If you asked your mate to lend you £50 for a month and he told you to pay him back £70, you’d probably tell him to get lost! But this is what payday loan companies like Wonga do to customers every single day.
It’s bad enough that they charge extortionate rates of 4000% APR on the loan, but some companies actually take it a step further. At certain times of the year, payday loan companies will piggy back on holidays or special occassions to try and grab more vulnerable customers.
Here are some eye-opening examples of the most shameless offers by payday loan companies.
Make Valentine’s Day One to Remember
Last February, This Is Money reported that lender Cash Lady were encouraging people to make V-day “one to remember” by taking out a cash loan of £300. By “one to remember” I can only assume they mean, “Remember that time Cash Lady fleeced me out of £75 interest on Valentine’s Day?”
Christmas decorations and stocking fillers
Provident Financial touted themselves as Saint Nick last year by offering a cash loan of up to £500 at a 1,058% APR. Apparently, this will help to make your perfect Christmas an affordable one. Tell that the Provident customer Olive Boswell, who ended up £15,000 in debt and paid back £61 a week from her measly £102 pension. More like the Grinch, if you ask me.
It seems innocent enough doesn’t it? Like the Wonga facebook page and you enter a prize draw to win £100. Is it just free money though? Through clever advertising and marketing, companies like Wonga purposely target people who are struggling for cash. After all, why would you take a payday loan if you had plenty of money? By that premise alone, this promotion is trying to attract those kinds of people to their Facebook page – from which they can market their offers to. Unlike!
Get a friend in debt for £20
Speaking of Wonga, both them and QuickQuid offer up to £20 if you refer a friend to them. As with the Like button, these tend to be vulnerable people who are desperate for some help and who may well respond to a friend recommending them to a payday loan lender. Why not recommend them to take out a Barclaycard or authorised overdraft instead? These cost just £5.88 and £30 respectively on a loan of £400. Compared to the £120 it costs with Wonga, I know which I’d recommend to my mates.
50% discounts for repeated use
The Quick Loan Shop Ltd (catchy, I know) will offer a tidy 50% on their payday loans. All you have to do is take out 5 loans with them, repay them on time, pay them a load of interest and try not to get in any debt. It sounds easier than it is! I’d take a 100% discount and focus on cutting my spending to lower my outgoings so I don’t need a loan. But there’s no fancy banner for that!
It should be apparent by now that I don’t like payday loans and I think that they prey on people who are already struggling and are therefore more likely to not be able to pay. I encourage anybody who is unable to make their monthly payments to seek free debt advice before they even entertain a payday loan.
Even if you do need to borrow money, there are almost always better options than a payday loan – and there options for people with bad credit too so don’t let these lenders fool you into thinking they are the only choice.
Have you come across any offers which you find offensive? Let us know in the comments.