Wonga, QuickQuid and now Smart Pig. The growth of the payday loan continues unabated. The first time I came across them, I knew they were something already out of control. A group of companies who deliberately attract the vulnerable; those in need of a quick solution to money problems without understanding the risk they are taking when taking out these short term loans.

This is why I want to lobby our government to take action on these companies, by regulating them more and placing tighter restrictions on companies who seem to be able to charge interest that’s through the roof. 

Wonga's latest advert, featuring elderly puppet characters

Wonga’s latest advert, featuring elderly puppet characters

On Tuesday, I ran a stall as part of Ethics Week to try and highlight the diabolical nature of these companies by asking students to guess how much they would pay back when borrowing £400 for 28 days if they paid back on time and then if they paid back 1 week late. One company charges 4214% APR and if you paid back on time you pay back £517. Pay back a week late you pay a £25 late fee and a total of £569.

It doesn’t sound much, but that’s £169 more than you borrowed and the later and later you leave it to pay back the more and more you pay in interest and the issue with these loans is they target the vulnerable, who will probably pay back late and rack up debt that they will be paying off for the rest of their lives.

Perhaps the most diabolical of all companies I have come across is one that targets their loans at students. They started off as a company who offered payday loans to all people but clearly noticed a “gap” in the market and started offering their services to students only. They even ask you to forward your letter of when your loan payments are made! With a slogan of “Loans for Students” and an about us section that blabbers about how fair they are and how they know how hard it is for students to budget, it isn’t surprising that many students are using the company for a quick fix loan just before student loan payments come in. What if your student loan comes in late? You get hit with a massive interest and late fees.

Money

We can stop these companies from abusing the system and targeting vulnerable people. We can make our government put tighter controls on these companies, limiting the devastating effects they have on families all over the UK. We can stand up for what is right and make these companies realise that we won’t stand for their bullshit; what they are doing is wrong. I am in the process of starting up a campaign against these companies. If anyone would be interested in getting involved email me on eande@susu.org for more information.

Payday Loans aren’t worth it. Don’t fall for the quick fix only to be left with a debt you can’t pay. If you need any finance advice you can visit The Advice Centre.

Say NO to Payday Loans!

3 Comments »

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  • A person
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    Maybe they are unethical, but really if these people are stupid enough to take these loans out, they deserve to be out of pocket. These companies give people access to quick money with no questions asked, and they are bound to charge a premium for this as the sort of people who are this desperate for money are the sort that are most likely to default on payments of traditional loans.

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    Miss Teen South Carolina
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    Yeah, they’re either stupid or like, maybe have to pay rent and stuff? Probably just stupid though and therefore deserve to be extorted.

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    A person
    avatar

    Yeah… it’s called budgeting! Most people seem to manage it, I’m not saying this is the case for all people who take out payday loans, but I bet lots of them squander money living beyond their means, for example having sky tv and smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

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