Before I get started on my rant I just want to say please don’t ever consider using one of these short-term loan websites like QuickQuid or Wonga.com – not even if you’re desperate! There are other ways of getting cash to bridge the gap between now and payday. Sell your junk in a yard sale, trade what you have for what you need, seriously, some folk are still open to the idea of trading goods and services for what they need.
During the boom years of the 80’s and 90’s we were encouraged to spend as much as we could, to hell the consequences, the future is bright and the streets are paved with gold. Greed is good, right?
Need a 100% mortgage? No worries, take what you like.
Want a massive overdraft? Hey, no worries, you pay it back when you can.
Want to shop in a more convenient way? Sign up for a store card now and get a first time discount, pay the rest back later.
But these days with the credit crunch, global recession, banks being bailed out by taxpayers, we’ve been told to think more before we ask for money we probably can’t pay back. I read recently that store cards are the work of the devil. Well, they may as well be. How many of you have signed up for a store card because you didn’t have the cash on you at the time and there was a nice first time discount?
Be aware: If you fail to repay any of the loan granted to you, or fall behind in payments we reserve the right to screw your life up beyond all measure. We’ll make you suffer, mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. And when you’re homeless and living in a box in an alley, we’ll come and steal your children and sell them to McDonald’s where they’ll be ground up and used as McHumanBurger filling.
Did you read the small print? Does anyone?
And now you’re stuck paying it back, and for every 10 pence you borrow you pay 5 pence back in interest. Gee, what a great way to make money eh! So in these financially uncertain times, with so many in debt and watching what they spend more than ever before, is it any wonder that many of us are a bit skint at times?
The UK Government have a policy when it comes to shady loan sharks. The rozzers seek them out, hit them over the head, throw them in a box for a bit then let them out again. Loan sharks are scum bags. Plain and simple. They are bottom feeders who chew on the last scraps of human dignity and then break your legs if you can’t repay the 5489% loan they gave you on £100 last month. Loan sharks are dirty, thieving dregs of society who rule through intimidation.
For years now UK TV adverts have been bombarded with campaigns designed to appeal to that section of the population I call morons.
Have you been injured and it wasn’t your fault?
Had a trip or fall somewhere in the last 100 years?
“If you’re sat at home in the middle of the day and are nodding like an idiot, give us a call and we’ll rip someone off and give you a cheque for virtually nothing just so you can feel better about yourself. At Injury Lawyers Out For Ourselves Inc we know what it feels like to shit on the big guy!”
Oh just STFU! When I’m walking I tend to keep my eyes open. If I trip on something and hurt my knee it’s my bloody fault for not looking where I was going. I’m not going to blame someone else for not using my SENSES. And I’m certainly not going to sue a company for my own stupidity.
Those sorts of adverts really grind my gears. So imagine how I felt when I started to see these short-term loan adverts pop up on our TV screens. I’m sure they weren’t there a year ago. Maybe but no earlier than 2009.
QuickQuid – take a hike.
I’m watching Scrubs. JD has just said something funny to Turk and I’m smiling away. But then the TV break hurts my eyes with a woman looking at her calendar. She has lots of bills to pay, well 4 by the looks of it. And there’s a huge gap between her bills and her next payday. What is she to do? And then the soothing tones of voice-over man come on:
“You know it doesn’t matter how careful you are with money, sometimes your pay just doesn’t stretch far enough. And that’s where QuickQuid, the online payday helper could help. With their short-term loans you can borrow the money you need now and pay it back on your next pay day.”
Gosh! How convenient. I’m a bit strapped for cash. I just dropped a cup of coffee on my laptop, a luxury item and not necessary in order for me to live, just like the moron in the TV advert. Hey, I’m just like him so that means I should borrow money and get another one right away!
I’m further reassured by the grinning woman typing nothing into her laptop and gazing with idiotic pleasure at the cheesy animation on the screen. I see the application only takes 5 minutes. And there’s quick approval and the money will go into my bank the same day! Wow! This is just what I need.
The stupid woman on TV, sat in her typical summery kitchen that’s supposed to reflect the average UK home, looks at me and asks:
“Too many bills this month? Do what I did. Visit QuickQuid and get the money you need today. It’s so quick and simple. There’s nothing to fax and no extra paperwork to send.”
With one final gloat she leaves the kitchen table with a happy smile. It’s quick and simple? I don’t need to fax anything? Phew, because the last time I saw a fax machine was in 1989. And no paperwork either? Sheesh. That’s a load off my mind because paperwork can be very tricky indeed.
And here we have the same TV advert but with rubber puppets that look like zombie pensioners. It makes my skin crawl when these puppets strut about their office talking about borrowing money with their “sliders” – a reference to the sliding graphics on their website, borrow X amount for X number of days. They make it all look so nice and easy, and warm and friendly, if the old grannies can explain it then hey it must be perfectly fine.
They state the reasons for taking out a short-term loan:
“Uh-oh, the boiler needs fixing, new school term, interview…uh-oh…new shoes. Car needs fixing…”
And then there’s something about “you are the highest bidder” and “no time to reconsider” and “want your holiday to be a bit longer” and some other gibberish as the wrinkled puppets dance on desks, trying to appeal to a young funky audience.
New shoes? Ever heard of a second-hand or charity shop?
Car needs fixing? Use the bus or a bike.
What’s that I see at the bottom of the screen? Typical 2356% APR from QuickQuid and 2689% from Wonga. And you have to pay a fee for the cash transfer too. Woah! That’s a bit scary. It’s very high. I could get a loan from a high street bank for around 6.7% so why should I need this?
Okay, so the APR they state isn’t actually that big a deal when you consider the loans are usually short-term, around 4 weeks, so the repayment on a £100 loan would be £129.50. Hope that’s right! Hmm, that’s not too bad I guess. I can pay it back when I get paid.
But that isn’t the point is it?
If you’re that stuck at the start of the month that you need a loan to get you through to payday then you need to give your financial situation a serious rethink!! And what makes this worse is their lending system.
First time users can typically borrow small amounts: Between £1 and £400.
After you’ve proved you can pay it back you can then borrow up to £1000.
And the reason why they say this is because you’re a moron. You borrow £400. You get paid. Pay off the loan then realise you’re stuck again. So you borrow another £400 and again pay it off again.
After you’ve been stuck in this loop for a while the loan company offer you a bigger loan. Sweet. I can borrow £1000 now and pay stuff off so I don’t owe so much at the end of the month. Oh. Wait. Then I have to pay off £1000. Oh. Um…
There are considerable charges if you don’t repay on time too.
Loan Sharks in disguise.
These companies are preying on you and your financial worries. I visited Wonga.com and it’s all very bright and cheery, easy to use and all that. The sliders are begging to be played with. But only one place does it mention anything about the risks:
“None of these things are worth risking if you have doubts over whether you will be able to repay a loan comfortably. If that’s the case, please don’t apply in the first place. We use award-winning technology and all the public data we can get our hands on to make the best lending decisions possible, but we also urge you to consider the serious nature of the commitment before applying.”
Award winning? Yeah right. Anyone who visits a website like this should have doubts. And therefore should leave immediately.
If you borrow £1 from Wonga for 1 day you will have to repay £6.56! If you’re late paying that back within 24 hours you will be charged £20. And every day for 60 days further attempts to recover this money from your bank account. Which means that for £1 you can end up paying £1,206.56!
So in 60 days, for borrowing £1 you can have serious debt problems!
That’s an extreme example I know but it highlights the seriousness of these sorts of quick fix bullshit solutions.
Think before you click!
So you broke your laptop. Boo hoo. That doesn’t mean you must go into debt to get a new one. Can’t afford 2 weeks holiday? Tough shit. Take 1 week and be grateful. So many of us are accustomed to getting what we want all the time. Think about your money. Do you WANT new shoes or NEED new shoes. I hear people say they “need” something when they really mean “want.”
We all want things but it’s time we stopped pandering to society and think about what we need. You need to get to work. You want to travel by car because it’s convenient. But if you can’t then you need to use public transport. (Okay, perhaps you live where there isn’t public transport.) You don’t need a new laptop. You don’t need a new TV. You don’t need a new breadmaker/cellphone/handbag/dog/car/holiday etc.
You need heat, light, food, water and clothing. You don’t need luxuries.
But it’s fine to buy luxury items, just not every day. People talk about giving themselves a little treat for working hard that week. Really? Shouldn’t you work hard every week? Shouldn’t you do your best anyway? That’s not justification for splashing out on an unnecessary luxury item, and certainly not with the regularity the TV adverts want you to.
Seriously, I know this is a bit of a long rant but these TV adverts really do grind my gears. With so much talk about national debt and global debt you should look at your own debt and how you can reduce it and live within your means. I struggle to live on my income so I’m no different. I rarely buy luxury items. I look after what I have despite living in a throw away, easy come easy go world.
So there it is, rant over.
I’ve got some orange squash in the kitchen.
Oh and apologies dear blog reader, Writing Tips Wednesday will be back next week!
- Legal loan sharks target soldiers battling to survive on low military wages (mirror.co.uk)
- Stop short-term need turning into a long-term crisis (independent.co.uk)