. Alliance and Leicester have followed suit by reducing its rates for standard loans and car finance plans to 5.8%, making it the lowest rate for car purchase plans in the market. Data provided by http://www.uSwitch.com Personal Loans Calculator. Correct as of 04 October 2004.

”It looks as though increasingly lenders are realising the value of the supply and demand model, by decreasing their margins in order to attract more customers. We expect other lenders to match these rates although it is unlikely they will drop below that of Cahoot or Northern Rock. We would strongly advise those seeking a loan to shop around now while rates remain so low and Competition is fierce which is fantastic news for consumers.

“Arguably the new Cahoot loan rate is a slightly better offer for those looking for a loan of less than £5,000 whereas the Northern Rock offer is more suitable for loans in excess of £20,000. It is worth noting, however, that both of the market-leading loans operate a risk-based pricing policy, which means that not everyone that applies will get the low advertised rate. Bank of Scotland offers a competitive rate of 6.1% which is not determined by the risk-based pricing model.

To switch supplier or for more information

visit http://www.uSwitch.com or call 0800 093 06 07

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Evans, http://www.uSwitch.com on 0207 802 2923 or jenniferevans@uswitch.com, or Lucy Gaynor, http://www.uSwitch.com, on 0207 802 2967 or lucygaynor@uswitch.com

Notes to editors:

http://www.uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and phone-based comparison service which helps consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, home telephone, digital television, credit cards and loans. Our aim is to help customers take advantage of the best tariffs and services on offer from every supplier. The company has developed a set of proprietary calculators that evaluate a number of factors to advise customers on the best deal to suit their individual needs.

The service is also available via telephone, fax and post. Consumers can call on 0800 093 06 07, fax 020 7233 5933 or write to Customer Services, http://www.uSwitch.com, 10th Floor, Portland House, Stag Place, London, SW1E 5BH.

http://www.uSwitch.com is not a supplier but acts as an independent advisor, giving customers an impartial view of what’s on offer. Unlike traditional brokers, it compares prices from all suppliers, not just those it has a commercial relationship with. The service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by the supplier companies and industry regulators.

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Rebecca Ford