In our latest blog, we look at some of the most common questions that people ask when they look into taking out point-of-sale finance to help spread out the costs of a purchase. We hope these Q&A’s help people to better understand how payment solutions work and how people can best manage their monthly payments.
How do I take out point-of-sale finance?
The offer of point-of-sale finance is most commonly found when you make a purchase in an online store and reach the store’s checkout. Here you are typically given options of how to pay for your purchase and one of these options may be by point-of-sale finance where you can choose to pay a fixed monthly fee over a set period of time.
The retailer should set out the financing options offered on its website along with any representative APRs and terms and conditions that might apply.
What information do I need to supply about myself when applying for finance?
Once you have decided on your finance option you will be asked for some information about yourself so checks can be made to ascertain your identity as well as your credit worthiness. The types of information you may be required to provide include your:
- current address
- email address and telephone number
- occupation and information about your income and expenditure
How will I know if my application has been approved?
Once your supplied information has reached the lender offering the finance, they will typically perform checks to assess whether to approve your application. Often, they will run a credit check on you. This may include a “soft” search and a “hard” credit search, and these are explained below:
A soft credit search is an initial look at your credit file so a lender can decide if you are likely to be successful in your application. Any soft searches carried out are only visible to you and have no impact on your credit score.
A hard credit search happens when a lender performs a complete search of your credit file. Hard searches are recorded on your credit file which means that any company searching your credit record will be able to see that you have applied for credit. Too many hard credit searches within a short period of time can affect your credit score.
Once my application has been approved, how are my payments collected?
Commonly lenders will collect your monthly repayments by Direct Debit, with you providing a Direct Debit Instruction so that repayments can be collected. If you need to change your method of payment you should contact your lending provider as soon as possible.
What happens if I am unable to meet my repayments?
The first port of call if you are having difficulties making your repayments is to contact the lender directly and they should be able to help you with your queries.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties or would like advice on managing debt problems in general, there are several free debt advice services you can contact:
StepChange Debt Charity – www.stepchange.org – 0800 138 111
National Debtline – www.nationaldebtline.co.uk – 0808 808 4000
Money Helper – www.moneyhelper.org.uk
Citizens Advice – www.citizensadvice.org.uk
We hope the common questions and answers above have helped you to understand how point-of-sale finance works and if you have any more questions you need answering, feel free to get in touch with us and we will do our best to help you. Alternatively, you can view our own FAQ page here.