Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: Trust Leeds does not provide advice. Before submitting your applcation, you are free to seek indendent advice on whether or not the product is suitable for you.

Please be advised that our loan agreement is a consumer credit agreement regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974. You should consider it carefully before deciding whether you want to sign it and be bound by its terms.

General questions

Trust Leeds is a charity which supports people in setting up a small business and those that are running one. It makes small loans for business purposes to people who are struggling to grow their enterprises due to challenges borrowing funds from traditional finance providers.
We help people who need small loans to grow their business idea and do not have enough own funds, or struggle with a history of bad credit. The process for applying is helpful, customer friendly and straightforward.

First of all, we talk about your business ideas with you.  We ask straightforward questions and can help you answer these, or signpost you to volunteers or others who can support you.

In the meantime, a great place to start for money and self-employment advice is

We can support less-experienced business owners through our network of volunteers who are happy to give their expertise and time to support you (e.g. marketing, accounting, sales, etc) and we can signpost you to others who can advise, mentor or coach you to help you succeed.

What can I use the loan for?

Trust Leeds makes personal loans for business purposes – helping you to build your own business. For example: if I get a loan to buy [eg item, materials etc] then I can use this to increase [eg customers, products, sales, prices] which will make sure I can pay back the loan and continue to grow the business.

No, we won’t or can’t lend for certain business activities or sectors. For example, we won’t lend for the following: gambling, betting; weapons, arms, drugs, chemical manufacture, pornography, the occult, banking, financial services, money services and property ventures.

Trust Leeds reserves the right to decide at its discretion which businesses it will lend to.

No, Trust Leeds issues loans only to people to help them with their business ideas, or to develop existing business ideas.
Yes, as long as we understand exactly how the money is going to be used and we can see you will be able to repay us from the business income.
Yes, as long as we know exactly what you will be buying and we understand how this helps the business.
Yes, as long as the location of the premises is suitable for your business.
Yes, as long as you know exactly how you are going to use the money and can show how the marketing actions will increase your income.

How much will it cost me?

  • A £1,000 Trust Leeds loan repaid monthly over a term of 12 months 
  • Total amount repayable £1,060 made up of £88.26 in the first month, followed by 11 further monthly payments of £88.34 
  • Rate of interest 6% (fixed) per year with a representative 10.9% APR 

The details of the cost and your repayment schedule will be explained clearly when you come and see us.

For more information about interest rates, we suggest you look at the Money Saving Expert website: rates/

No, we do not charge any other fees or costs, and we do not impose any early repayment charges.
No – it’s great if you can pay back sooner.

Who can apply for a loan?

As a charity we only lend to, and support, people who fit our target profile. We lend to people who have good business ideas and the ability to make them happen; can manage a loan and pay it back; and who are considered to be financially excluded, under-served, or disadvantaged.

Trust Leeds is set up primarily to support people in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

How do I get the loan?

We ask you to complete our Application Form and our Personal Budget Plan and Monthly Business Costs & Sales Plan (or similar if you’ve done the two spreadsheets in a different format).  And if you have a CV, please send that to us too. 

We do not provide advice to you on the suitability of a loan.

We can help go through and complete the application form with you.
We will also ask for copies of your last 12 months’ bank statements and proof of your identity and address, such as passport/driving license and utility bill/bank statement (which you can show us during our in-person meeting with you).

Yes, after sending in your Application Form, or if you’d like some help completing your application, we will contact you and arrange a meeting. During the meeting we will want to get to know you and discuss your business idea.
We try to make it as short as possible while: a) making time for you to consider your application and what taking out a loan would mean for you and your business, and for you to seek advice on the suitability of the loan if you chose to do so, and b) making time for us to review your application, ask any further questions, and go through our internal decision-making process. This can usually be done within 1 to 4 weeks.
No, we will pay the money into your personal account, but we would expect you to be opening a business bank account in the course of operating your business anyway.

How much and how long?

We try to tailor the loan amount to the actual needs of the business. Currently the maximum loan amount is £1,000 (this will rise over the next couple of years). The minimum loan is £500.
The normal repayment term requires borrowers to repay a set amount each month for 12 months. In the future we may increase the period of time businesses have to repay depending on business needs and loan amounts.
Yes, we don’t impose any charges for early repayment.

Paying your loan back

No, we only accept monthly payments.

We arrange with you to have a Bank Standing Order on your account.

We are very serious about timely repayment and want you to keep your commitments with us. However, we also want to talk to you if you are getting into difficulties so that we can help if possible, and strongly encourage you to contact us as soon as you think you might have a problem making your monthly payments. If you miss a payment we would expect you to tell us immediately and let us know what happened and how and what you are going to do to sort out the payment that is due. If you do this, we might be able to re-structure your repayments. We use the services of a credit control and debt collection agency to achieve this.
Yes, if your business fails or you are unable to make the repayments from the income your business provides, you need to consider other ways to repay the loan. As is detailed above, if you default on your loan repayments, we will seek to recover the outstanding money from you. There are serious consequences for failing to repay the loan and we will transfer your debt to a debt collection agency.
Trust Leeds cannot provide advice on whether a loan is suitable. If you do take out a Trust Leeds loan, we might be able to signpost you to experienced specialists in various fields who might be able to give you some support. Eg for marketing, advertising, accounting etc – it is always advisable to seek support/coaching in order to solve the problem before it gets out of hand. The earlier we know the greater the options available to help you.
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