Lenders are increasingly only offering their best rates to existing customers – and Nationwide Building Society has followed the trend. It is offering the market-leading unsecured personal loan rate at 7.7 per cent, but you can only apply if you have a FlexAccount – Nationwide's current account.
If you do, the good news is 7.7 per cent is the lowest rate on the market, and it is fixed so your payments won't alter during the term. It is available for loans between £5,500 and £14,999.
Even if you do have a FlexAccount, it doesn't guarantee you'll be accepted. As with all loans, any decision will be based on your credit history. Banks and building societies are much more cautious about who they lend to in the post-credit crunch era – only those with the best credit scores will qualify for the leading rates.
If your credit history is less than perfect, you will pay more than 7.7 per cent. You should also be careful about which products you apply for: rejected applications may further harm your credit score.