Have you been refused a shopping catalogue account because of bad credit history? If you have a poor credit rating you may still be able to shop using a catalogue company, but your choices are limited compared to someone with an excellent credit rating.
This article takes a look at a couple of possible solutions for people with bad credit rating: DialaTV and HomeBuy. Both companies offer flexible payment options and allow you to spread the cost of your shopping in pay weekly or pay monthly instalments.
All applications are welcome even if you have a poor credit score. Acceptance is not guaranteed and you will still need to pass a credit and affordability test before being approved.
Who are they?
HomeBuy are a UK based catalogue company that offer a selection of branded household and entertainment essentials on a pay weekly basis. Their stock features products from top names, such as Samsung, Belling, Panasonic, Hotpoint and New World.
The company frequently extends credit to people with a poor credit rating, enabling them to purchase a selection of furniture, white goods and entertainment items including:
- Sofas and chairs
- Fridge freezers
- Washing machines
- Tumble driers
- Dining sets
The goods are obtained using a hire purchase agreement and customers pay weekly for their items via a direct debit or standing order. If you keep up with your payments, it’s often possible to increase the amount you borrow, enabling you to select other items from the Homebuy collection.
How do I apply?
1. The first thing to do is browse the selection of premium products on offer at Homebuy and decide on the one that you want.
2. Contact Homebuy via their online ordering service or using the phone number of their website to place your order.
3. In order to complete your application, you will need to have the following documentation:
- Proof of ID (for example a passport or driving licence)
- Proof of address (a tenancy agreement, recent utility bills or similar information would be appropriate)
- Evidence of income (last three wage slips or confirmation of benefits)
4. If your application is successful, you can then go on to complete your order. In the rare event your application isn’t approved, you’ll still be able to buy goods outright from Homebuy. You will be provided with an instant decision and details on your credit account limit.
Remember that delivery of any item is free and the Homebuy team will also install it if necessary, usually within a week of delivery.
What is the APR?
The APR is currently 49.9%. Credit is subject to successful status and affordability checks.
What else do they offer?
Many Homebuy customers choose to take out additional cover for their purchases, called the Homestart Promise Plan. For a small weekly payment, customers benefit from a comprehensive package of benefits which include:
- Protection against breakdown
- Repair and replace provided
- Annual deep clean service
- Unlimited repairs
- Parts & labour provided
The Homestart Promise Plan means you don’t have to worry about inconvenient breakdown whilst you’ve got the cover in place.
Homebuy frequently review credit levels, so there’s every possibility of being able to buy more products, provided you are able to afford the repayments.
2). Dial a TV
Who are they?
DialaTV specialise in affordable rental of household appliances and electronics. They are part of the Hughes Electrical Group, which is one of the largest retailers of electrical goods in the UK.
If you are on a low income or your credit rating is not perfect, Dial a TV will still consider your application.
They boast a huge range of TV’s to choose from including LED, LCD and Plasma TV’s with screen sizes ranging from 19-50 inch. Prices for TV’s start from just £1.90 per week!
You can rent to own a range of items on pay monthly or pay weekly cost:
- LCD televisions
- Home cinema systems
- Washing machines
How do I apply?
Applying is easy and everything is done online. Simply choose the items you want and register your details upon checkout.
You will be given an instant decision on whether you have been approved, along with a starting credit limit.
Your items will usually be delivered in seven days. If you need a more urgent delivery, then Dial a TV may be able to offer an express delivery on request.
What else do they offer?
Dial a TV will install your complicated new DVD recorder, TV, HiFi system, or whatever you have ordered. This is especially useful for those who either do not have the time, or the knowledge, to get this done themselves.
Unless you have a large vehicle, such as a truck or van, it can be a nightmare to transport larger electronics to your home. Some companies will deliver for you – but they also charge a ridiculous fee.
Dial a TV includes free delivery as a standard part of all of their rental plans. You simply need to organise a date, and they will call in the morning to choose an appropriate time for delivery.
You will not have to pay for repairs to your products. If they cannot repair the unit in your home, they will allow you to use a similar replacement product while they take yours away to be fixed.
To see if you qualify, you can apply online at DialaTV.
Should you rent-to-own instead of buying upfront?
When buying from with DialaTV or Homebuy, you are entering into a Hire Purchase agreement which is slightly different to buying something on credit. One of the key differences is that the product is still owned by the company until it is fully paid. This comes with a few advantages.
When you use a Hire Purchase agreement ( sometimes known as ‘rent-to-own’ or ‘rent-to-buy’), servicing and repairs are all part of the price. You get to enjoy your own new product, such as a big TV, but you can rest easy knowing that it is not going to cost you a penny more than the payment price – even if it breaks down.
If you purchase your household products upfront, and something is damaged, who is stuck paying for the repairs? You might get lucky and manage to make the retailer honour their warranty if you have one, however, in most cases, you simply have to hand over even more money for repairs – or buy a whole new unit.
Applying for credit
This may seem obvious, but when applying, make sure you pay attention when entering your personal information. This is an important step to getting approved, so be sure to double check your details so everything is completely accurate. Any incorrect information can cause you to be immediately disqualified and you will not get an account.
Customers who are on the electoral role are more likely to be accepted for credit than those who are not. Many people assume they are already registered to vote, but this is not always the case. Contact your local electoral council and make sure you are registered to vote at the correct address.
Your credit score
Credit scores can be affected by many different factors but are mostly related to the types of debt you currently have and your repayment history in the past. You can view your personal credit report from the main agencies such as Experian. The typical score for people in the UK somewhere between 300 and 850. Of course, higher scores are better, and lower scores are worse.
A score in the high 600’s is considered about average, but it will be harder to get credit at 680 than it will at 720. With most types of finances products, the worse your credit score, the more you have to pay. This is typical with products such as loans, credit cards and mortgages.
Improving your credit history
Pay monthly catalogues are ideal for this. You can repay your items with a small affordable payment each month and each time you do so, the transaction will be noted on your credit file . This will help strengthen your chances of getting finance in the future.
No credit check catalogues?
Note that there are no such things as no credit check catalogues with guaranteed acceptance and your best bet is to apply with the above companies and hope for the best. You may have a smaller credit limit to start with, however, once you have made regular repayments on time, you may be offered a higher credit limit and better payment terms in the future.
If you need a specific product like a new sofa, laptop, freezer, don’t let your bad credit history keep you from shopping online. It’s a win win situation – you can get the products you need and you can improve your future credit rating at the same time.
Littlewoods, Very & Grattan
Many people with a poor credit rating struggle to get approved with these mainstream catalogues. The credit checking criteria is relatively high for these catalogues, so if you know you have a low credit score, it is best to avoid applying with these companies.