Something has been bothering me for days now. Its all over TV, the radio, the internet. Every where i look there are adverts for short term pay day loans.
Like many Borderliners i have issues with money and impulsivity.
I am much better at managing my spending now, but before i sought therapy i would have a constant burning hole in my pocket.
At university i squandered my Grant on eyeliner, shoes, clothes and booze. And post uni i wasted my wages on much the same.
I owe money to phone companies for craving the newest phone out at the time, and then 4 months down the line cancelling the direct debit because i couldn’t afford it.
I got addicted to online gaming at one point and have since, self banned myself from all the popular bingo sights.
I owe money to a few catalogue companies after i freaked out one year and realised i had no money to pay for Christmas presents.
The list of my past financial indiscretions is a long one.
But by far the most trouble i have gotten myself into, is with payday loans. I wont go into too much depth because frankly its embarrassing, but i owe quite a bit to a few companies.
(I have payment plans, fear not)
If you are not familiar with payday loans i am talking about the loans you can get, who often payout within hours of applying, for an extortionately high APR % (the amount of interest on your total loan amount that you’ll pay annually, averaged over the full term of the loan).
Some popular loan companies include Wonga, QuickQuid, Sunny Loans, and the advert i am seeing the most of at the moment, Amigo Loans.
These loans aim to assist you in a financial crisis if you are between paydays. Often these Loan companies will only need the promise you are in employment and can afford to pay back the amount you agree on. That you might own a house or a valuable asset should you get in trouble with the loan, some even ask for payslips.
I expect this would be easy to lie about as i don’t think anyone checks all of this 100%. Of course you are subject to a credit check, which will determine the amount of interest you are charged.
Some loan companies have a process called a ‘rollover’
Suppose Jane borrows £300 for two weeks from a payday lender for a fee of £45. If she decides to roll over the loan come payday, she is supposed to pay the £45 fee, and then will owe £345 (the principal plus the fee on the second loan) at the end of the month. If she pays the loan then, she will have paid £90 in fees for a sequence of two £300 payday loans.
See, i borrow money like this when i am in an extremely manic phase. I simply need it. It does not matter how much i’m going to have to pay for it in the future, mania doesn’t care.
So when i finally come back to my senses and i realise i cant afford to pay back the loan, i would roll it over, and this is where you can rack up fees equal or more than the loan you took out in the first place.
The reason these adverts are bothering me so much is because i can imagine this happening to others like me, and it makes me really really sad. Its so easy to fill in the forms online, and see the money in your account, sometimes in minutes. Its a rush.
I have noticed alot of these companies advertise during daytime television advert breaks, i suppose they are targeting the stay at home parent or the jobless. This is a rather clever move on there behalf, but is this not preying on the weak?
I also have huge beef with they way the make it all look so simple and safe and warm. The colours, speech used, animated animals and smartly used words.
The actors playing real people. The single smartly dressed lady, standing in front of her 2 bed semi, who took out a loan which saved her from a boiler disaster.
The busy single mum who needed it for her kids sports equipment. Her kids will thank her for it when they can finally get around the playing polo with their mates.
Are they really representing the type of people that are taking out these loans?
The whole thing is making it out to be no biggy, which to some people it may well be, but i’m one of those people who it was a MASSIVE problem for, and still is.
I struggled alot with impulsive behaviour with BPD, money being the biggest issue for me. I can only imagine those who have similar issues, maybe a family to support, maybe hiding this aspect of their life. At this time of year the adverts are being ramped up, adding more pressure to those who cant fight the temptation.
I don’t know what the answer is, but the current state of affairs is grim. I don’t think that these companies are evil, neither am i denying there is a market for them. I simply wish they were a little more responsible for how they act as businesses.
If you are reading this and are having issues with money, i highly recommend talking to someone from the national debtline, i have worked with them before regarding my debts and they have a wealth of free knowledge regarding all sorts of debts, and the plans you can put in place with their help, to reduce and clear your debt safely.
Call them for free on
0808 808 4000