All Approved Catalogues was founded in 2018 by Jennifer Hughes. I’ve always been annoyed when searching around for real information on catalogues, arriving on websites that are filled with huge lists of hundreds of catalogues, with no real information on terms, payment options or past user experiences. I am aiming (but not promising) to fix this with my catalogue website. For now I will only focus on catalogues in the UK, as this is where my knowledge, family and experience is based.
I didn’t grow up in a particularly well-off part of the country, born and raised on the Netherfield estate in Milton Keynes. I remember vividly, sitting down on the sofa with my little brother and looking through my mum’s catalogues. Together we would circle what we wanted from Santa that year. Little did we know at that age, our dear mother never had the money to buy these expensive gifts, and would struggle to pay for them without credit. Don’t get me wrong, we never did without food, clothes or anything we needed, it’s just that she couldn’t afford to pay such large sums of money out all at once. That bicycle, games console, toy kitchen or TV unit costs hundreds of pounds, and with the additional expense of christmas, would probably reach over a thousand pounds.
By buying products from a catalogue and spreading your repayments out throughout the year, you can make those special gifts or important times of the year possible, where they previously weren’t. I should stress and stress again the importance of only borrowing only what you’re sure you can pay back. A lot of people make the mistake of catalogue shopping and not paying much attention to the prices – you should treat the finance you receive exactly the same as if you were receiving a cash loan from the bank – you’ll need to pay it back, and with interest.
For many people I grew up with, including my own family – a catalogue was the only option of purchasing goods and paying them back over a number of weeks or months. Banks wouldn’t touch us with a barge pole or dare to give us a credit card or a loan. It could be due to a bad credit rating, low-income, or just bad personal circumstances. I always thought it was a shame that we never had access to cheaper lending, as I believe it could have helped us get ahead of our financial situation for good – but that’s another story for another day.
You should always shop around for the cheapest credit available to you. Sometimes purchasing a more expensive product with lower interest rates could actually work out cheaper. Never take out credit from a catalogue without looking at your repayment costs. Lets say I wish to purchase a new mobile phone, it’s £100 in the catalogue and £110 on amazon. The catalogue is cheaper, right? Not so fast! The only figure we should take note of is the total amount that we have to pay back. This number will be different for everybody, depending on the interest rates you are offered.
The figures above are literally made up to show you that not all finance is equal. If you have bad credit history or no credit rating, you may find that catalogues are the only form of finance available to you. All companies will perform a check on your finances and UK Address History, and make a decision on this data. Some are more lenient than others. I’ve separated the catalogues into different sections on the website.
If you are having financial trouble or if you’re already struggling with repayments, please don’t stress or lose sleep about it – that is the absolute worst thing for your health. If possible, speak with an FCA Approved financial advisor – you could save the consultation fee ten times over in savings. If this is too expensive for you, there are a number of Debt Help charities available who will speak to you free of charge and give you honest, impartial advice on how best to handle your debts. Some will even negotiate with your debtors collectively to negotiate a lower repayment plan that you can afford.