Category Archives: Payday loans news

sms message

Stop Nuisance Spam Text Messages

Spam texts have become a part of daily life we all get them, from claiming compensation for PPI insurance that we never took to being approved for a loan that you never even applied for. These spam texts have become a nuisance for many believing we have received a genuine text only to open the message and it is some sort of marketing text, but do not fear here is our guide to spot and stop spam texts the best way possible.

How To Identify Spam Text Messages

Identifying spam texts can be difficult as some marketing or advertising messages you may have genuinely signed up for and you are happy to get those messages. It is very important to be cautious that these companies that you signed up to do not share your number with other companies because this may have been in the terms and conditions and you may have accepted them without realising.

Advertising text messages can be irritating, but are easier to stop and control. What you should do first is try to find out if the text is from a genuine company that you recognise or if it’s a spam message from a company you have never heard of or never signed up to.

Before contemplating replying to the text sent by the company or person, you should check to see if you can find details about the company that sent you the text message, a simple search online or thinking back to whether you signed up will help.

 If you receive a text with the company or person’s details showing, then this could likely be an advertising text

 If the text has come from an unknown or withheld number and no way of checking the company details, then it is most likely spam

Also, you can try the following –

 If there is a number on the text type it into a search engine and investigate the results

 Try checking the number on various phone number checkers such as PhonepayPlus, which may show you details of the number or people who have complained about that particular number

 If you do locate a number then we strongly recommend you contact the customer service or head office of that company to get further details on the text message sent to you

How To Stop Spam Messages

  • Use your phone settings to block the phone number

If you use a smartphone which more people are doing so there should be a feature in your call and text settings to block messages from specific numbers from a person or company. You can check your phone manual or contact your network provider who can help you find and set up this number blocking feature on your phone. By adding a number to your blocked list this prevents you receiving a message from that number again as you have chosen to add it on your block list.

  • Contact your mobile phone network provider

Mobile phone networks are part of the fight to stop spam text messages as they get customers contacting and complaining that they keep receiving spam text messages and want it to stop.

 

If you make a complaint to your phone network keep hold of the text message you have received to give the network more details about the text so they can identify this as spam and they will block the number. Major networks now have a dedicated facility to report spam via a particular number, if you are with a particular network here are the details –

 If you are with EE, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone or O2, send the spam number to 7726

 If you are with the Three network then text the number to 37726

If you text your networks the spam numbers they will investigate these matters seriously to prevent you and others getting these messages again as they know this causes irritation amongst their customers.

Report Spam To The Information Commissioner’s Office

Reporting nuisance spam texts to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is another step to stop companies harassing people. Companies and individuals can be fined up to the sum of half a million pound if they deem the breaches very serious and goes against the rules set by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which is the department that deals with spam texts in the UK.

Unfortunately, the ICO can’t always investigate some spam messages people get because they may have been sent out by overseas companies using foreign mobile networks and this results in difficulty locating these companies and hard to punish them if the company can’t be found.

Even if a company can’t be located straight away whether the text is from the UK or abroad the ICO urge these spam texts to be reported so that any necessary action can be taken if they can find the culprits.

You can find more details about how to report spams text’s on the ICO’s website about how to make a complaint and what processes they have in place to investigate the matter.

Help Yourself To Prevent Spam Texts

Your mobile number is one of the biggest marketing tools used by companies to promote their products and services as millions own a mobile phone across the UK. Try to do the following to help you prevent spam messages -Try not to sign up to websites where it is asking for your mobile number

Try not to sign up to websites where it is asking for your mobile number

 We know this is quite difficult nowadays so try to read the terms and conditions about what they intend to do with your number if it is not for contact reasons

Look out for tick boxes when filling out forms

 On many submission forms, there is a tick box near the end which may say something along the lines of “do you give us permission to pass your details on to third party companies” you will have to be very careful with this because on some forms it will say tick this box if you do not want your number passed on for marketing and on other forms it will say leave it un-ticked for no marketing, so be sure to tick or un-tick correctly.

Don’t post your number on the internet where it can be picked up

 Posting your number online like on social media sites, forums and any other open networks put your mobile number at risk. Companies or individuals will take the numbers off these sites and start sending you spam texts within minutes so we strongly recommend you being selective where or who you give your number too.

Avoid replying to spam text messages

 Many spam texts you will receive from marketing companies may give you the option to reply “STOP” to stop future texts from that company but this is a bad idea. By replying back this lets companies and individuals know that the number is active and being used by someone meaning that they will continue to send spam texts to you this is a trick used by most spam companies.There are legitimate companies that will stop after you reply so you need to be aware and selective which texts you respond to and which to ignore.

wonga losses

Wonga Doubles Its Losses

Wonga is a name that has been in and out of the headlines since the crackdown on payday loan lenders began. The lender reported pre-tax losses of £80.2m for the year – up from £38.1m the previous year.

Wonga, although not solely operating in the UK, do their majority of business in the UK short term lending market with it making up 95% of their loans.

Continued Revenue Loss For Wonga

The huge drop in their revenue and increase in losses are a shocking change from the huge profits reported before 2015. This is down to the new FCA lending rules introduced in 2015 which has seen their loans fall from 4 million to just 2.1 million.

Wonga was also in the press for sending out fake legal to borrowers and were made to clear debts and charges totalling £220 million.

The new rules saw a daily cap on interest of 0.8% as well as a maximum default fee of £15. As well as this, the maximum repayment on a loan, including fees, could not exceed 100% of the loan amount.

According to Wonga’s reports, revenues from interest fell by over 60%, from £157m to £46m.

Even with the new financial reports, Andy Haste, Wonga’s CEO said he expected 2016 “to mark a turning point in our financial performance”, and said the firm expected to make a profit again next year.

Haste said: “We have made real progress towards creating a sustainable business with an accepted place in financial services.” Since all the bad press, Wonga have relaunched their ad campaign with the absence of the widely recognised puppets which were deemed as targeting younger borrowers.

Haste also went on to say that his new management team had a brand new approach to credit risk; this is backed by the figures, defaults at the firm fell from 6.6% to 2.8% in the UK.

Wonga’s Restructuring Still Not Stemming The Bleed

Earlier this year, the FCA granted Wonga a lending license marking its position as a responsible and accountable lender.

The firm also had a restructure that saw 200 jobs cut and an overhaul of an ‘inefficient’ computer system. The company s adamant that despite its name being dragged through the mud, the name Wonga would remain rather than attempting to “do a brandwash and run away from the past,” said Haste.

The increased losses are a sign of just how much was being made from people in a weak financial position and how much of a difference the new rules have made. Fairer lending is crucial to helping people to get back on their feet so make sure to compare lenders when looking into short term payday loans.

Tv

Parents want loan adverts banned from TV and Radio before 9pm

Payday loan adverts should be banned before 9pm

This week, The Guardian reported that three-quarters of parents want TV and radio adverts for payday loan companies to be banned before the 9pm watershed. The parents argued that the adverts expose young children to the high-cost loans which may trivialise debt to kids at an early age. The survey was carried out by charity known as The Children’s Society and the survey polled 1,065 adults and 680 children aged 13-17. One of the concerns raised by parents was how 34% of children that took part thought that the payday loan adverts shown were tempting and exciting.

The Children’s Society have called for more regulation into payday loan advertising in the similar ways advertising standards have put pressure on advertisements for junk food, alcohol and smoking. Several payday lenders online or store advertise on TV and Radio. One of the issues addressed in the study was how lenders are advertising on channels watched by children including music and popular sitcoms. From a lenders point of view, day-time television may be cheaper to advertise on and there has been the traditional idea that if kids are watching TV that one of their parents might be in the same room or in the background and still able to listen and take in the key points of the advertisement.

Payday Lenders criticised for advertising to children

This news piece is not the first episode (excuse the pun) of payday lenders being criticised for targeting children’s television. Wonga.com have been noted in the past for advertising on TV channels popular with children. The payday loan giant used elderly puppets regularly in their marketing campaigns to portray the idea of ‘smart talking money.’ The three puppets named Earl, Betty and Joyce appeared in all Wonga adverts in the UK and were renamed with more local names in their Polish and South African markets.

The marketing campaign attracted criticism with Martin Lewis suggested that the puppets and cartoon characters were too easily grooming children to high-cost short term loans. Wonga.com and all payday lenders alike are not longer allowed to advertise on children-specific TV channels and furthermore, Wonga has removed the puppet characters from their marketing communications as a means of rebranding their company’s image.

Payday loan TV adverts

Payday loan lenders in the UK have been advertising on the box for years. Some lenders adopt the cartoon approach with some combining a combination and others using real people and real situations. Below are some of the TV adverts from some of the payday loan direct lenders that we list on our website – The Lender List.

 

 

The Lenders List is an online directory to compare payday loans in the UK. We simply list a number of lenders and they must meet our criteria to be listed on our site. For example, all the lenders we list must be direct lenders, carry a valid consumer credit license and be registered to trade in the UK as per the Financial Conduct Authority.

We’re conscious that payday loans can be high-cost due to their interest rates and extended fees if you cannot repay on time. For this reason, we emphasise the importance to compare the different rates of the lenders to find the right loan product for you. In doing so, you may be able to save a significant amount on your loan. We simply list the lenders that we have partnered with – we do not take applications through the site. By selecting one of our lenders, you will simply be taken directly through to their application page where you can apply. There will not be any broker fees involved so even if your application is not successful, you will not be charged anything for simply applying. We select 8 featured lenders a month which we constantly update and choose based on their commitment to responsible lending and high acceptance rates. Like this article, we update our users regularly with developments in the payday loan industry to keep them informed and up to date. We are constantly updating the site and look forward to promoting new lenders and adding new features to the site in the near future.

FCA Permission Granted

FCA Gives Full Permissions To Payday Loan Lenders

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) responsible for monitoring and regulating the high-cost short-term lending industry has granted authorisation to the most competitive and compliant lenders in the UK.

The Office of Fair Trading, known as the OFT was taken over in April 2014 by the Financial Conduct Authority. It was at this point that they began the lending market which appeared to be getting more and more expensive. When the change process began, lenders had to apply for ‘interim permission,’ to trade with the opportunity to apply for ‘full permission’ to continue trading long-term.

Now in April 2016, the FCA has now given full authorisation and permissions to a number of lenders. The selected lenders are those who were able to meet a set of minimum requirements set out by the FCA and have shown a proper understanding of the new lending rules.

“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for us” said the CEO of the company Mr Lender when they were granted full permissions.” CEO, Adam Freeman went on to say that his company prided itself on providing competitive products and endeavoured to provide a service that was responsible, affordable and transparent.

Rebuilding The Reputation of Payday Loans

Payday loans have become increasingly popular as a way of accessing finance for short term need however the industry, which is worth over £2 billion, has been increasingly criticised over the past few years both by the press as well as public leaders and politicians.

It is this negative press that bought the problems in the industry to light and triggered the FCA’s regulatory changes in 2014. The new rules have made payday loans safer by forcing out the ‘bad’ lenders and keeping in the responsible lenders. ‘Bad’ lenders was the name given to companies that charged upfront lending fees, did not carry out strict affordability checks and sold on the information of applicants to other parties.

The impact of the new rules has been drastically clear with a sharp drop in the number of payday loan lender in the market and a 45% drop in the number of complaints according to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

The implementation of the new rules has led to a noticeable change for the better in the payday loan market with responsible lenders having the chance to repair the image of the payday loan service.

The FCA Payday Lending Rules

The FCA rules are strict but very simple. The main changes included a price cap for all payday lenders no matter their size, which was set at 0.8% per day, for every £100 borrowed. As well as this cap, borrowers are now limited to two rollovers per loan and a one-off default fee that is limited to £15.

All companies providing or comparing short-term credit must provide a link to the MoneyAdviceService.org.uk on their website or any other marketing material to ensure borrowers have access to the necessary financial support that they may need to encourage both responsible borrowing and lending.

 

Millions Of Pounds Yet To Be Refunded

Paying The Price For Unfair Lending

Back in October 2015, agreements were made with the financial regulator in the UK to refund customers that had been wrongly lent money. However, according to owners of The Money Shop, Dollar Financial UK, only 25% of the agreed refunds have been paid out to date.

The refunds were largely for people who were given loans that they could not realistically pay back. The remaining 75% of refunds, which come to a total of over £7 million will not be issued and completed until June of this year.

Time For Change

As a result of the issues and negative press surrounding payday lending following the revelations of the regulators, companies such as The Money Shop are making big changes to improve. The Money Shop in particular, which is just a part of a group of US owned companies started by launching a new branch in Derby and making major changes to some of its existing branches across the UK.

They and many other companies have seen the number of payday loans plummet as a result of the new and more rigid payday lending rules set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not surprisingly, it has been a tough time for lenders with The Money Shop closing well over half of its branches in the last 18 months.

Due to a seemingly overnight change to the payday loan lenders policies and rules, they have had to rethink the way they do business. Lenders have had to diversify from focussing on solely short-term, high-interest lending to longer term arrangements as well as other services such as transfers and international money exchange.

A New Era For Payday Loans

Lenders have not fought the changes but instead, many have actively sought to prove they discourage the careless and ill thought out lending of the past. Some companies have overhauled the way they advertise loans as well as how they are managed to try and make a change.

The agreed refunds act as ‘a line in the sand’ according to Dollar Financial Executive Stuart Howard and signal a new way of lending. They aren’t the only company* to be stung by regulation changes; Wonga payday loans wrote off over £200 million in debt affecting 330,000 borrowers whilst Cash Genie were forced to pay £20 million for charging borrowers to transfer them to switch to their own debt collection company.

With the new regulations firmly in place, the lending market is a much fairer and safer place for those in need of a short term payday loan.

Christmas Sees A Hike In UK Household Borrowing

The UK economy seems a far cry from where it was in the financial crisis of 2008 but the debt levels amongst UK households is currently at its highest since then. Household debt is now at an alarming level and it is a concern for financial experts.

Climbing Household Debt

According to the figures from the Bank of England, borrowing rose sharply in November ahead of the holiday season leading to a rise in consumer debt. The total now owed in unsecured credit from consumers is over £178 billion; this figure is without including mortgages. The pre-Christmas November borrowing alone added up to £1.5 billion which is the highest level seen in the UK since the year 2008.

To put the borrowing into perspective, the average monthly borrowing total was just £157 million in the year 2012 which is worlds away from this November’s total. The increase is not totally out of the blue as the average borrowing has been progressively increasing for the past 4 years.

Historic Highs Come With A Warning

This November’s borrowing is up over 8% on last year’s figure and over 9% on the three months previous. The figures have not gone unnoticed and come with a warning from financial experts. The Money Advice Trust said “These figures confirm that we do need to keep a watchful eye on the huge growth in consumer credit we are now seeing.” This statement came from Chief Executive Joanna Elson, who went on to say that the rise in borrowing is not a shock because it is a sign of a recovering economy however, she warned that “such steep rises in borrowing…are a cause for concern.”

Take Control Of Your Borrowing                               

Elson was not saying all borrowing is bad and said that many households could deal with their borrowing from 2015 but many others will struggle which could lead to financial problems in the start of the New Year. With over a third of households funding their holiday with borrowed credit she said “research shows that nearly six million Britons are likely to fall behind on their finances this month speaking about January 2016. The Money Advice Trust runs the National Debtline who offer financial advice and Elson strongly urged that anyone struggling with their finances should contact them or a similar charity run service as soon as possible.

It is advisable to pay off any debts as soon as possible while interest rates are still low as this could change in the near future, increasing the cost of repayments. This is backed by the Chief Economist at HIS Global Insight, Howard Archer, who said that consumers should be aware that interest rates are highly likely to start increasing again this year in gradual increments. He said “It is still very possible that the Bank of England will start to lift interest rates in the first half of 2016, with a rise from 0.50 per cent to 0.75 per cent in May being our favoured option.”

With all this in mind, it seems far more sensible to get a grasp of your finances now rather than putting it off as it could cost you more than you think!