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Zopa personal loans: At a glance
Zopa offers straightforward personal loans, backed by strong customer support, that may particularly appeal to those looking for the ability to actively manage their loan through a mobile app. It offers fast funding once the loan has been agreed, and in some cases, an instant decision can be made.
But borrowers looking for a joint loan or requiring higher loan amounts will need to look elsewhere as Zopa does not offer joint loans and has a maximum loan limit that is lower than some of its competitors.
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.
Zopa Personal Loan
Representative ExampleRepresentative APR 19.9%. Based on a loan of £10,000 over 60 months at an interest of 19.9% p.a. (fixed). Monthly repayments of £255.50. Total amount payable £15,329.80. Maximum APR: 34.9%.
Available amounts£1,000 to £25,000
Available Terms1 to 5 years
- Must be aged 20 or over
- Must be a current UK resident with 1 year of address history in the UK
- Must be employed, self-employed or retired with a pension
- Must have a good track record of repaying debt
Zopa loans pros & cons
- You can access your loan quickly once your application is approved.
- Multiple channels of customer support are available, including a mobile app.
- Early repayment charges may apply on new loans.
- Zopa doesn’t offer joint loans.
- As Zopa is an online-only bank, there is no face-to-face customer support.
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.
Zopa loans overview
Zopa made its name in 2005 as the first peer-to-peer lender to launch in the UK. However, it has since closed down its peer-to-peer operations and it became a regulated online-only bank in 2020. Zopa now offers a range of different products to consumers, including personal loans.
You can repay its loans in fixed, monthly instalments over a term of one to five years but, to help you clear your debt faster, Zopa also allows you to make extra repayments without facing any penalty fees although there may be a limit on the overpayments so always check terms. You can borrow between £1,000 and £25,000 with Zopa and conveniently manage your repayments through its mobile app.
You can check your eligibility for a loan from Zopa, without affecting your credit score. This can help you see your chances of approval and what interest rates you may qualify for.
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.
|Amount borrowable||£1,000 to £25,000|
|Term length||One to five years|
|Time to receive funds||Within two hours|
|Need to have an account with the provider||No|
|Customer support||Phone, live chat, mobile app, social media|
|Trustpilot rating||4.4 stars (8 March 2023)|
Where Zopa personal loans stand out
Fast funding: Zopa states that borrowers should receive their funds within two hours of getting approval for a loan and by transferring the money to your bank account using Faster Payments, borrowers could receive their funds in under 15 minutes. Either way, this timescale is considerably quicker than other personal loan lenders, some of which can take several days to release funds once a loan has been approved.
Ability to manage through an app: Zopa offers a mobile app which can be a convenient way for customers to manage their loan, including making extra payments, requesting a settlement date or changing the loan repayment date. Note that this may change the next payment amount so check the terms before using this feature. This may appeal strongly to those happy to manage their finances through their mobile phone. The Zopa app is highly rated by users on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
Favourable customer reviews: Zopa appears to score well in terms of its customer service levels. On Trustpilot (which looks at Zopa’s service overall across all its products, not just personal loans), Zopa has a 4.4 star rating with great customer service regularly mentioned. Zopa also performs well in Fairer Finance’s latest ratings, which are focused solely on personal loans, with a customer experience score of 66%.
Where Zopa personal loans fall short
Lower borrowing amount: The maximum loan amount through Zopa is restricted to £25,000. While this may be enough for some borrowers, those looking for larger personal loans to fund more expensive purchases will need to look elsewhere. Some personal loan providers are willing to offer larger loans, in some cases as high as £50,000.
No joint loans: Some customers may prefer to apply for a loan in joint names. However, Zopa does not provide this as an option.
What type of loans does Zopa offer?
Zopa offers unsecured personal loans. This means you don’t need to put forward any kind of collateral to act as security for the loan.
As a result, your personal credit history and overall financial situation will determine whether Zopa offers you a loan and, if approved, the interest rate you receive. Bear in mind that your rate may be different from the representative APR advertised by Zopa.
APR, or annual percentage rate, tells you how much a loan will cost you, taking into account the interest rate and any standard fees in the first year. The representative APR tells you the rate that 51% of people who successfully get a loan from Zopa receive, so your personalised APR could be higher or lower than this.
Zopa loans can be used for many different purposes, such as to buy a vehicle, pay for home improvements, pay for a wedding or consolidate debts.
» MORE: What is an unsecured loan?
Loans for bad credit
While some personal loan lenders will consider borrowers with a poor credit score, it will be difficult to get a loan from Zopa if you have a bad credit history. Zopa states that you need to have a good history of paying bills and making payments on any forms of debt, so if you’ve missed payments in the past, you may not meet Zopa’s criteria.
If you are approved for a loan, Zopa is likely to charge a higher interest rate if you have a lower credit history as you’re likely to be viewed as a higher risk.
Don’t apply for loans you are unlikely to get because unsuccessful applications will have a negative effect on your credit score.
Zopa does not offer loans to joint borrowers. If you’re looking to take out a joint loan, you might want to consider those lenders that do provide this option.
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.
Zopa loans eligibility criteria
Unlike some personal loan lenders, you do not need to be an existing customer to apply for a Zopa loan. To qualify for a loan from Zopa, you will need to meet the following requirements as a minimum:
- be at least 20 years old
- live in the UK and have at least one year of address history
- earn at least £12,000 per year (before tax)
- have a good credit history that shows you have paid bills and any forms of debt on time
Zopa can offer loans to people who are employed, self-employed, or retired with a pension, as long as they can afford to repay the loan.
Zopa loan features reviews
Zopa loans have many of the standard features that you would expect from a personal loan. We explain more about them and how they work below.
Zopa loans offer borrowers some flexibility when it comes to managing their payments. When you take out a Zopa loan, your first repayment is due to be paid 30 days later and you cannot change this date. However, during the loan term, Zopa allows you to change your payment date to one that is more convenient for you. For example, this may be useful if you may want to change it to the day after you get paid so that you can be confident that you have the necessary funds available.
You can manage your payment date on your Zopa online account. Bear in mind that changing your repayment date may alter the amount of your next payment.
Like most lenders, Zopa allows you to make additional payments towards your loan at no extra cost. This is on top of your regular monthly payments. The minimum amount you can overpay is £10.
The ability to make overpayments without penalty was considered an important feature by over 40% of NerdWallet’s survey respondents. This isn’t surprising, as making extra payments towards your loan can help you to clear your debt faster and reduce the amount of interest you pay.
When you make an overpayment on a Zopa loan, your loan term will remain the same but your monthly payments will decrease accordingly.
Paying off a loan early
According to NerdWallet’s survey, the ability to pay off your loan without facing any penalty charges is the most important feature of a loan that borrowers look for.
However, in common with many lenders, Zopa may apply some extra interest charges if you want to settle your loan before the end of the term.
If you took out a loan from Zopa after 7 September 2022, you may face an early repayment charge to clear your debt. Borrowers who took out a loan on or before this date may not need to pay this fee.
Zopa can charge up to 28 days’ interest if your remaining loan term is 12 months or shorter, or up to 58 days’ interest for loans with longer terms.
» MORE: Guide to paying off a loan early
Depending on your individual situation, Zopa may allow you to borrow more and take out an additional loan alongside your existing one. However, this is subject to credit and affordability checks, and you currently can’t borrow more than £25,000 across all loans you have from Zopa.
You will need to wait a minimum of six months since your first application if you wish to borrow more.
There are multiple ways for customers to get in touch with Zopa about their loan.
Crucially, you can contact Zopa by phone and live chat. These were considered the two most important channels of customer support by respondents to our NerdWallet survey.
Zopa also offers a mobile app, available on the App Store and Google Play, which can be a convenient way for customers to manage their loan and any other Zopa products they may have. Through the app, you can make extra payments towards your loan, request a settlement quote, and change your repayment date, for example.
The app also offers a unique Borrowing Power tool that can help you see your eligibility for loans from Zopa and offers tips on how to improve your credit score.
As an online-only bank, one customer service option that isn’t available with Zopa is face to face. If you prefer to manage your finances this way, you might wish to consider a personal loan lender that has branches close to where you live.
On Trustpilot, Zopa has a 4.4 star rating. However, it’s important to remember that these reviews encompass Zopa’s product offerings as a whole, rather than only its personal loans.
Fairer Finance’s latest ratings, which focus solely on personal loans, award Zopa a customer experience score of 66%, the third joint highest out of 26 providers it reviewed.
Zopa’s mobile app has a 4.8 star rating on the App Store, while on the Google Play Store it has 4.2 stars.
These ratings apply to Zopa’s range of services, not just its personal loans.
This information is correct as of 19 April 2023.
How can I apply to Zopa?
You can apply for a Zopa loan directly or through a broker. However, it may be worth comparing deals from different providers to see if they offer a loan that’s more suitable for your situation.
Zopa has a calculator on its website that can help you to see what your monthly payments would be if you borrowed a certain amount over a certain term. This was listed as the most important feature when applying for a loan by respondents to our survey. However, you need to consider that the calculator uses the representative APR to give you these results, so the interest you pay may differ if you apply for a loan.
Before formally applying for a loan from Zopa, you can see if you are eligible and what rate you could receive. Zopa will run a soft credit check, which won’t leave a mark on your credit history or be visible to other lenders, and look at the personal and financial information you provide to see if you qualify for a loan.
Once you have a quote and know the rate you might qualify for, you can decide whether to formally apply for the loan. The quoted rate you receive will be valid for seven days, so, assuming nothing changes in your formal loan application and you apply within this period, you should receive that rate.
When you formally apply for a loan, Zopa will run a hard credit check. This will leave a mark on your credit history and could affect your credit score.
What information do I need?
To check your eligibility and apply for a loan from Zopa, you will need to provide details such as your:
- date of birth
- employment status
In some cases, Zopa may ask to see supporting documents to prove your identity, income and monthly financial commitments
How long does it take to apply?
Zopa may be able to provide an instant decision on your loan application, so you can see straight away if you qualify for a loan or not.
However, if it needs to confirm further details or it needs you to provide any documents as proof of identity or income, it is likely to take longer for Zopa to make a decision. Zopa says it could take two to three working days to review your application.
In certain cases, Zopa may use open banking to verify your income. You will be told if Zopa needs to do this during the application process.
Once your loan is approved, Zopa provides quick access to the funds. It may take less than 15 minutes to receive the loan in your account. But, in some cases, it could take up to two hours.
Frequently asked questions
Zopa is not a payday lender. Payday loans come with high interest rates and short repayment terms.
Zopa is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the organisation that is responsible for regulating firms in the UK finance market. Zopa is also authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
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.