The Wirral Citizen’s Advice Bureau is calling for action to be taken against unscrupulous payday lenders.
A survey of payday lenders around the country commissioned by the advice organisation has revealed a long list of unsavoury practices, e.g.
- borrowers being pressurised into extending loans
- under-18s being offered loans
- customers who are already in debt being offered loans
- lenders taking more than was owed and being awkward about refunding it
- misuse of Continuous Payment Authorities to persistently withdraw money from customers bank accounts
- harassing people who are in debt
- hounding others at the same address in a bid to shame the borrower
- refusing to agree to repayment plans
- not being helpful to people who are struggling to repay
- not agreeing a reasonable repayment plan.
The new findings from the organisation’s payday loan tracker were published following the publication of the Office of Fair Trading’s investigation into the lending industry in March this year.
In one of the most shocking examples of thoroughly deceitful practices seen by the Wirral CAB is that of a low-income pensioner who applied for £1,000 loan online. Rather than the simple, industry standard practice of making a free application online or over the phone and getting money transferred to his bank for free, he was charged extraneous £110 administration fee, £300 for unnecessary insurance, £90 for an pointless pin and £100 for a ‘solicitor’ to deliver the cheque. Absolutely shocking; shocking that in such a crowded market any company can have the gall to, and get away with, charging for so much unnecessary, extraneous garbage and shocking that anyone would think that it was necessary to pay an admin fee, insurance, a pin (for what?) and for a solicitor to deliver the cheque, a solicitor, really? Come on.
Such findings highlight how important it is to select your payday lender wisely, stick to reputable lenders, always look for a lenders consumer credit licence – by law it must be displayed on any literature or website.