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Welcome to Our Blog

Smart-Pig.com is the Student Lender launched in 2012 by students at Warwick and Herts uni , in order to give students looking for a short-term loan a better deal.

We are not the same as other short term lenders.  Smart-Pig was actually a spin-off from a protest against short term lending that thought out of the box, rolled up our sleeves and went to head to head with the big ugly giants. One of our founders had a terrible experience with a certain straight-talking lender after they talked his balance straight up to silly levels and sucked his whole student loan away without permission.

Smart-Pig was started partly using one of the government’s fantastic youth Start-Up Loans.  We were a nominated in 2013 for Rockstar Youth Best Overall Business and in 2014 were a finalist for alternative lender of the year.

What we do Differently

  • Grace Period – no extra fixed late payment or penalty fees if you miss you due date, for up to 10 days. Just in case.
  • Safety Net – our voluntary, pre-due interest cap (the first in short term lending)
  • No Rollovers – Our short term loans don’t turn into long term ones
  • Ethical Pledge – the way we treat our customers is never going to change!
  • Founded by Students for Students – no-one knows student money like we do.

Payday Loan Alternative

We see Smart-Pig loans as a payday loan alternative and not regular payday loans, although they do come under the FCA definition.  This is because our company really does genuinely work very differently – especially when it comes to the hidden stuff you don’t really see. It’s all because we were set up as an ethical lender from the ground up, meaning our pricing, loan terms, tangible ethical safeguards and internal procedures all have student’s welfare in mind.

Amazon Voucher_opt

We are Finalists for Alternative Lender of The Year 2014!

We’re in the finals at the Credit Today Awards 2014plus we have a £10 Amazon voucher for everyone who takes a loan out from today through to the end of March through Facebook.

CT_Awards 2014_Finalist Logo

Our efforts for ethical, safe, short term student loans have been recognised by the judges at the Credit Today Awards.  Smart-Pig.com have been made finalists for “Alternative Lender of The Year” 2014!!

We’re up against some stiff competition from the likes of QuickQuid, Amigo Loans and Zopa (none of whom have unique policies like our 10-day Grace Period)

We’re thrilled that our safety net, grace periods and the way we do business was recognised for innovation and treating our customers fairly.

To celebrate this fantastic news, we’re giving any Facebook Fan who takes out a loan of £50 or more in March a £10 Amazon Voucher by e-mail. All you need to do to receive your £10 Amazon Voucher is to e-mail rewards@smart-pig.com with your username after you’ve been accepted for a loan. We will then check your account and if you qualify*, we will e-mail you your £10 Amazon Voucher.

The winner for Alternative Lender of the Year will be announced May 8th, so keep everything crossable crossed! Lastly, we would like to say a big thank you to all our customers. We started Smart-Pig.com to give YOU a better deal and we are so proud that after just 2 years, our efforts have been recognised and that we’re head to head with the big boys.

*to qualify:

  1. Loan must be taken out within March 2014
  2. Loan value must be more than £50
  3. You must have liked our Facebook page.
  4. You must e-mail rewards@smart-pig.com after you have been accepted for a loan. In the E-mail you must confirm your Smart-Pig.com username.
  5. New Customers only who have registered on or after 14/03/2014
Smart-Pig Student Shopping Tips

Make Those Pennies Work

Looking back at when I was at Uni, I realise that there was so much I could have done that would have made my money go further.

Smart-Pig.com have put together 20 simple ways that’ll make your money turn into rubber and stretch that little bit further this term.

We’re also giving 5 students the chance to win £50 worth of Tesco vouchers, as they say: every little helps. All you need to do to enter is comment on our post with favorite tip.  Existing Smart-Pig.com  customers will be given 4 entries :-) Winners will be announced 28 March 2014

Shopping

  1. Doing your supermarket shopping online is often a better way to buy. Some supermarkets offer free delivery. Also, you’ll be less tempted to buy more than you need so you can stick to your shopping list.
  2. There’s a neat company called Quidco.co.uk which has an app that lets you download vouchers and money off deals for shops and restaurant that are near to you (it uses your phones GPS)
  3. Don’t buy ANY of your fruit and veg from the supermarket, if you’ve got a market stall near you, visit them, they’re much cheaper and have a wonderful selection of the exotic.
  4. If your wardrobe is bursting full of stuff that you haven’t worn for ages, you should probable join a “swap shop” website like BigWardrobe or even FashionSpace. You can sell your clothes or even swap your items for things you like the look of (at least that way your shelves in your wardrobe can stay up)
  5. Go to the free stuff section of Gumtree.com or Freecycle.org, you can pick up household items like T.Vs, Fridges. You’ll have to be quick though as the good stuff vanishes quicker than the stains vanish on the TV ads using Vanish ;)

Living

  1. 0845 and 0870 numbers (well in fact any 08 number these days) usually aren’t part of you mobile phone minutes and can cost a lot of money. Use Saynoto0870.com to find the landline number or download Weq4u.co.uk onto your phone and get them to ring the number at the cheapest rate.
  2. Get free entertainment by going to recordings of TV and radio shows. Apply on the BBC website for free tickets to tour and live events, new music with promotional events, or be in the audience of your favourite TV show. Another great site is Lost In TV where you can apply for tickets to other TV network shows.
  3. Past your exams and flying into the new academic year? Well, if you have books you want to sell try Greenbooks.co.uk which guarantees £3 per book!
  4. If you’re at the bar, always be the third person to buy a round. It’s often the cheapest round so you look generous for less!
  5. Forget paying for a car. Just rent one when you need it for shopping trips or visits. Zipcar.com will let you hire a car from £5 an hour, and this includes comprehensive insurance and 40 free miles a day (Just watch the trolleys in the car parks)

Vouchers and Money Makers

  1. Eating out with mates needn’t be expensive, as long as you’re savvy. Toptable.com regularly offers 50%-off deals if you book a table online with them. For diners in Scotland and other parts of the UK, 5pm.co.uk always has special offers.
  2. Sign up to online newsletters for exclusive offers and bargains such as Studentbeans.com and Moneymagpie.com.
  3. If your bill for your mobile is very high each month, it might be better to go Sim only or Pay as You Go. There’s a bewildering array of options out there now and if you take the time to look around you can find a cheaper tariff. Try a PAYG phone, or a SIM-only contract which gives you a set monthly deal but allows you to cancel with 30 days’ notice.
  4. If you want a new hairstyle, go to the free consultations that many expensive salons offer. Once you’ve worked out with them what you want, go to a cheaper place and describe it to them instead
  5. Look out for any money-earning opportunity at college. If there’s a psychology department offer your services for memory tests and the like. They often pay between £10-20 per session. If you bake, make cupcakes and sell them in the student union bar. If you can sew, offer a mending service or make ball gowns for graduation parties.

 Eating and Drinking

  1. Replace one of your staple meals with a vegetable-based alternative once or twice a week. For example try a vegetable lasagne instead of a beef-based one, and for a pasta dish make lentil and red pepper sauce instead of mince. Remember the average adult only needs between 45 and 55.5 grams of protein per day. A 50g beef burger contains 10.2g of protein, whereas an average serving of kidney beans (160g cooked) contains 12.4g.
  2. Make use of leftovers in soups, casseroles and stews. Vegetable leftovers can be thrown in a wok with some soy sauce and chilli sauce for a very easy stir-fry.
  3. Always cook in bulk (it’s cheaper) and freeze what’s left over in individual portions. These can be taken to uni for a tasty lunchtime alternative to expensive sandwiches or used as ‘fast food’ when you come home in the evening.
  4. Eat out for free by being a mystery shopper. All you have to do is have a meal at one of the chosen restaurants then write a little something about your experience online. Be careful which agency you join though as there are lots of scammers out there.
  5. If you do decide to hit the town, try alternating alcoholic and soft drinks to cut down on your expenses, or better still stay off the booze altogether and go to a cheap ‘fringe’ comedy night.
Smart-Pig Valentines Love Competition

We’re Feeling the Love This Valentine’s Day

We’re feeling the love with almost 10,000 likes! So to help spread a little more love around, we’re giving 4 lucky students £100 this Friday to make their Valentines’ Day a little more special.

To be in for the chance of winning, just comment <3 on our Facebook post.

Winners will be announced on the morning of the 14th Feb, so hurry!

P.S. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to enter our term’s rent competition.