We're a student start-up
Smart-Pig was launched in January 2012 by students at the University of Hertfordshire and the University of Warwick.
After seeing a friend slip into financial trouble at uni, the founders realised that a large number of students were using short term, "payday" type loans. Initially a critic of these firms, they decided that the best way to address the issues was to start a lender just for students on their own terms, and to make it as cheap as possible whilst still supporting its employees.
Now, we want to make this clear: Smart-Pig isn't for everyone. It's not something we think all students will want to use. Instead, the whole point of Smart-Pig is get those students currently using other short term loans to switch to us instead for a better deal and the assurance that they'll be treated well.
The business was trialled from a student bedroom and the founders had to live on the breadline for a year before it could pay a small salary. After a lot of tweaking Smart-Pig was able to move into a real office and start bringing new people on board.
Our founders have a strong ethical focus (originally wanting to work in renewable energy) and really want to improve practices and reduce prices in the short term loan industry. Smart-Pig has several unique lending rules on our site designed to counter some of the criticisms of short-term lending. Due to the high costs in the industry, Smart-Pig has had to be slightly more expensive than originally envisioned, but we're committed to making it as cheap as we can as we grow.
What does a Smart-Pig loan cost?
Our loans for students cost from £2.00 to £5.60 per week per £100 borrowed*. That’s 0.8% interest per day with the most you can ever owe in interest capped at half of what you borrow.
There are no late payment fees or other costs. To borrow £100, a 25-week loan repaying £150 costs £2.00 per week. A 1 week loan repaying £105.60 costs £5.60 per week. Despite the APR, our loans don’t cost thousands of percent in interest - you can read more about APR here.