Payday loan shark
Recognition PR Business Team

Member Article

Payday loan danger day campaign success

A hard-hitting Payday Loan Danger Day campaign has reached a substantial proportion of people living in Redcar and Cleveland and driven home the message that cash-strapped households should steer clear of payday loans.

The campaign, led by Coast & Country, a social housing provider in Tees Valley in the North East of England, warned that there are ‘some sharks you can’t see coming’.

Coast & Country, one of the largest regeneration and housing companies in the North East, has taken a stand to counter the large scale advertising of payday loan companies and to publicise other forms of affordable alternatives, including credit unions, and the advice available to help people

The campaign directly connected with 11,500 residents, about ten percent of the local population.

Teams of experts from Coast & Country have been on the streets talking to local people, while advertising vans toured the area to ensure the message hit home!

Text messages were sent to tenants and newsletters and business cards were distributed throughout the Redcar and Cleveland borough.

Coast & Country has pledged that its campaign against payday loans will continue.

Iain Sim, Chief Executive of Coast & Country, said: “We will not rest in our fight to warn people of the dangers of payday loans.

“While our research identified January 24 as one of the peak times for taking out a payday loan, for many hard-up families every day is payday loan danger day as they wrestle in vain to make their income stretch to pay for daily necessities.

“Our teams of money management experts will continue hammering home the message that people should say no to payday loans and that there are affordable alternatives for those struggling to make ends meet.

“As the price of staples such as gas, electricity and food continues to squeeze households on low incomes, payday loans will continue to be a temptation as they strive to pay their bills.

“Some money lending websites charge a staggering 4,000 percent interest and it is far too easy for people to find themselves on a payday loan treadmill.

“Among the damning statistics surrounding payday loans is that one in three is taken out to pay off existing payday loans.

“Our advice is that people should think very carefully before taking on a payday loan as it can lead to them sinking further into debt.

“One of our key on-going missions will be to highlight the warning that “there are ‘some sharks you can’t see coming’ to an even wider audience.”

Research commissioned by Coast & Country highlighted that Payday Loan Danger Day was the date when people struggling to make ends meet are tempted to take out a pay day loan.

It fell on 24th January and was caused by the long gap between December and January wage packets. According to ICM research commissioned for the campaign, more than half a million people in the North East were paid on December 24; ahead of the Christmas holidays but nearly six weeks before the next payday on January 31st.

PAY DAY LOANS VERSUS CREDIT UNIONS:

With some companies, borrowers can choose between one and 30 days to settle a loan.

If someone borrowed £250 from Wonga and gave themselves a 28-day deadline to pay off the loan, they would incur £76.06 in fees and interest. This would take what they owed from £250 to £326.06 and would involve a massive weekly payment of £81.52.

However, there are much more affordable alternatives such as **Community Banks, also known as Credit Unions, where people can access money at reasonable rates.

In sharp contrast to a payday loan, £250 borrowed from a typical Community Bank could be paid back during a year at a cost of £5.30 a week, which is an APR of 19.6 percent.

Coast & Country has drawn up ten top tips on how to get out of debt and manage money:

Don’t ignore debt: make it the first thing that you deal with.
Look at which debts need to be paid off first such as your rent, council tax, gas and electricity.
Don’t ignore letters: make sure you reply to everything you get and make a payment plan to pay back your debt.
Talk to the companies to which you owe money: tell them all your details and how you are going to pay them back.
Make a budget and fill in a financial statement: look at your income and your outgoings, stick to a budget and decide how much of your debt you can afford to pay back.
Save money to make money: look at your spending and how you could save money, save energy, compare gas and electricity and supermarket prices.
Stop borrowing: do not take out any more loans and do not borrow from a payday loan website or a doorstep loan shark to pay off your debts, as they charge much higher rates of interest. If you do need to borrow look at affordable avenues such as Community Bank/credit unions.
Check your benefits: make sure you are getting everything to which you are entitled.
It’s good to talk: make the most of the help and advice out there.
Don’t panic: there is lots of help out there.

Coast & Country tenants can access its money management services by calling 01642 771424 or visiting helpwithmoney.cch-online.org.uk.

Other organisations that can help with money management include:

The Money Advice Service: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Citizens Advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

UK Credit Unions - www.ukcu.co.uk

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Recognition PR Business Team .

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