The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Legal Thieves …
July 8, 2015, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment, Corporate Evil

When I was in the UK, I saw a bunch of ads for loan companies.

The sort of loan companies you go to when you’re desperate.

The sort of loan companies called ‘pay day sharks’.

You know, the ones who can give you a small bridging loan between pay-days but charge you massive interest for the privilege.

Like 200, 300 and even 400%.


The fact these companies exist highlights how tough life is for many in England … but there was one company who, on first impression, seemed to want to separate themselves from scumsuckers like Wonga.

They made a massive deal saying they only loan to ‘level headed individuals’.

They spend time making sure you need the money.

That you can afford to repay the money.

That you talk to someone you trust about it.

Then, at the end of the ad, they reveal their interest rate …

Yes, you are reading that correctly … they are charging ONE THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TWO PERCENT INTEREST.

Borrow £500 and you could see yourself having to pay back $6360.

Borrow £5000 and you could see yourself having to pay back £63,600.


You could buy a house for that.

It’s utterly disgraceful and the fact this is allowed makes me sick.

But of course, allowing these companies to exist means the government can turn a blind eye to the poverty they are helping encourage, especially in certain deprived areas. They can brush their hands of the situation they’ve created and let someone else deal with it. Someone who is going to profit from others despair. Someone who will be hailed as an example of ‘free enterprise’.

But the fact is, there are tens of thousands of people who rely on these loans to survive. Tens of thousands of people who are ensuring their life – and the ones of their children – will forever be kept in an endless cycle of debt which may have a major impact on things like education and work, let alone drug and crime rates.

Sure, the papers are filled with stories of people exploiting government handouts but apart from the fact there are far more people who aren’t … the reality is that I have a degree of sympathy with the exploiters given the way the government structure their benefits is to give you just enough cash to keep you in poverty rather than help you out of it.

I’m not saying that was their intention, but that is definitely the result for many – especially when the place they live is bereft of investment – so even if you managed to find a way to get out of your situation, you’d have no where to go.

The fact these companies are allowed to operate as legitimate businesses is a disgrace.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be companies you can turn to when you have a short-term shortfall.

Hell, I’ve used them in the past and they were very useful and helpful. But to allow them to charge over 1000% interest is criminal which is why these companies should be called for what they are, pedlars of human misery … even if they like to pretend they attract a more ‘level-headed’ type of customer.


27 Comments so far
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In business and government, profits trump how people earned them.

Bastards indeed Rob.

Comment by DH

Believe it or not, the APR used to be above 5000% until the regulators stepped in.

Comment by John

When was it like that John? I can see someone in government proudly announcing how they has slashed the rates loan firms could offer and ignoring the fact that 1272% is still criminal.

Comment by Pete

As recently as last year.

Comment by John

Jesus, that’s horrendous.

Comment by Rob

I would need a loan to pay the weekly payments of their loan. That this percentage rate is legal is disgraceful, especially that the people who use it the most are the ones who can afford it the least.

Comment by Pete

No one can afford those rates. Even Donald Trump. Even Rob. That’s why they are so rich, they feed on the weak and keep picking on them to take everything they can get.

Comment by DH

at least payday can pretend they do something for the money they get.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think the rates hit that % when people default and given few people go in with the intention not to pay, it seems like they are offering a lifeline. Except these payday companies know the realities of people’s situation and trade off their ignorance or misfortune … because appearing to help is a great strategy to ultimately fuck them over. I hate them … though I also acknowledge some people put themselves in this situation by wanting the latest stuff without wanting to save for it. But I still think there’s a huge amount of good people who are in bad situations through lack of opportunity rather than greed.

Comment by Rob

Elizabeth Warren once told citibank that by adding 2 more questions to their credit check evaluation, they could cut customers who default by 80+%. She was told that if they did that, they would cut their profits by a similar amount. I would imagine the figures are even worse with these payday loan firms.

Comment by George

Wonga laid off a third of their staff this year.

Comment by John

I’m sure I read somewhere that the interest charged by these legal companies was more than the loan sharks and they were complaining. Now I think of it, it may have been from the onion.

Comment by Pete

They fooled FIFA so they could easily fool you.

Comment by DH

dave is calling you as fucking thick as a fifa twat. fight fight fight fight fight.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes. I remember that. She said it was one of the scariest conversations she had ever had in business.

Comment by Rob

these payday fuckers are still cheaper than the lifestyle interest rate some divorce lawyer bastard claims is fair alimony.

Comment by andy@cynic

When did you ever use a loan shark?
I thought you were a loan shark.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Yep. But I always paid it back. My parents didn’t like that I had used a loan service but they made sure I understood the obligations and I did. For their sake, let alone mine.

Comment by Rob


Comment by Billy Whizz

Even loan sharks must draw the line at funding birkenstock purchases.

Comment by Bazza

If I remember correctly, it was for a second hand VCR. I know. Tragic eh.

Comment by Rob

I like that you put your money where your mouth on this, renting out your Mum’s house to make sure some folks get to live somewhere decent
I spent a couple of weeks working on a loan shark lender and refused to do it any more, few things shock me, not even Rob’s holiday allowance, not even the crapness of the Apple watch. But this did.

Comment by northern

Hang on, what shocked you … this post, the loan shark or me being nice? And you’re right, the iWatch is crap [sorry Baz, but it’s a bloody iPhone remote control], but there’s something even crapper and it’s this:

Comment by Rob

Not sure what it the most amazing. This piece of overpriced metal or the fact you were daft enough to purchase it.
A fool and his money are easily parted (which is why I’m always penniless)
And it was what I learned working on the loan shark lenders that shocked me, they were trained to target thick and even mentally impaired people and get them to agree to stuff they didn’t understand

Comment by northern


Comment by DH

hey campbell, bazza gave me a sample of the new super invention the apple twats are working on. its called the ipaperclip and its yours for $2000. comes in a shitload of colours and ill sell you the whole fucking lot of them for just 10k. thats what friends are for.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s interesting that this came up because, just last week, I was asked to work on a similar account, and I told our Head of Planning that I wasn’t comfortable helping a business that takes advantage of those that are already down on their luck. How do you feel personal ethics plays a role in a planner’s career, and would you be hesitant about hiring someone that refuses to work on certain accounts? Mind you, I’ve worked on banks for several years now, and some would argue that banks are equally evil, but I felt like this was a different case altogether.

Comment by Amr Sallam

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