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  • Writer's pictureDonnelle Brooks

Cigno Loans: A review

In the realm of financial management, unexpected expenses can sometimes catch us off guard. This is where Cigno Loans steps in, offering a fast solution to bridge temporary gaps in your budget. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the details of Cigno Loans, exploring their features, benefits, and how they can provide the financial flexibility you need.


Overview:


What is Cigno Loans?

Cigno Loans is an Australian-based lending company that offers short-term loans to individuals in need of quick financing. Cigno Loans specializes in providing small, short-term loans that are often referred to as payday loans or cash advance loans. These loans are typically for relatively small amounts and are meant to be repaid quickly, often on the borrower's next payday.

Cigno Loans gained attention and controversy for its business model, which involves charging high fees and costs for its loans. It's important to note that payday loans, in general, are known for their high interest rates and fees, and borrowers should exercise caution and thoroughly understand the terms and costs associated with such loans before considering them.



Who owns Cigno Loans?

Cigno Loans is associated with a company called "Cigno Pty Ltd," and the company was founded by Mark Swanepoel. Mark Swanepoel was the CEO and founder of Cigno Pty Ltd at that time. Mark Swanepoel was a Rugby player prior to founding Cigno in 2013


How do I apply for a loan with Cigno?

Perhaps fortunately, Cigno Loans is closed and not accepting new credit applications. For a while they were operating as a member's cash draw page, where member's could pay $5 per week to win random cash prizes, but as of the time of writing this article that has ceased also.


What are the eligibility requirements for a Cigno loan?

Here are some common eligibility criteria that lenders like Cigno typically consider for payday loans and short-term loans:

  1. Age: You are usually required to be at least 18 years old to apply for a payday loan in Australia.

  2. Residency: You must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to be eligible for a Cigno loan.

  3. Income: Lenders like Cigno typically require borrowers to have a regular source of income. This income can come from employment, government benefits, or other sources.

  4. Bank Account: You will likely need to have an active Australian bank account in your name. This is where the loan funds will be deposited, and it's also where loan repayments will be deducted from.

  5. Credit Check: Some lenders may perform a credit check as part of the application process. However, payday loans are often marketed to people with poor or no credit, so having a low credit score may not necessarily disqualify you.

  6. Affordability Assessment: Lenders are required to assess whether you can afford the loan you're applying for. This involves looking at your income and expenses to ensure that you won't be placed in financial hardship by taking out the loan.

  7. Documentation: You may need to provide documentation to verify your identity, income, and residency. This could include a driver's license, pay stubs, and utility bills.

It's crucial to be cautious when considering payday loans or any other type of short-term, high-interest loan. These loans often come with high fees and interest rates, which can lead to a cycle of debt if not managed carefully. Before applying for any loan, it's a good idea to thoroughly understand the terms, costs, and repayment schedule.



How long does Cigno loans take to approve?

Although Cigno no longer operate, we can tell you about the former approval process. The approval time for Cigno loans or any payday loans can vary depending on several factors, including the lender's specific policies and procedures, the completeness and accuracy of your application, and how quickly you provide any requested documentation. Generally, payday loans are known for their quick approval process compared to traditional bank loans. Here's a general timeline of what you might expect:


Online Application

The initial application for a payday loan with Cigno is typically completed online. This process can be relatively quick, often taking just a few minutes to fill out the required information.


Instant Decision

Some payday loan lenders, including Cigno, may provide an instant decision on your loan application. This means you could receive approval or denial within minutes of submitting your application.


Documentation and Verification

If you are approved, you may be required to provide additional documentation for verification purposes. This can include proof of income, bank statements, or identification documents. The time it takes to gather and submit these documents can vary.


Funding

Once your application is approved, and all required documentation is verified, Cigno may disburse the loan funds. The time it takes for you to receive the funds can depend on the payment method you choose (e.g., bank transfer), but it's often within one business day.


It's essential to keep in mind that while payday loans can offer quick access to funds, they also typically come with high fees and interest rates. It's crucial to carefully consider whether you can afford the loan and to understand the terms and conditions before accepting the loan offer. Additionally, be sure to explore alternative sources of funding and consider the potential long-term financial implications of taking out a payday loan.



How quickly can I get the funds from a Cigno Loan?

Cigno Loans are no longer in operation in 2023. However, the speed at which you can receive the funds from a payday loan loan can depend on several factors, including the lender's policies and procedures, your banking institution, and the time of day you complete the loan application. Here's a general timeline for when you might expect to receive the funds:


Instant Decision

Cigno, like many payday loan providers, often provides an instant decision on your loan application. This means you could receive approval or denial within minutes of submitting your application.


Documentation and Verification

After approval, you may be required to provide additional documentation for verification purposes. This can include proof of income, bank statements, or identification documents. The time it takes for you to gather and submit these documents can vary.


Funding

Once your application is approved, and all required documentation is verified, Cigno typically disburses the loan funds. The speed of the disbursement can depend on the payment method you choose, but it's often within one business day.


Bank Processing Time

The time it takes for the funds to appear in your bank account can vary depending on your banking institution. Some banks may process deposits more quickly than others. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few hours to one business day for the funds to be available in your account.


Keep in mind that these timelines are based on information available as of 2023, and lending practices may have changed since then.



Do Cigno do credit checks?

Cigno, like many payday loan providers, typically do perform credit checks as a part of their loan approval process. However, they may have used alternative methods to assess an applicant's eligibility for a loan. These alternative methods often focus on your income and ability to repay the loan rather than your credit history.


However, it's important to note that lending practices can change over time, and policies may have evolved since my last update. Lenders may also vary in their specific practices, so it's crucial to check Cigno's current policies and procedures regarding credit checks.


Even if a lender like Cigno doesn't perform a traditional credit check, they may still access other databases or perform affordability assessments to determine your ability to repay the loan. Keep in mind that while payday loans may be more accessible for individuals with poor credit or no credit history, they typically come with high fees and interest rates. It's essential to carefully consider the terms and the potential impact on your financial situation before applying for such a loan.


Can I get a loan with Cigno with bad credit?

Cigno, when they were opertaing, like many payday loan providers, generally considered loan applications from individuals with bad credit or no credit history. Payday loans are often marketed as a financial option for people who may have difficulty obtaining traditional loans due to their credit history. Instead of relying solely on credit scores, payday lenders often focus on other factors, such as your income and ability to repay the loan.


However, it's important to keep in mind that while Cigno and similar lenders may not perform traditional credit checks, they may still use alternative methods to assess your eligibility and ability to repay the loan. These methods can include verifying your income, employment status, and financial stability.



Do Cigno do Centrelink loans?

Cigno was known for providing loans to individuals who may receive Centrelink benefits or government assistance in Australia. These loans, often referred to as "Centrelink loans," cater to individuals with limited income sources. Cigno considers various factors, including Centrelink payments, as a source of income when assessing loan applications. While they may not perform traditional credit checks, they focus on evaluating the borrower's ability to repay the loan. Centrelink loans from Cigno can help those facing financial challenges access funds when needed, but it's important for borrowers to be aware of the associated fees and interest rates, as they tend to be higher than those of traditional loans. Borrowers should carefully consider their financial circumstances and repayment capabilities before applying for a Centrelink loan with Cigno.


How much can I borrow with Cigno Loans?

Before they shut down, Cigno offered short-term payday loans, and the loan amounts they provided typically ranged from $100 to $1,000 for first-time borrowers. However, the specific loan amounts and terms can vary based on several factors, including your individual financial situation, the state or territory you reside in, and Cigno's lending policies.

It's important to note that payday loans are generally small, short-term loans intended to cover unexpected expenses until your next payday. Due to their short-term nature and the associated high fees and interest rates, payday loans are not suitable for long-term financial needs.



Cigno interest rates

Cigno, like many payday lenders, charged high-interest rates on their loans. However, the specific interest rates and fees associated with Cigno loans could vary depending on several factors, including the type of loan, the loan amount, and the borrower's individual circumstances.


Payday loan interest rates are typically presented as an Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which can make them appear extremely high. APR is a standardized way to express the cost of borrowing over a year, but payday loans are short-term loans, often with terms of just a few weeks.


They were shut down due to irresponsible short term lending rates that sometimes equated to up to 800% interest per annum. These loans preyed on desperate people who needed money fast and didn't care about the costs down the track.


Cigno fees

Cigno operates outside the scope of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and applies fees based on the number of payments made towards your loan. These fees are as follows:


- For a one-payment loan, the fee is 35% of the loan amount.

- For a two-payment loan, the fee is 45% of the loan amount.

- For a three-payment loan, the fee is 60% of the loan amount.

- For a four-payment loan, the fee is 74% of the loan amount.


Additionally, there are ongoing fees, which include a $5.95 account-keeping fee. In case of default or rescheduled payments, the following fees may be incurred:


- Same day deposit fee: $16

- Priority transfer fee: $16

- Extension of the first payment fee: $22

- Change of payment date and amount fee: $22

- Payment reschedule fee: $30

- Collections phone contact fee: $8.80

- Collections tracking fee: $50

- Investigator/handover fee: $175 plus legal fees

- First dishonour letter fee: $30

- Second dishonour letter fee: $50

- Third dishonour letter fee: $50

- Dishonoured payment fee: $79



Can I repay my Cigno Loan loan early?

Payday lenders like Cigno often allow borrowers to make early payments or repay their loans in full before the scheduled due date. Doing so can help you save on interest and reduce the overall cost of the loan.


There is currently a class action against Cigno for customers to get refunded unfair loans. You can find more info about that here.


What happens if I can't repay Cigno on time?

If you can't repay your Cigno loan on time, it's essential to be aware of the potential consequences and take appropriate actions to address the situation. Here's what may happen if you are unable to make your loan repayment on time:

  1. Late Fees: Cigno may charge late fees or penalty fees if you miss a scheduled repayment. These fees can add to the overall cost of the loan, making it more expensive.

  2. Default Status: If you consistently miss payments or fail to repay the loan according to the agreed-upon terms, your loan may be considered in default. This can have serious consequences for your credit and financial situation.

  3. Collection Efforts: Cigno or a collection agency working on their behalf may contact you to attempt to collect the outstanding debt. You may receive phone calls, emails, or letters regarding the overdue payment.

  4. Credit Reporting: Some payday lenders, including Cigno, may report delinquent accounts to credit bureaus. This can negatively impact your credit score and make it more challenging to obtain credit in the future.

  5. Legal Action: In cases of significant delinquency or default, Cigno may take legal action to recover the debt. This can result in additional legal fees and court costs.

If you still owe money to Cigno, consider joining the class action for a refund, or apply to the ACCC to get your debt eliminated.



Is Cigno safe?

Cigno at one time did operate as a legitimate lending business. However they were shut down for engaging in unsafe and irresponsible lending practices. I would not call Cigno Loans safe. When borrowing money, it's important to evaluate the purpose of seeking this loan and its potential long-term expenses. This type of company does not exactly engage in fraudulent activities; they fulfill their commitments. However, I would advise against viewing this form of lending as a sound financial choice, particularly if you're facing financial challenges, as it may not be a secure option.


Is Cigno Loans still operating?

No, Cigno ceased operations after being found to be engaging in irresponsible and illegal lending practises. They ceased operations in July 2023 but they are still attempting to collect debts.


What happened to Cigno Loans?

Cigno loans was found to be engaging in illegal lending practises and was shut down by ASIC. Cigno functioned beyond the scope of the credit regulations that normally oversee lenders and provide safeguards and provisions for customers facing financial difficulties. Cigno was found to be charging upfront and ongoing fees that amounted to in excess of 800% interest per annum. This means that a loan of just $200 could blow out to $1600 in a year. They were forced to shut down and many customers have been encouraged to stop paying their loans back and seek a refund.



Alternatives to Cigno Loans

If you are looking for loans like Cigno Loans, there are several alternative lending options to Cigno Loans that may offer better terms and lower costs. Here are five alternative companies you can consider:


Nimble offers small, short-term loans with more transparent terms and potentially lower fees than some payday lenders.


ClearCash provides short-term loans online. They are quick and easy to apply but expensive loans.


MoneyMe offers personal loans with more competitive interest rates and terms compared to many payday lenders.


Cash Train is a payday lending platform that allows you to borrow small amounts of money fast. They offer personal loans that is on par with a traditional payday loan.


Wallet Wizard provides customers with access to personal loans and credit solutions with a convenient and user-friendly online application process.


Before choosing any alternative lender, it's essential to carefully review the terms and conditions of the loan, including interest rates, fees, and repayment terms. Additionally, compare multiple lenders to find the option that best suits your financial needs and budget. Always borrow responsibly and avoid loans that you may have difficulty repaying.


Cigno Loans review: The Bottom Line

Borrowing money from Cigno should be approached with caution and considered a last resort due to several critical reasons. Firstly, Cigno's loans typically come with extremely high fees and interest rates, making them an expensive borrowing option that can lead to a cycle of debt if not managed carefully. Additionally, Cigno operates outside the scope of traditional lending regulations, which means you may not have the same level of consumer protections and rights that you would with regulated lenders. Furthermore, payday loans like those offered by Cigno are intended for short-term financial emergencies, and relying on them for ongoing expenses or financial difficulties can exacerbate financial instability. It is advisable to explore alternative financial solutions, seek assistance from reputable financial institutions, and carefully consider the long-term consequences before opting for a loan from Cigno.

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