1-minute guide to Payday Loan Claims

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Payday Loan Claims

In 2011 the UK payday lending market was estimated to be worth up to £2.2 billion

Between 2009 and 2012 up to 8.2 million new loans were taken out leaving millions of people in financial difficulty

Wonga were forced to write off over £200 million of debt to over 300,000 customers in 2014 due to their own malpractice

As a result a precedent has been set for people and you could claim against unfair and irresponsible short term lending

Need to know

  • A payday loan offers you access to quick and easy cash on a short-term high-cost basis
  • They are highly attractive as they guarantee money quickly making it ideal for emergency situations
  • Prior to 2nd January 2015, payday loan companies did not have to cap their interest rates with some charging as much as 7000% interest
  • Payday lenders have a duty of care towards their customers meaning they must carry out effective checks to confirm that their loan is affordable
  • This means checking borrowers’ financial background and clearly explaining any fees or charges that will incur
  • Many payday loan companies were not effectively carrying out these checks meaning some of their customers were building up huge amounts of unmanageable debt

You may be able to claim if…

  • Your payday lender did not make any fees or charges you would incur clear to you
  • You had to repeatedly roll-over a loan. This shows that you could not afford to take out the initial loan in the first place as you couldn’t make the payments
  • Similarly, if you had to borrow from another payday lender in order to pay off your initial loan
  • The loan was a large portion of your income meaning you couldn’t pay it in time as you would not have been able to buy food, pay your mortgage or bills etc
  • Remember it has to be clear that your payday lender did not carry out the proper checks before lending
  • The strongest claims emphasise that your payday lender gave you a loan that was not affordable

How to make a payday loan claim

  • First, gather all the information you can about your payday loan
  • Be sure to include: the date it was taken out, interest and charges that were added, if you rolled over the loan, details of any missedpayments, the date you paid it in full or the amount still to pay and finally confirm that the lender ran any credit checks prior to approving your loan
  • It’s best to get this information from your payday loan provider as you will be sure it is correct
  • Next, contact your lender to register a complaint on the grounds that the loan you were given was not affordable and request a refund for the charges and fees that were added
  • Back up your case with any personal information about your situation. For example if you needed to take out a loan from another payday company to pay yours back or if you were in arrears with your bank at the time of lending
  • Finally if your lender does not offer you any compensation or they do not reply within 8 weeks, take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. See their How to Complain guide for further help on how they can help get your payday loan refund

The inside track

  •  Recently introduced rules by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) force payday lenders to cap their charges and increase their affordability checks
  • Interest is now capped at 0.8% per day of the full amount borrowed and default loan charges are capped at £15
  • The total amount payable has also been capped at 100% so if you took out a payday loan of £100 you would have to pay back no more than £200
  • The new regulation means that payday loans are much more affordable than they once were and that many borrowers will no longer be crippled by debt (we still don’t recommend them though!)
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Sarah Willingham
Sarah Willingham is a serial entrepreneur, business investor and leading consumer expert. She has received a number of accolades for her contribution to business including The Sunday Times 500 Most Influential People in Britain 2016, The Times 35 Most Successful Women Under 35, Business Weekly’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Courvoisier Top 500 and an entry into the Who’s Who of British Business Leaders. She holds three business degrees including an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, where she is also an advisory board member.