If it looks too good to be true it probably is. Don’t fall for it…
Getting money at the click of a mouse, sending a text or making a call, is how more and more people are accessing short term loans. The principle behind these loans is small sums of money are loaned at short notice, with a high interest rate, many at over 100%, and repaid in full on “pay day”. Often credit checks are not undertaken, so people who are unable to pay are taking out easy, but expensive loans.
There are an increasing number of people coming into the Citizens Advice Chiltern with payday loan debts. For example, Mrs X came into the Bureau after she had taken out 3 payday loans. She is entirely on benefit income and was unable to make the repayments. As soon as she was unable to make a repayment the loan company (MiniCredit) started adding ‘debt recovery costs’ of £100 every month. The small initial debts then began to spiral out of control.
Another thing to watch out for is Payday companies are able to debit money from your account at any time to repay the loan, in full, if the recurring payment is set up on the initial loan. Clients need to cancel the payment by writing to the Payday loan company and their bank. If the company does not then cancel the transaction the client is entitled to a full refund.
Contact your local Citizens Advice Chiltern office. We will be able to help you negotiate affordable repayments along with any other debts you may have.
What alternatives do you have to Payday loans?
Credit Unions aim to help you take control of your money by encouraging you to save what you can, and borrow only what you can afford to repay. They are community savings and loan cooperatives, where members pool their savings to lend to one another and help to run the Credit Union.
Joining a Credit Union can help you get your finances under control. They may be more willing to help you than a high-street bank or building society if you have a low income, or do not have a previous record of borrowing. They:
- encourage people to save on a regular basis
- accept small amounts and willing to lend small amounts
- agree to loans on the basis of how able you are to repay them and how much you need
- have lower rates of interest
South Buckinghamshire Community Bank (part of MforMoney Credit Union)