I've just applied for an Alliance & Leicester loan to cover part of the cost of a new car and what an experience. They advertise it only takes 10 mins to apply and a decision within an hour, which they duly did - well sort of - I still had to phone them to get this decision as all I got was an email along the lines of "Your decision has been made, call us to discuss". What they don't tell you about is the hard sell you'll get when you do call.
They let you know the call will take about 15 minutes, of which at least 12 is spent trying to find out how you are going to cover the cost of the loan if you become ill, unemployed or die and then flog you payment protection insurance. It's all from a script and delves into why you didn't use your savings and what other PPI and life policies you have. These 10 minutes are entirely just a big push to get you to take out their payment protection insurance (at nearly Â£60 a month for the amount I wanted to borrow). After 10 minutes, the guy on the other end of the line finally got the picture that I could quite comfortably cover the cost of the loan if I had to, that I didn't want to pay their ridiculously expensive PPI or life insurance and finally let me know that my application was successful.
I understand banks need to ensure they can get their money back, but it doesn't seem to bother them too much when they continually force feed the market the advantages of getting a loan or credit card. They also don't seem to lose that much money from bad debts if over a billion Pounds profit is anything to go by.
Anyway, once the cheque has cleared (I don't trust banks as much as they don't trust me), I'll be putting in an order for a nice new shiny VW Golf GT. I know, it's not the GTI - the boy racer in me wants the GTI, but unfortunately, the Scrooge in me wants something that won't break the bank. The GT ideally fill both criteria. I'll go into more details in a later post.