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Published 25 April 2023

Nationwide Personal Loans Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Nationwide is a building society that offers personal loans and joint loans to its members. Find out about the features of a Nationwide loan and its pros and cons.

Many or all of the products and brands we review are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and the product we choose in our ‘promotion’. However it doesn’t influence our reviews. Our opinions are our own.

Nationwide personal loans: At a glance

Nationwide loans offer flexibility, a quick turnaround on funds and a broad choice of ways to manage your account. Unlike many lenders, Nationwide doesn’t apply any interest charges if you settle your loan early. 

But you can only get a loan if you’re already a member of the high street building society.

Remember, if you’re considering a 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.


Nationwide Personal Loan

  • Representative APR
  • Representative Example
    Representative APR 6.9%. Based on a loan of £10,000 over 60 months at an interest rate of 6.9% p.a. (fixed). Monthly repayments of £196.56. Total amount payable £11,793.60. Maximum APR: 29.9%.
  • Available amounts
    £1,000 to £25,000
  • Available Terms
    1 to 5 years
  • Joint Loans
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Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Must have a monthly income of £700 after tax
  • Must live and work in the UK
  • Must be aged between 18 and 79 years old
  • Must a member of Nationwide

Learn more about how we bring you our review.

Nationwide loans pros & cons


  • There are no charges for paying off your loan early.
  • You can apply for a joint loan if you both live at the same address. 
  • Once the loan agreement is signed (typically done online), you can get your funds transferred into a Nationwide current account within two hours.
  • There are several ways to contact Nationwide: online, in a branch, by phone and via its app or live chat.


  • Loans are only available to Nationwide members.
  • Loans are not available if you live in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

The pros and cons featured here are chosen by us based on a combination of our expert opinions from our research of the personal loans market and an exclusive survey of UK consumers conducted on behalf of NerdWallet UK in February 2023 to identify the features of personal loans that people feel are most important. They are unlikely to be the only product features and restrictions that you should consider. Pros and Cons are subjective and you should align them to your own personal circumstances. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.

Nationwide loans overview

Nationwide is a building society that offers personal loans and a range of other financial products, such as current accounts, mortgages and credit cards. It was founded in 1884 as the Co-operative Permanent Building Society, changing its name to Nationwide in 1970. 

If you have a current account, savings account or mortgage with Nationwide, you may be able to apply for a Nationwide loan. You could borrow between £1,000 and £25,000, either as an individual or as a joint application, and repay the loan in fixed instalments every month until it is paid off.

However, you can choose to make overpayments or pay off your loan in full before the end of its term. You won’t need to pay any added interest charges if you choose to settle your Nationwide loan early, which isn’t the case with every lender.

Nationwide has branches in many towns and cities across the UK, which means you could ask for help or support with your loan from a team member face to face. However, if you prefer to manage your affairs online, Nationwide also offers online banking and a mobile app that you can use instead.

Amount borrowable£1,000 to £25,000
Term lengthOne to seven years
Time to receive fundsTwo hours (Nationwide current accounts)
Need to have an account with the providerYes
Customer supportPhone, live chat, branch, app and post
Trustpilot rating1.8 stars (24 March 2023)

Where Nationwide personal loans stand out

Funding within two hours: Once you have signed your loan agreement, Nationwide says it can transfer the funds to you within two hours. However, this is only the case if the loan is transferred into a Nationwide current account. It could take longer to transfer the loan to another Nationwide account or an account with another bank or building society.

You can get a joint loan: Nationwide offers joint loans if you want to apply for a loan with a partner, family member or friend. However, you will both need to live at the same address and meet Nationwide’s eligibility criteria to qualify for a joint loan. Not all lenders give the option of applying for a joint loan, so this feature differentiates Nationwide from many providers. 

No early repayment charges: Unlike many lenders, Nationwide doesn’t apply any early repayment charges if you want to settle your loan before the end of its term. Lenders can charge up to 58 days’ interest to pay off your loan early, but Nationwide allows you to do this without any penalties.

Rated highly by Fairer Finance: Among the lenders ranked by review site Fairer Finance, Nationwide comes out joint second with a customer experience rating of 70%. This rating is correct as of 24 March 2023.

Where Nationwide personal loans fall short

Only available to Nationwide members: Loans from Nationwide are not available to everybody. You can only apply for a loan if you have a Nationwide current account, savings account or mortgage. However, you can open a Nationwide Instant Access Saver account with a deposit of £1.

Lower maximum loan limit than other lenders: You can borrow between £1,000 and £25,000 from Nationwide, so there may be other lenders who can offer larger loans than this. However, it’s important to only borrow the amount you need, so this lower maximum limit may only be a problem if you need a larger loan.

Can’t choose your first repayment date: When you apply for a Nationwide loan, you will need to make your first payment one month after Nationwide transfers the funds. This is in contrast to some lenders that may allow you to pick the date of your first payment.  

What type of loans does Nationwide offer?

Unsecured loans

Nationwide offers unsecured loans between £1,000 and £25,000, which you can choose to repay over one to seven years. This is typical of many lenders, but there may be lenders that may offer larger loans if you need to borrow more.

Unlike secured loans, unsecured loans don’t require a property or other high-value item to act as security, which means both homeowners and tenants can apply.

You can use a loan from Nationwide to cover different costs, such as a new car, a wedding, home improvements, or to consolidate debt.

Joint loans

Nationwide allows you to apply for a joint loan, as long as both of you live at the same address and the total amount borrowed isn’t more than £25,000. 

Joint loans have the same eligibility requirements as if you were applying as an individual, and both parties will need to meet these criteria. However, only one of you needs to be a Nationwide member (have a Nationwide current account, savings account or mortgage) to qualify.

When you take out a joint loan, your credit history will be linked to the other applicant’s credit history. You will both be responsible for paying off the loan and any missed payments could affect both of your credit scores.

Loans for bad credit

Loans from Nationwide are designed for borrowers with a good credit history. In its eligibility criteria, Nationwide specifies that it won’t offer you a loan if you’ve missed three or more payments over the last 12 months, or have actions such as county court judgments (CCJs) or individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) on your credit file.

As a result, if you have a bad credit history, you’re unlikely to qualify for a loan from Nationwide. Don’t apply for loans you are unlikely to get because unsuccessful applications will have a negative effect on your credit score. However, there are specialist lenders that can cater for people with poorer credit histories, so it may be worth considering these options if you need to take out a loan.

Am I eligible for a Nationwide loan?

Nationwide loans are currently only available to current Nationwide members. So, to be considered for one of their loans, you would need to have one of the following Nationwide products.

As well as being a Nationwide member, you will also need to meet the following criteria:

If you are self-employed, you would need to supply Nationwide with documents, such as an accountant’s certificate or HMRC online tax calculation, to show your income over at least one year.

Nationwide won’t be able to offer you a loan if you are applying from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Your final eligibility for a loan will be subject to a credit check and affordability checks conducted by Nationwide.

Nationwide loan features review

While the process of making payments on a Nationwide loan is much the same as other lenders, Nationwide stands out from the competition as it doesn’t apply early repayment charges if you want to settle your loan early.

Making payments

When you take out a Nationwide loan, you need to make your first monthly payment one month after Nationwide transfers the money to your account.

It’s possible to change your repayment date during the loan term if another day would work better for you. You will need to request this change over the phone or in a branch, at least six working days before the payment is due to go out. By changing your repayment date there could be an impact on the interest you pay, either more or less depending on the change, so make sure you check. 


You can currently make overpayments on a loan from Nationwide at no extra cost. Doing this won’t change your monthly payments but it can help you to pay off your loan faster.

You can make overpayments online, via Nationwide’s banking app, by cheque, or by visiting a branch.

Many providers have limits on the amount of overpayments you can make. Always check this beforehand.

Paying off a loan early

Nationwide allows you to pay off your personal loan early and, unlike many other lenders, it won’t apply any interest charges if you want to do this.

Almost half (49%) of respondents to our survey said that the ability to settle your loan without paying any penalty charges was an important feature, so this is where Nationwide sets itself apart from most other lenders.

While lenders are permitted to charge up to 28 days’ interest when you request a settlement figure to clear your loan in the last 12 months of its term, or even up to 58 days’ interest if you settle before that, Nationwide doesn’t do this. 

You can pay off your loan online, via Nationwide’s banking app, by cheque, or at a Nationwide branch.

After you have requested a settlement figure from Nationwide, online or via phone, you will have 28 days to pay it. Nationwide won’t charge any interest during this time, but if you choose not to pay off your loan early, Nationwide will reapply the interest to the outstanding balance left to pay.

» MORE: Paying off a loan early

Additional borrowing

You may be able to borrow more from Nationwide, on top of your existing loan. However, you will need to meet Nationwide’s requirements and pass its checks as it will want to make sure you can afford to take on the extra repayments. This assessment will be based on your circumstances at the time of applying for your new loan and not your original loan.

If you want to borrow more, you could apply for a new loan that will pay off your existing loan and give you the extra amount you want. This means the interest rate on your loan may be different to your existing agreement, but you would have one monthly payment to keep track of.

Alternatively, you could apply for a second loan and repay two separate loans. This means the interest rate and repayments on your existing loan would stay the same, and the new loan would be a completely separate agreement with a different repayment schedule.

You can only have a maximum of two loans from Nationwide at any one time, which can’t add up to more than £25,000 in total.

Customer support

There are several ways you can get in touch with Nationwide if you have a general query or want to talk about your loan.

For example, you can contact Nationwide by phone, live chat, or, if you are close to a branch, you can ask for help in person. Many online-only lenders don’t offer face-to-face support, Nationwide is one of the options available to you if you want a loan from a lender that you can visit.

You could contact Nationwide on its social channels, such as Twitter, although the team is likely to direct you to other forms of customer support that can offer more specific help.

If you have the Nationwide banking app, you could also manage your loan through this.

Customer ratings

On Trustpilot, Nationwide has a rating of 1.8 stars based on over 3,700 reviews. 

The Nationwide banking app has a 4.8 star rating on the App Store, based on over 534,700 reviews. On Google Play, the app has a rating of 4.2 stars from over 93,800 reviews.

Bear in mind that these reviews are for Nationwide building society as a whole, not just their lending products.

Fairer Finance provides a rating based only on Nationwide’s personal loans, and the building society performs well in this ranking. It has a 70% customer experience rating, joint second of all lenders it lists.

This information is correct as of 24 March 2023.

How can I apply for a Nationwide loan?

Before applying for a loan from Nationwide, you can use its calculator to see how much your monthly repayment would be, based on the amount you want to borrow, the repayment term, and the representative APR, or annual percentage rate, which tells you how much a loan will cost you, taking into account the interest rate and any standard fees. The representative APR tells you the maximum rate that 51% of people who successfully get a loan from Nationwide receive, so your personalised APR could be higher than this.

If you know how much you want to borrow, you can apply for a quote from Nationwide by providing information about your personal and financial situation. This process will involve a soft credit check that won’t affect your credit history, but it can indicate how likely you are to get approved for a loan. This minimises your chances of applying and having your application rejected, which would leave a mark on your credit file.

If you choose to apply for a loan, Nationwide will run some final checks, including a hard credit check, to make a formal decision on your application. A hard credit check will be recorded on your credit history, so you should only apply if you are confident of being accepted.

You could also consider using a loans eligibility service to conduct a soft search across multiple lenders and provide you with results of your likelihood of a successful application against several different loans, without affecting your credit score. But do check the details of the service you use, to make sure it only uses soft searches and how many lenders it checks.

What information do I need?

As part of your application, you will need to provide Nationwide with information, such as:

Nationwide will use this information and run a credit check to make a decision on your application.

In some cases, Nationwide may ask for further documents to prove your identity, address and income, for example. You can send these by email or post, or visit a Nationwide branch.

How long does it take to apply?

If you apply for a Nationwide loan online, you will typically get a decision immediately. However, if Nationwide requires more information or your application needs to go to an underwriter to review, it will take longer than this.

Once your application is approved and you’ve returned the signed loan agreement, you should receive the money in your account within:

Frequently asked questions

Is Nationwide safe?

Nationwide Building Society is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is also authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

How long does it take for a Nationwide loan to go into your account?

Once you’ve signed and returned your loan agreement, Nationwide may be able to transfer the loan into your account within two hours (if it’s a Nationwide current account). For other Nationwide accounts or accounts with other providers, it could take up to five working days.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet Ltd UK we base our reviews on the results of surveys we conduct to understand what key product features are important to those who use them, and align them to the product we review.

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 it is likely there are others available that we have not reviewed. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability of your financial circumstances.

You can view our review methodology here.

About the Author

Rhiannon Philps

Rhiannon has been writing about personal finance for over three years, specialising in energy, motoring, credit cards and lending. After graduating from the University of Cambridge with a degree in…

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