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Published 29 May 2024
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9 minutes

Loans by MAL Loans Review: Bad Credit Loans Pros, Cons & Features

Loans by MAL is an online lender that may consider applications from those with a poor credit history. Find out more about the features of a loan from Loans by MAL and its pros and cons.

Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.

Loans by MAL loans: at a glance

Loans by MAL offers unsecured personal loans, and it may consider your application if you have a less-than-perfect credit score.

Compared to other lenders we’ve reviewed, Loans by MAL can take a bit longer to decide on your application, up to 24 hours.

But, unlike many of the lenders we’ve looked at, Loans by MAL doesn’t apply any additional interest charges if you want to pay off your loan early. 

Nerdy Tip: As with any loan, it’s sensible to only borrow what you need and pay it back as quickly as possible, based on what you can comfortably afford to repay each month. Before applying for a bad credit loan, it’s important you consider your alternatives and whether you could keep making the payments if an unexpectedly high bill landed on your doorstep or you lost your job, for example. Missing payments will make an already bad credit score worse.

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Loans by Mal Personal Loan

3 NerdWallet's ratings

1 to 3 years

£1,000 to £5,000

49.8%

No

Representative APR 49.8%. Based on a loan of £2,200 over 24 months at an interest rate of 27.9% p.a. (fixed). Monthly repayments of £142.82. Total amount payable £3,427.68. Maximum APR 92.4%

  • Must live and work in the UK and be between the ages of 21 and 75 at the term of the loan
  • Must earn at least £1,300 per month
  • Must pass creditworthiness and affordability checks

Nerdwallet has partnered with Monevo. Check your eligibility with this lender and from a range of loan providers without affecting your credit score.

Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. Consolidating multiple debts into one loan can extend the term of your borrowing and increase your cost of borrowing. 

Important information: Neither the review or star ratings considered lending rates, and therefore does not reflect how much it costs to borrow from these lenders. Loans for bad credit consumers can come with very high interest rates. Always check and compare a lender’s rates against others on the market when considering a bad credit loan. The rate you are offered will be dependent on your circumstances, loan amount and term, and may differ from the advertised rate. If you have poor credit, only borrow if it is necessary and you can comfortably afford repayments.

Loans by MAL loans pros & cons

Pros

  • Loans by MAL doesn’t charge any fees or additional interest to pay off your loan early.
  • Once approved you could receive your funds within one working day.

Cons

  • The time to decide on an application is not disclosed on the Loans by MAL website.
  • Loans by MAL offers loans with a shorter maximum term than other lenders we’ve reviewed.

The pros and cons featured here are chosen by us based on a combination of our expert opinions from our research of the bad credit loans market and an exclusive survey of UK consumers conducted on behalf of NerdWallet UK in February 2023 to identify the features of bad credit loans that people feel are most important. They are not the only product features and restrictions that you should consider. You should align them to your personal circumstances. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since. Rates have NOT been considered in our review of this product.

Loans by MAL loans overview

Loans by MAL provides unsecured loans of £1,000 to £5,000, although you can only borrow a maximum of twice your monthly income. You can choose to repay the loan over a term of 12 to 36 months.

With a Loans by MAL loan, you can make overpayments or settle your debt in full without facing any charges. This can help save you money on the amount of interest you pay overall.

Loans by MAL can’t offer an instant decision – approval may take up to 24 hours after submitting your application, so it may not be the best option if you need the money quickly.

Amount borrowable£1,000 to £5,000
Term length12 to 36 months
Time to get a decisionWithin 24 hours
Time to receive funds once approvedWithin one working day
Customer supportPhone, email

Before you apply for a loan, it’s worth using a loan eligibility service. This can help you to see how likely you are to get a loan from different lenders, without affecting your credit score. Make sure you check that it only uses soft searches and how many lenders it compares.

Where Loans by MAL loans stand out

You won’t pay any charges to settle your loan early

If you want to pay off your loan from Loans by MAL before the end of the term, you won’t need to pay any charges. Loans by MAL does not currently apply any additional fees or interest charges, unlike some lenders we’ve reviewed.

Where Loans by MAL loans fall short

It could take up to 24 hours to receive a decision

Loans by MAL doesn’t offer an instant decision, and the lender could take up to 24 hours to decide on your application. Information about the speed of its decision-making process isn’t listed on its website, either.

The maximum repayment term is 36 months

The longest repayment term available from Loans by MAL is 36 months. This is shorter than many other lenders who may offer repayment terms of up to five years. A shorter repayment term isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it means you pay less interest in total than if you borrowed over a longer period. However, this limit means you have less choice in repayment amounts, and may make MAL loan repayments too high for your affordability.

What type of loans does Loans by MAL offer?

Bad credit loans

Loans by MAL considers applications from people without the best credit history, although you still need to pass its credit and affordability assessment.

You should only apply for a loan if you are confident of being approved. Loans by MAL states it only conducts a soft credit search during your application. However, be aware that if it lends to you, it will perform a hard credit check which will show on your credit profile.

In addition, Loans by MAL uses open banking to view your recent bank statements, which can help it work out whether a loan is affordable for you or not.

If you have a bad credit score, you are likely to be charged a higher rate of interest than someone with a good score. Because of this, it may be worth improving your credit score before applying for a loan.

You should also consider whether borrowing money is the right option for you, or if you would benefit more from getting professional debt advice instead.

Typically, you should only apply for a loan if you’re confident that you’ll be approved. Credit applications can be recorded on your credit history and may affect your score, which can make it more difficult to get credit in the future.

» MORE: Best bad credit loans

Joint loans

You can’t get a joint loan from Loans by MAL. You can only apply as an individual.

If you want to apply for a joint loan with a family member or friend, you will have to consider other lenders.

Am I eligible for a Loans by MAL loan?

To get a loan from Loans by MAL you need to:

  • be aged between 21 and 75
  • live and work in the UK
  • earn at least £1,300 per month, after tax.

You also need to have a valid UK debit card to apply and be able to log in to online banking for the account your income is paid into.

Loans by MAL loan features review

The features of a loan from Loans by MAL are fairly typical, although there are no early repayment charges if you want to settle your loan early.

Making payments

You can repay a loan from Loans by MAL in fixed monthly instalments by direct debit or a continuous payment authority (CPA). A CPA is when a company takes a payment through your debit card, rather than directly from your bank account.

When you apply for a loan, Loans by MAL automatically sets the repayment date to the first of the month. But you can contact Loans by MAL to change this to a date that suits you better.

Before changing your payment date, it’s worth checking if this will affect the amount of interest you pay.

Overpayments

If you have a loan from Loans by MAL, you can pay more than your agreed monthly payments. You could pay a one-off lump sum or pay a little bit extra each month. This can help you pay off your loan quicker and pay less interest overall.

Loans by MAL doesn’t charge any fees if you want to make an extra repayment. 

You can make a payment through your online account but, before you do this, it’s worth double checking if there are any limits to the amount you can overpay.

Paying off a loan early

If you have enough money spare, you could pay off your loan from Loans by MAL before the end of the term. 

This means you won’t pay as much interest as if you continued to make your monthly repayments as planned and, unlike some lenders, Loans by MAL won’t apply any fees or charges to do this. 

Several of the lenders we’ve reviewed apply interest charges if you want to settle your loan early, but this isn’t the case with Loans by MAL.

» MORE: Paying off a loan early

Additional borrowing

If you’re already paying off a Loans by MAL loan you won’t be able to apply for a further loan.

You can only apply for another loan from Loans by MAL once you’ve paid off your existing loan in full.

Customer support

Loans by MAL is an online lender, which means you can’t get any customer support in person.

Instead, you can contact Loans by MAL by phone or email.

Customer ratings

Loans by MAL has an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot, based on over 700 customer reviews.

Loans by MAL isn’t one of the lenders that the independent review site Fairer Finance has rated.

This information is correct as of 28 May 2024.

Help if you’re struggling with debt

Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. Consolidating multiple debts into one loan can extend the term of your borrowing and increase your cost of borrowing.

If you are struggling with debt, you can seek advice from a debt advice service, such as:

Loans by MAL loans frequently asked questions

Is Loans by MAL a payday lender?

No, Loans by MAL isn’t a payday lender. It is an online lender that offers unsecured personal loans.

How long does it take Loans by MAL to approve an application?

Loans by MAL may take up to 24 hours to decide on your loan application. If approved, it could then take up to 24 working hours to transfer your money.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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