Saturday, 8 October 2011

Payday loans -- avoid, avoid, avoid

On the news today we learn that the government is looking into "payday loans". Hurray!

The issue was brought up by the Citizens Advice Bureau, where as a volunteer I was shocked to see clients having to pay eye-watering 600-1000+% interest on a small loan that they thought they could pay off come their next pay day.

When I joined the CAB I was heartened by their mission to provide evidence to the government on issues affecting the general population.

When we come across cases which could be sorted by policy changes, we flag up such cases. So when bureaux across UK have sufficient evidence we could alert the government to what is really (f)ailing the people.

As an anthropologist stuck on the "holistic approach" to life I find myself asking questions around the issue that the client comes in with. Debt often surfaces although this is not at first articulated.

My advice is always to stay clear of the "personal credit" people such as this and this who are just one half-step up the evolutionary ladder from unlicensed loan sharks, it appears to me. 1068.5% APR.
How would it be deemed "responsible lending" when they approach people on their door-step knowing that they are already hugely in debt, and some already have taken an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) to sort out their mounting debts?


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