Hi, wondering if anyone has any helpful advice for me please:
I took out a secured loan with GE Money in 2007 for £6k, repayable over 25 years. The loan was brokered by Ocean Finance. The stated commission payment was £300 and a further £150 was charged for “application assessment and completion costs”.
About £4K of the loan was used to pay off other debts. My credit rating was poor at the time, with a history of late/missed payments. I was struggling to manage financially both before and after taking out this loan. Within a few months my direct debit payments were often returned unpaid. I took out a further secured loan (with a different company) about a year later.
My income at the time of the GE loan was £16k p/a (gross.) My mortgage payments were around £470 a month and the GE payments were around £70 at that time.
I cannot recall detailed information about my other outgoings - I was a single person living in a small terraced house, I didn’t run a car and travelled to and from work by public transport. I certainly never had any “spare” money (I had only bought my house the previous year and put every bit of my savings into it) and constantly struggled to manage on my income.
I have sent a SAR to GE and the documents I have received do not include anything I did not already have copies of, except for their call logs, which do not show anything of note.
I also sent a SAR to Ocean Finance, but was told that Ocean Finance and Mortgages Limited ceased trading in 2016 and that Intelligent Lending Limited, who now own the Ocean Finance brand, do not hold any information on the loan.
I have three issues:
Do I have scope to bring an affordability complaint against GE? I have had some success with complaints against other lenders - would the process be the same even though this is a secured loan?
Is it likely that there was secret commission paid on this loan and if so how can I find out? I understand from older posts that an “underwriting agreement” might give me this information - should I ask GE for this specifically and what does it look like?
Is there scope to argue that it was unreasonable for the £300 and £150 fees to be automatically added to the loan and that I should have been given the option to pay these up front, rather than paying enormous amounts of interest on these relatively small sums over the course of 25 years?
In case it is relevant, I have just paid off the loan, using monies I received from other affordability complaints!
Thank you in anticipation.