Office of Fair Trading to end loan fee scam

According to a report on BBC, the loan fee scam which many consumer group has campaign against is now to be closed by OFT, more information about this follows in the except from the article by BBC:
Dishonest credit brokers that demand upfront fees for loans they have no intention of arranging will be closed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The measure is part of a general crackdown by the regulator following a complaint from Citizens’ Advice.

The charity said some unscrupulous firms were cold-calling thousands of potential borrowers and offering loans in return for hefty fees.

The OFT is making it mandatory for fees to be refunded if a loan is not agreed.

“Our evidence suggests some businesses are deliberately taking people’s money upfront with no realistic expectation of finding them the type of loan they need,” said John Fingleton, the OFT’s chief executive.

‘We will continue to take robust enforcement action against businesses using unfair or improper business practices and we are providing new guidance making very clear the kind of behaviour we expect from the industry.”

In parallel, the OFT will bring in new rules later this month for debt management firms to stop them making misleading claims in adverts, charging expensive fees upfront, giving poor advice or posing as charities.
Law change

The OFT is going to ask the government to consider changing the law to ban outright the practice of credit brokers demanding upfront fees in exchange for arranging loans.

full story here:

Payday Loans – Caveat Emptor

Payday Loans

The Ups and Downs of Payday Loans

Payday loan is something  you opt for when you need instant cash and other options are not available. It is usually a short-term loan that you take and since it is available at such short notice, it also charges high rates of interest. Emergencies can occur any time in your life and if you need money instantly, Payday loans are thought to be the one of the best solution. However, just like these loans are very convenient and easy to obtain, they also have their down side. You must weigh your options very carefully before you decide to get apply for a payday loan. Some Payday loan have been said to charge interest rates of up to 572%.

Payday loans are available on a short-term basis (usually 2 weeks) to help you meet a financial emergency until your next payday. You have to repay the loan once you receive your paycheck. The interest rates on these loans are rather high and the main reason for this is that they are available on such short notice. If you need cash fast and are not able to get credit at the bank, you may opt for these loans.

How much can you borrow on Payday loans? This depends on the net income that you have after tax deductions. The best part about these loans is that there is no check done on your credit history. While there might be other terms and conditions that govern Payday loans that vary from one company to another, the basic requirement is that you must be 18 years of age or over and employed with the same company for the last 6 months at least. You also need to have a bank account that is at least 6 months old.

The rate of interest charged by payday lenders is quite high. It will be anything between 15 and 30% of the amount you borrow. It is then made payable on top of the amount that you have borrowed. The loan companies have their justification for such high rate of interests. The first reason is that these loans are made available to anyone irrespective of the credit history he/she has provided he/she fulfils the basic eligibility criteria. Banks have a very strict procedure of approving loans, which the Payday loan companies don’t. Paperwork is almost minimal in Paypay loans. These are the few advantages that these loans provide to you and these are the main reasons why such high interest rates are charged.

There is a lot of controversies surrounding the Payday loan industry and how the loan is used by their clients. Government-funded consumer champion, Consumer Focus claimed that “borrowers are becoming dependent on high-cost credit they cannot afford to repay,  People are turning to supposedly “last resort” payday loan companies again and again, rather than using them only in emergencies. The extremely high interest rates charged by the company tends to push people who use them regularly into deeper debt than they were before. UK is not the only country where Payday loan is giving the authorities and consumer organisations concerns. In USA,  the Mississippi Senate recently gave final passage to a bill designed to reduce fees on payday loans.

Payday Loans FAQ

What is a payday loan?

It is short-term loan, advanced to the borrower typically till his or her next payday. They are often paid with a post-dated cheque or by instruction given to the lender to make automatic withdrawal from the borrowers account.

What sort of people use payday loans?

Payday loan users tend to be young and single with below-average incomes, it is estimated that majority of Payday loan users earn below £25,000 per annum however this author came across two instances of Payday loan users with income of of over £40,000.  It is also estimated that more than half of borrowers are under 35.

How often do people use Payday loans?

It is argued that  people can get “addicted” to using Payday loan, with an average user returning to the lender about 4 times a year or every 3 months.

So how can people get into debt trouble?

Not repaying the loan  at your next payday can lead to problems. Rolling the loan over to your next payday significantly increases the interest. Other do pay the loan but take out another loan almost immediately.

How can I get help if I get into debt trouble?

Your local citizen advice bureau should be your first port of call, they will be able to advise you on the best way too move forward.