Best Wonga Alternatives | Payday Loan Sites Like www.wonga.com
Wonga is the payday loan king, famed for their flexible loans that many people are familiar with through their mainstream TV ads. This has been a controversial lender that has faced troubled times, but their early innovation and market profile has to be admired. In this comparison we have faced them off with 4 worthy high flying competitors in the subprime loan sector. These are Cash Asap, QuickQuid, SafetyNet Credit and WageDayAdvance.
We’ll begin taking a look back at the beginnings and rise to fame of this subprime giant, as well as addressing the ins and outs of their service. Wonga’s story began back in the year 2007 and so they have recently hit that critical 10 year milestone. The founder was Errol Damelin who was intent on making this project stand out in what was at the time a rapidly growing market online. They didn’t have the budget back then to invest in major ad campaigns and so innovation was required in those early days to truly make their mark. The approach taken was to deliver a more fast and flexible route to funding.
If we take a step back to the early roots of the industry, it was the year 2003 when the first web-only payday lenders started popping up. retail had kick-started much earlier noting The Money Shop’s first store that opened in Nottingham in 1996. Of the first web dedicated brands, it was PaydayUK who would soon become the major force. They and their rivals however offered simplified monthly-only products. It would take a while to get up and running, but soon enough www.wonga.com would become the primary destination for borrowers who had short term borrowing needs. A customer could for the first time choose their exact repayment day here (rather than pay for a full month).
Any amount to the £1 could be selected between £1 and £400 by new users with £1000 being available once trust had been demonstrated. Flexible amounts like this were rare, with most rivals requiring at least £80 or £100 to be requested. Wonga’s service was also very speedy with promises of an instant decision and a 15 minute payment, guaranteed. When you also factor in 24/7 customer support, it was unsurprising that this lender had become the first choice for many. Big profits were earned and there was heavy reinvestment in radio & TV ads, as well as football kit sponsorships (Blackpool, Hearts and Newcastle). As they become bigger, the cracks did begin to appear.
Mistakes would hand the firm with expensive fines and loan write-offs, but price capping was the big elephant in the room. Problems would magnify and across 2015 they took on a huge loss after tax of £76.5 million. Big changes had to come and this is exactly what we have seen through more responsible lending (Wongability scheme), staffing changes and sales of the Group’s other ventures (BillPay and Everline). They also pulled out of Canada (the brand remains active in Poland, South Africa and Spain). The service has changed a lot also, noting their Flexi Loan (3 and 6 month terms), new amount options (£50-£600 with £2000 on reloans) and 24/7 support was cut back.
The Best Wonga Alternatives (Alphabetically Sorted)…
About Cash Asap @ www.cashasap.co.uk
Cash Asap is the least well known lender of the pack, but they are a good fit as an alternatives based on similar product specs. This one of those companies that doesn’t receive the attention that they truly deserve. Lack of advertising is to blame, but those who find them are happy with the service based on the feedback that we have studied for them online. This lending brand that has been active at www.cashasap.co.uk since 2012 arises from Apfin Ltd. They have crafted another recent project called Clear and Fair, but this is still under development and they act as a broker comparison on that side. It is Asap’s product flexibility that stands out the most.
Applicants can pick any repayment between 1 and 35 days or just opt with their 3 month option. The amounts also rise in £1 increments. Unfortunately, minimum borrowing now starts high at £100. This was recently £50, but actually going back further they started from just £20. New customers can access £300 max and £750 on reloans. The Cash Asap loans are available 7/7 during the hours of Mon/Fri (8am-9pm), Sat (8am-7pm) and Sun (9am-7pm). Their short term pricing per £100 is £5.56 (7d) and £23.84 (30d). There was a Price Check offer whereby refunds on the cost of credit was issued if they declined you, yet you got funded elsewhere on the same day. This was stopped.
About SafetyNet Credit @ www.safetynetcredit.com
SafetyNet Credit poses a serious threat to the market leader. Alexa web traffic data shows that they have been closing up the gap and are now only split by QuickQuid in this 3 horse race. SafetyNet’s growth was spurred on from innovation especially with overdraft protection. Here they quickly send money across when an alert is made that a payment has taken you past a determined level. This prevents unauthorised fees when switched on. You can also receive a flexible loan that works as a revolving line of credit. This means that there is no minimum or maximum term. From a set limit between £100 and £500, any advance from £20 onwards can be requested 24/7.
Each advance amount rises in tiny £1s adding to the flexibility perks further. There is however another feature that really helps this lender to stand out and this is their very own interest cap. Whilst standard short term lending is charged against the cap (0.8% daily), once an advance has been taken out for 40 days, no more interest is payable and so their instalment costs compare very well. Some people may question the desire to hand banking access over to an unknown organisation like this. This shouldn’t be a concern. They are only granted read-only access and they are a trusted award winning company with impressive feedback on Trustpilot (scoring at 92% from 6400+ reviews).
About QuickQuid @ www.quickquid.co.uk
QuickQuid has been Wonga’s closest competitor over the past few years. They each of course had popped up in the same year of 2007. This firm is part of Enova International Inc who are also behind On Stride Financial and Pounds to Pocket. These supporting brands deliver longer term borrowing options that is essential since QuickQuid’s product doesn’t, with options of 1, 2 or 3 months. The problem with the 2 and 3 pay periods is that the interest rate doesn’t reduce as you extend. The £100 costs just raise as £24, £48 and £72. They are expensive, but there are QuickQuid promo codes for new customers. Loyal users unfortunately aren’t rewarded.
Using the code SOC5 the standard monthly charge of £24 per £100 would drop a little to £22.80. QuickQuid’s loans start from £50 and head up to £1000 for newcomers. Those returning can see an increase to £1500. This lender has always operated 7 days a week. Their opening hours are Mon/Fri (7am-10pm) and Sat/Sun (10am-6.30pm). There aren’t many further distinguishable features here. This company however benefits enormously from mainstream advertising, with few rivals having the same visibility on our TV screens today. As well as this they also command an excellent search engine presence and their affiliate/broker program has worked very well. It is no wonder that they remain hot on Wonga’s tail.
About WageDayAdvance @ www.wagedayadvance.co.uk
WageDayAdvance is an experienced brand established by former pawnbroker Dale Chapman back in 2004. They have historically been one of the UK’s most profitable payday lenders. This business was sold to Curo Financial Technologies Corp in 2016. Curo was otherwise known as Speedy Cash who you may have seen on the high street. All of these outlets have since closed, but Curo has managed to keep this company mixing it up with the industry majors. WageDay offers terms spanning 1 to 6 months. Between £80 and £500 is available at first and then £1000 when reloaning. Monthly pricing is set against the cap, but the rates are more reasonable when you opt for the 6 month term.
The £300 instalment charges come in at £211.20 (3m) and £253.99 (6m) and so you’d only be paying an extra £42.79 for double the repayment time there. Support runs 7/7 between Mon/Fri (8am-8pm), Sat (9am-5pm) and Sun (10am-4pm). Other than 7/7 business and terms up to 6 months, there aren’t many further similarities to Wonga’s service. We opted to select this company since they are one of the top 5 payday lenders based on current traffic stats. Speedy Cash’s retail closure was a shame to see, as it would have been interesting to see rebranded WageDayAdvance stores. There is certainly business to scoop up on the high street that has been left to H&T and The Money Shop.
We have now rounded up introductions for Wonga’s nominated rivals. The next step will be to compare all of the services across a range of varied markets. As the case with the past comparison, there will be 13 sections that we’ll be looking at. Within each, 1st place will score 5 down to the 5th spot that will receive 1 point. The company initials will follow as: CA (Cash Asap), QQ (QuickQuid), SNC (SafetyNet Credit) WDA (WageDayAdvance) and WON (Wonga).
1) WON: £1 | £50-£2000.
2) CA: £1 | £100-£750.
3) SNC: £1 | £20-£500.
4) WDA: £10 | £80-£1000.
5) QQ: £50 | £50-£1500.
*The incremental amounts that can be applied for have been covered here. Since 3 companies all rise by £1, we have sorted these by the overall potential range of sums.
Highest Limit (New & Return User)
1) WON: £600 & £2000.
2) QQ: £1000 & £1500.
3) WDA: £500 & £1000.
4) CA: £300 & £750.
5) SNC: £500 (all users).
*There are varied highs on each side here and so both amounts were added together for easy sorting.
Key Loan Features
1) SNC: 24/7 payouts, capping, LOC, overdraft protection.
2) WON: 24/7 payouts.
3) QQ: Promo discounts for new customers.
4-5) CA: NA.
4-5) WDA: NA.
*All 5 lenders offer good overall service features, but we were looking for rare standout qualities here. This is where SafetyNet shined noting their 40 day interest cap and overdraft protection. LOC (line of credit) means that you can borrow from a determined limit 24/7. There is no fixed term.
Late Payment Fees
1) SNC: £0.
2) CA: £10.
3) WON: £15 (3 days grace).
4-5) QQ: £15.
4-5) WDA: £15.
Local Industry Experience
1) WDA: 2004.
2) QQ: 2007.
3) WON: 2007.
4) CA: 2012.
5) SNC: 2014.
*Re: 2007, as checked through The Internet Archive, QuickQuid’s site went live first in August and Wonga’s followed in October (they were initially trialling their service).
Longest Support Hours
1) WON: Mon/Sat (7am-8pm), Sun (8am-5pm) = 87 hrs.
2) CA: Mon/Fri (8am-9pm), Sat (8am-7pm), Sun (9am-7pm) = 86 hrs.
3) QQ: Mon/Fri (8am-9pm), Sat/Sun (10am-6.30pm) = 82 hrs.
4) WDA: Mon/Fri (8am-8pm), Sat (9am-5pm), Sun (10am-4pm) = 74 hrs.
5) SNC: Mon/Fri (8am-7pm), Sat (9am-5pm) = 63 hrs.
*The opening hours look quite similar and so we tallied the number of hours for easy sorting.
Lowest Amounts (New & Return User)
1) SNC: £20.
2-3) QQ: £50.
2-3) WON: £50.
4) WDA: £80.
5) CA: £100.
*SafetyNet’s actual credit limit is set between £100 and £500, but from this any amount from £20 can be advanced.
Lowest Cost (1 Month /£100)
1) QQ: £22.80-£24.
2) CA: £23.84.
3-5) SNC: £24.
3-5) WDA: £24.
3-5) WON: £24.
*QuickQuid’s new customer discount is factored.
Lowest Cost (3 & 6 Months /300)
1) SNC: £96 (3m) & £96 (6m).
2) CA: £155.34 (3m) & NA.
3) WON: £156.74 (3m) & £277.90 (6m).
4) QQ: £205.20-£216 (3m) & NA.
5) WDA: £211.20 (3m) & £253.99 (6m).
*Sorted by value across both examples (when available).
Reloan Payouts and Sundays
1) WON: 24/7 & 8am-5pm.
2) SNC: 24/7 & Closed.
3) CA: 7/7 & 9am-7pm.
4) QQ: 7/7 & 10am-6.30pm.
5) WDA: 7/7 & 10am-4pm.
*Reloan payouts refers to transfers for existing customers outside of standard operational hours. 24/7 is the best possible scenario. Sunday staffing hours has also been added that could be useful if there is a flag for some reason when support would need to look at this. SafetyNet may be closed on Sundays, but flagging isn’t an issue there since they offer a line of credit and so you are pre-approved up to your limit.
Short & Long Term Flexibility
1) SNC: Yes | Any term.
2) WON: Yes | 6m max.
3) CA: Yes | 3m max.
4) WDA: No, 1 month | 6m max.
5) QQ: No, 1 month | 3m max.
*Can any repayment option between 1 and 30 days be selected? Also, what is the maximum term? These points have been covered in this section.
1) SNC: 92% (6400+).
2) WON: 87% (1100+).
3) CA: 87% (560+).
4) WDA: 76% (20+).
5) QQ: 33% (350+).
*Feefo was the ideal portal to compare since validations are required there, but not everyone has a Feefo page. Trustpilot for us would be the next best choice. Obviously, some companies are clearly incentivising customers to leave feedback, whilst others aren’t that is where more mixed/negative feedback crops up as seen with QuickQuid. They instead collect on Reviews.co.uk where they score 84%. For the 87% match above, the feedback count was then factored.
Web Traffic (Local Alexa Rankings)
1) www.wonga.com (#7961).
2) www.quickquid.co.uk (#9323).
3) www.safetynetcredit.com (#9745).
4) www.wagedayadvance.co.uk (#17,018)
5) www.cashasap.co.uk (#86,139).
*Alexa rankings help to measure current market share. The local rank is shown above whereby only UK IP visits are counted.
1) Wonga = 51.5 Points
2) SafetyNet Credit = 45 Points
3) Cash Asap = 36.5 Points
4) QuickQuid = 35 Points
5) WageDayAdvance = 27 Points
In each of the 13 sections 5 points was handed for the 1st place finish, down to 1 point for 5th. When there was a tie across positions the points across those spots were shared out. The market leader came out on top overall, but don’t overlook SafetyNet’s excellent service that is big on the feature front especially on instalment pricing and their protection facility on overdrafts.
– Document requests or verification calls may be required for first time applicants. This can naturally slow down the payout process.
– Pricing will differ depending on specific pay dates.
Page Last Updated: November 15th, 2017.