Knowledge Base

QWhat is Own Art?

Own Art is a national initiative that makes buying contemporary art and craft affordable by letting you spread the cost of your purchase over 10 or 20 months with an interest-free loan.

QWho runs Own Art?

Own Art is a Creative United programme run in partnership with Arts Council England, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Creative Scotland. Creative United is a registered trademark of Creative Sector Services CIC, a Community Interest Company, in partnership with our credit provider Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance.

QWhat are the aims of the scheme?

The aims of the scheme are:

  • To make it easier and more affordable for people to access art, regardless of their income and socio-economic background
  • To enable more people to live with the art they love
  • To promote the presentation and sale of high-quality works of art through a network of visual arts venues and galleries across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland;
  • To support contemporary artists by encouraging increased sales of work across a breadth of practice
QWhy isn't the Own Art Scheme available in Wales?

Arts Council of Wales operates a similar scheme to Own Art called Collectorplan available for the purchase of works of art and craft in over 70 galleries across Wales.

QIf the customer pays no interest on the loan, who does?

We are able to guarantee a 0% rate for customers – and keep the scheme affordable for our member galleries – by subsidising the cost of the loan with funding from Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

QDo I have to live in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland to be eligible for an Own Art loan?

Own Art is open to all UK residents over the age of 18, subject to status.

QCan I apply for an Own Art loan if I am a student or unemployed?

No -- although you may apply for the scheme as a ‘house person’ if you are living with a partner who is employed. In this instance, you must quote your partner’s employment details. Other exceptions include student nurses or part-time students (provided you have at least 16 hours per week of regular paid employment).

QIf the customer pays no interest on the loan, who does?

We are able to guarantee a 0% rate for customers – and keep the scheme affordable for our member galleries – by subsidising the cost of the loan with funding from Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

QCan I use Own Art to buy a piece of work directly from an artist?

No. Own Art is only available through galleries, museums and other arts organisations that have been approved by Creative United, Creative Scotland or the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as registered members of the scheme.

QWhat sort of work can I buy with an Own Art loan?

Works of contemporary art and craft of many different kinds fall under the scheme, including sculpture, painting, photography, textiles, limited edition prints, fashion, jewellery, glass, furniture, ceramics and multi media works – provided they’re created by a living artist. In some galleries, you can use Own Art on works of art by artists born in the 20th or 21st century. Ask your gallery for more details.

QWhy can I only buy works by living artists?

That's because we want the scheme to help support the artists of today by encouraging sales of their work to new buyers.

QCan I buy prints with Own Art?

Own Art is available for the purchase of limited edition prints and multiples only where the artist has produced these in an edition of less than 150

This is because we want to ensure that prints sold on the scheme are of the highest quality and avoid our customers buying prints produced in editions of several hundred where the artist has had little or no involvement in the production of the image.

Own Art cannot be used for the purchase of Giclée prints except where the artist has used digital technology specifically in order to conceive and create an image in this media. Giclée prints that are reproductions of original images created in other media are excluded, even if they have been signed and numbered by the artists.

QWhat is the minimum amount that I can borrow with an Own Art loan?

The minimum loan amount is £100. This can either be for the purchase of a single item, or for a group of items where the combined value is £100 or more.

QWhat is the maximum amount that I can borrow with an Own Art loan?

Own Art loans are available from £100 - £2,500, completely interest-free. The loan can go towards the payment of an artwork(s) that costs over £2,500 provided you can cover the remaining balance in cash or with a credit or debit card. Some galleries also offer Own Art up to the value of £25,000 over 10 months of 20 months. Ask your gallery for more details.

QCan I include the cost of framing and/or delivery as part of the Own Art loan?

If the gallery is arranging additional services for you such as framing or delivery you can choose to include these charges as part of your Own Art loan. Please make sure you have told the gallery that you wish to do this at the start of the loan application process.

QCan I use the scheme more than once?

Yes, there is no limit to the number of times that you can use the scheme. However, you will normally have to allow at least 4 months between loan applications in order to establish a repayment record with the finance company.

QWhat happens if my loan application is unsuccessful?

An application for credit may be turned down by Hitachi for a number of reasons. If this happens you will receive an email explaining their decision.

QDo I need to pay a deposit?

No deposit is necessary when applying for an Own Art loan, although you can pay a deposit if you wish.

QWhen will I need to make my first payment?

Your first payment will normally be debited from your account around 4 weeks after the date on which you signed the agreement.  You will receive an email confirming the date.

QCan I change the date of my monthly direct debit?

Yes. This is possible if you contact Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance directly, once your first payment has gone through.

QAre there any charges if I decide to pay off the loan early?

No. Own Art loans do not have early redemption charges. If you would like to pay off the loan, you can contact Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance to do so at any time.

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