For some people, the very idea of debt can be daunting. And that’s not surprising, given the industry’s reputation around sneaky hidden fees, jargon-filled communication and hooking you in by advertising rates that aren’t actually available for most people.
But we believe debt doesn’t have to be all bad. In fact, borrowing money can help you achieve goals like buying a car, paying for a course, or getting on the property ladder. Or even just giving you peace of mind when life doesn’t go to plan, for those unexpected emergency purchases.
We follow 5 core lending principles
As part of our commitment to being a responsible lender, we follow 5 principles. This is our promise to you, and shows what you can expect if you borrow money from Monzo (whether that’s a loan or overdraft, or other products we build in the future).
These are all based on your feedback and our user research around the most painful things about borrowing money, which we want to fix.
1. Responsible: we’ll make sure you can afford to borrow money from us
We want to protect people from getting into unmanageable debt. So we have a strict criteria of who we lend to, and decide using info from our credit reference agency, as well as our own data.
This means that for eligible people who we’re confident can afford it, we can make borrowing easier and more convenient. Like applying for a loan in just a few minutes and getting the money the same day, or turning on your overdraft in a couple of taps.
2. Transparent: we’re open about whether you can borrow from us, and how much it’ll cost you
We’ll let you know how much you can borrow up front, without affecting your credit score. And if you can’t borrow from us, we’ll explain why wherever we can. In future, we want to develop features that’ll help you become eligible (like helping you improve your credit score or build your credit history).
You’ll know the exact interest rate you’ll pay (and what that means in pounds) before you borrow.
3. Clear: we communicate in plain English
And if we need to use complex terms for legal reasons (like EAR or APR), we’ll always explain them. So nothing’s harder than it needs to be.
4. Fair: we won’t sting you with hidden fees
We’ll always be upfront about what borrowing will cost you. And we’ll show you what that means in pounds, and as a percentage. Plus, we won’t penalise you to do things like make extra loan repayments in the app.
5. Compassionate: we’re here if you want to chat to us
We want to make sure anyone who borrows money from us feels comfortable getting in touch any time, and especially if something’s wrong (whether that’s losing a job, struggling with mental health, or something totally different).
We know that life can be unpredictable, and things change, so we’ve got a team of people dedicated to giving you personalised support. Depending on your circumstances, we can give you extra time to pay back, come up with a more manageable repayment plan or refer you to free advice organisations, if that's what you need.
You can speak to real friendly humans over live chat through the Monzo app. We're here 24/7 for emergencies, and from 8am to 7pm for anything else.
We’d love to hear your feedback and ideas
We’re sharing these principles with you because we want to be held up to the high standards we’ve set ourselves. We believe in everything we’ve said, so if you see us falling short then please let us know. And as always, we’d love to hear any other thoughts and feedback over on the community forum.