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Published 02 October 2023
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Sainsbury’s Bank Loan Review: Pros, Cons & Features

A Sainsbury’s personal loan offers the potential for fast approvals and rate benefits for Nectar members. Learn more below in our Sainsbury’s Bank loan review.

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.

Sainsbury’s Bank personal loans: At a glance 

Sainsbury’s performs well when you compare it to the other lenders we’ve reviewed. Its application process is particularly strong with a 5-star rating, but the more limited availability of customer support causes its overall score to drop.

Nectar members can receive the best rates on loans of up to £40,000 but if you’re not signed up to Sainsbury’s reward scheme and want a loan above £25,000, you’ll need to look to other lenders.

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.

NerdWallet Review Rating

4.0

Sainsbury’s Bank

See how we rate our lenders below.

Important information: Neither the review nor the star ratings considered the lender’s lending rates or representative APR, and therefore does not reflect how much they charge to borrow with them. The rates on this page have been provided as additional information. Always check and compare a lender’s rates against others on the market when considering a loan. The rate you are offered will be dependent on your personal circumstances, loan amount and term and may differ from the representative APR.

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Sainsbury’s Bank Personal Loan

Sainsbury’s Bank Personal Loan
  • Representative APR
    6.4%
    Non-Nectar members rate shown – Nectar members receive preferential rate
  • Representative Example
    Representative Example: Representative 6.4% APR fixed. Based on a loan of £10,000 for 60 months at 6.4% p.a. Total £11,661 repayable at £194.35 per month. Maximum APR: 29.9%.
  • Available amounts
    £1,000 to £40,000
  • Available Terms
    1 to 7 years
  • Joint Loans
    Yes

Always check terms & conditions for suitability before applying.

Eligibility Requirements
  • You can borrow between £1,000 – £40,000 if you’re a Nectar member, non-Nectar members can borrow up to £25,000
  • Must be at least 18 years old and less than 80 when you apply. You should also be under 83 when the loan is due to be repaid
  • Must have a UK-based bank or building society account that can accept Direct Debits. If you’re applying for a joint loan, the first named applicant must be named on this bank account
  • Must have a permanent UK address
  • Must be in permanent paid employment or retired with a pension
  • Must have a gross annual income of over £7,500
  • Must not have a history of County Court Judgments or bankruptcy

Learn more about how we bring you our review.

Sainsbury’s Bank loans pros & cons

Pros

  • You could get instant approval and fast turnaround on funds if you sign the loan agreement online.
  • You can apply for a joint loan.
  • Nectar members can borrow more and may get preferential rates.

Cons

  • You can’t choose your payment start date.
  • Payment holidays are not available.
  • Smaller loan amounts for non-Nectar members.

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.

Sainsbury’s Bank loan overview

Launched in 1997 when it became the first supermarket bank in the UK, Sainsbury’s Bank now offers a range of financial products and services, including personal loans, insurance, credit cards, travel money and savings accounts.

Sainsbury’s Bank unsecured personal loans can be taken out by individual borrowers or jointly with someone else. 

You don’t have to be an existing customer of the bank to apply for a Sainsbury’s personal loan, but there are potential advantages to being a member of the Nectar reward scheme, including access to lower rates and higher loan amounts of up to £40,000.

Repayment terms on Sainsbury’s loans range from one to seven years for Nectar members, but you can only borrow for up to five years if you’re not a member.  

Loan amounts£1,000 to £40,000 for Nectar members, or £25,000 for non-members
Term lengthOne to seven years, or one to five years for non-members
Time to get a decisionInstant
Time to receive funds once approvedTwo hours – next working day (if agreement signed online) 
Need to have an account with the provider?No
Customer supportPhone, social media

How do we rate Sainsbury’s Bank personal loans?

We’ve assessed a selection of UK loan providers and rated each against a set of criteria that take into consideration what loan customers tell us are the most important product features. 

Here’s what we review and how Sainsbury’s Bank performs:

CriteriaStar rating
Flexibility3 stars
Application process5 stars
Available customer support2 stars
Overall(The overall score is weighted in favour of the features borrowers told us they consider most important)4 stars

Nerdwallet’s star rating assessment criteria does not include the lender’s product lending rates or fees. Always check and compare a lender’s rates against others on the market when considering a loan.

Category definitions

Flexibility

A flexible loan gives customers a choice of funds, terms and payment options. That means offering a wide range of loan amounts and repayment term options, allowing the borrower to change their payment date and make overpayments, for example.

Application process

The best application processes are quick and easy, with clear eligibility criteria, soft checks and multiple ways to apply to suit different customers’ needs.

Available customer support 

Good customer support can include clear information on the lender’s website and a customer service team that’s available most of the time and can be reached in multiple ways.

Where Sainsbury’s Bank personal loans stand out

Instant approval decision

If you apply for a Sainsbury’s loan you can expect a decision almost instantly as long as you can provide the information it requires up front.  

Fast fund delivery

If your loan agreement is signed online, the funds could be paid into your account within two hours; at worst, it’ll arrive the next working day. By comparison, the turnaround time with some other lenders can be as long as five working days.   

Joint loans are available

If you want to apply for a loan with someone else, Sainsbury’s Bank is among a group of lenders offering joint loans. This is a useful option, particularly as applying jointly with another person with higher earnings or better credit can sometimes help those on a low income or with bad credit get the loan they need.

Nectar membership advantages

If you’re a Nectar scheme member, Sainsbury’s says you’ll qualify for its lowest loan rates. In addition, members of the reward scheme can borrow up to £40,000 through a Sainsbury’s loan, higher than most other lenders offer.

Where Sainsbury’s Bank personal loans fall short

Low non-Nectar member loan amounts

If you are a non-Nectar card holder, the most that you can borrow is £25,000. Some other personal loan providers have the ability to offer larger sums if you need a bigger loan. 

Fewer customer support options

Compared to other lenders we’ve reviewed, Sainsbury’s Bank doesn’t offer as many ways to get in touch with its customer support team. Primarily you’ll need to make a query by phone and there isn’t the option of live chat or email.

Features

Sainsbury’s Bank personal loans are unsecured loans, which don’t require you to put forward something that you own as security for the loan. The loan amount and the interest the lender charges must be repaid in fixed monthly instalments which you will make for the duration of the loan term that is agreed when first taking out the loan. 

Nectar members could borrow between £1,000 and £40,000 over a term of one to seven years, while non-Nectar members can borrow a maximum of £25,000 over a maximum term of 5 years.

The interest rate you’re offered for a Sainsbury’s loan will depend on a combination of factors, including your personal situation, credit history and the amount you want to borrow. However, if you have a Nectar membership, Sainsbury’s says that you could be eligible for its lowest interest rates.

A simple but effective loan calculator on the Sainsbury’s Bank website gives you an idea of the monthly repayments and total cost you might pay for different loan amounts over different loan terms. It also highlights the savings you could make depending on whether you’re a Nectar member or not. 

Sainsbury’s personal loans can be used for a wide variety of reasons, including for home improvements, debt consolidation, weddings, and buying a car. 

» MORE: Try our personal loan calculator 

Joint loans

Sainsbury’s Bank offers joint loans if you want to take out a loan with a family member, partner or close friend. The same borrowing limits and range of terms apply as for individual applications. 

Only one applicant needs a suitable income to be eligible to apply for a Sainsbury’s joint loan. If you’re a student, or your only income is from benefits, you can’t apply for a Sainsbury’s loan on your own. However, you could be a second applicant on a joint loan, provided your co-borrower has an income that Sainsbury’s considers acceptable. 

Remember, if you take out a joint loan with someone your credit files will be linked and you’ll both be jointly responsible for paying back the loan. Any missed payments will affect both of your credit scores.

Loans for bad credit

While Sainsbury’s Bank doesn’t explicitly state a credit score that potential borrowers should have in order to apply, it explains that your choice of loans is likely to be limited, and the rates of interest you’re offered higher, if you have a bad credit score

The bank does make it clear that you won’t be eligible for one of its personal loans if you’ve had county court judgments (CCJs) or experienced bankruptcy in the past. 

It’s important not to apply for loans unless you are confident of being successful, as declined loan applications will have a negative impact on your credit profile.

Flexibility

When it comes to managing your repayments, a Sainsbury’s loan isn’t as flexible as some. While it is possible to change the date your repayments are taken once the loan is up and running, you don’t get to choose when your first payment is taken – instead, this is based on the date that you apply. Keep in mind that changing payment dates could cause you to pay more or less in interest as a result.

There is also no option to delay the start of your repayments, as you can with some other lenders, or to take a payment holiday if you need a break from making repayments. 

Extra repayments

If you have the funds to hand, you can make overpayments on a Sainsbury’s loan without incurring a penalty or charge. When you choose to overpay, Sainsbury’s will reassess what you owe and reduce your loan term automatically (unless you’re overpaying to make up for an overdue payment). 

You can also overpay with the intention to reduce the size of future monthly repayments while keeping the term of your loan the same as before, but this isn’t automatic – you’ll need to confirm this with Sainsbury’s Bank over the phone.

Some providers set limits on overpayments, so always check the terms for your individual agreement before making payments.

You can pay off a Sainsbury’s Bank loan early if this suits your circumstances. If you want to pay back your entire remaining loan balance early, you’ll need to get an early settlement quote from the bank before you proceed. This will detail how much you must repay to clear what you owe, any charges you’ll need to pay and your next steps. 

The charges could amount to up to 58 days’ interest, depending on when you want to pay off your loan.   

Additional borrowing

It is possible to borrow more with Sainsbury’s Bank if you already have a personal loan with the bank, but your total borrowings can’t exceed £40,000.

One option is to combine your current loan with a new top-up and agree a longer repayment term. However, bear in mind you might have to pay up to 58 days’ interest to do so, as you’re effectively ending your existing loan early. 

Alternatively, you could get a new, separate loan at the current interest rate, which will need to be repaid alongside your existing loan. This might be worth considering if your original loan has a particularly low rate that you wouldn’t want to lose.

Any additional borrowing is likely to be based on an assessment of your circumstances at that time rather than when you applied for your initial loan.

Application process

Sainsbury’s gets top marks for its application process as it clearly displays its eligibility criteria and, if approved for a loan, you could get the money in your account within hours.

You have to apply for a loan from Sainsbury’s Bank online. Any required documents can also be uploaded online and, if you’re accepted, you can sign your loan agreement online. If you prefer putting pen to paper, there is the option to sign and return a paper copy of your loan agreement too.  

You can get an idea of what interest rate and monthly repayment plan you could be offered using Sainsbury’s loan calculator. This won’t affect your credit score. However, you’ll only get a personalised quote, which could have an effect on your credit score, when you apply for the loan.

How long does it take to apply?

You can generally expect an instant decision on whether or not you’ve been accepted for a Sainsbury’s loan after you’ve applied.

If you signed your loan agreement online, you should receive the money in your bank account by the next working day. If you signed a paper copy of the agreement, it could take up to five working days after Sainsbury’s has received the documents to receive your funds.

What information do I need?

When preparing to apply for a Sainsbury’s Bank personal loan, be ready to share:  

  • your bank account number and sort code 
  • your email address and mobile phone number
  • proof of your identity, in the form of a driving licence or passport, and/or a utility bill or bank statement

To help Sainsbury’s verify your identity, you’ll also need a mobile phone with a camera that will allow you to share your photo with the bank. 

» MORE: How to get a personal loan

Availability of customer support

Availability of customer support is where Sainsbury’s falls short compared to other lenders we’ve reviewed.

Sainsbury’s loan customers are encouraged to use its online service wherever possible. However, for queries that can’t be resolved online, or where you urgently need support, including if it’s likely you’ll miss a loan repayment, dedicated phone support is available.  

However, Sainsbury’s Bank doesn’t have the option of live chat or email if you’d prefer not to speak on the phone. You can contact Sainsbury’s Bank on social media, but you won’t be able to discuss specific details about your loan agreement on this channel.   

Customer ratings

Sainsbury’s Bank receives a favourable rating of 4.1 from over 13,700 customer reviews on Trustpilot, though these responses cover all aspects of the bank’s products and services, and not just loans.  

That said, Fairer Finance, which produces ratings that relate specifically to personal loans, are also reasonably impressed by Sainsbury’s loans. For customer experience, the bank is awarded a score of 63%, ranking it in the top half of the table. 

This information was correct as of 12 April 2024.

Am I eligible for a Sainsbury’s Bank loan?

To be eligible to apply for a Sainsbury’s loan, you must:

  • be at least 18 and under 80 when you apply
  • be under 83 on the date the loan is due to be paid back in full
  • have a UK bank or building society account that accepts direct debits
  • live permanently in the UK
  • be employed on a permanent contract, or be retired with a pension
  • earn more than £7,500 a year

As with many lenders, Sainsbury’s adds that there is a greater chance of being approved for a loan if you have a good credit score

You might also want to consider using a loans eligibility service to conduct a soft search across multiple lenders. This would give you an indication of your chance of successfully getting a loan from several different lenders, without affecting your credit score. Importantly, you should check the details of the service you use, to make sure it only conducts soft searches and how many lenders it covers.

» MORE: Am I eligible to get a personal loan? 

Frequently asked questions

Are Sainsbury’s loans hard to get?

You need a minimum gross annual income of £7,500 to apply for a Sainsbury’s loan and, ideally, a good credit score to give yourself the best chance of being approved for the loan. You can’t apply if you’ve previously had CCJs or been bankrupt.

Can I take out a second Sainsbury’s loan?

Yes, you are allowed to have two Sainsbury’s loans at the same time. An application for a second loan will follow the same process as for the first, though any rate you’re offered could be different to the one you’re paying already. Keep in mind that the total value of your loans from Sainsbury’s Bank can’t be more than £40,000.

Do you get an instant decision on Sainsbury’s loans?

Sainsbury’s Bank will usually provide an instant decision when you apply for one of its personal loans online. It’s possible you might receive the funds into your account the same day too.

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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