Cash-strapped lotharios wanting to impress their loved ones this Valentine’s Day are being targeted by a payday lending broker – offering loans with 1,737 per cent interest.
The website – Cash Lady – which provides quotes to customers for payday loans, sent out an email offering loans of up to £300 to help ‘make this Valentine’s Day one to remember’.
Anyone borrowing that £300 for 31 days would expect to pay £75 in interest, adding up to a total repayable amount of £375. Fail to pay it back in that time though and the rapidly rolling up debt at that high rate of interest certainly will make this Valentine’s Day memorable.
Cash Lady is a payday loan broking website, which means that it directs customers to payday lenders, taking a commission payment. It quotes an interest rate of 1,737 per cent on it website.
Yesterday, This is Money highlighted another broker trying to tug at the heart strings – punting its high interest loans to owners of poorly pets who needed to pay vets’ bills.
Payday loans are designed to tide consumers over until their next wage instalment – but experts warn that they are ‘cynically’ targeted towards financially vulnerable groups of people.
Una Farrell, of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS), said: ‘Payday lenders never fail to surprise me with the ways they seek to entice people into taking out incredibly expensive loans.
‘This advert seems to want people to fall into a debt hole as they fall in love.
‘There is nothing romantic about high cost credit, and nobody would want their other half to rack up this expensive credit in order to buy a Valentine’s present.’
While Labour MP Stella Creasy, who is campaigning for the government to introduce a total cost cap on short term loans, says this is just another example of the emotional blackmail used by firms.
She said: ‘It’s just another example of the relentless pressure from payday lenders on customers to borrow from them – it’s basically another form of emotional blackmail. Whether it’s pet owners, military families or women who want new shoes, these firms are exploiting people’s personal interests for financial gain.’
The Cash Lady website is owned by PDB UK and its brands include SameDayPayDayLoans, KwikPayday and PaydayDirect.
A spokesman from PDB UK said: ‘We’re a broker, not a payday lender. Payday loans are a short term financial product, and Valentine’s Day is one day a year that can account for extra financial expenditure.
‘If people haven’t budgeted in advance, or want to spend a little more on Valentine’s Day, we think this can be an appropriate use of payday loans.’
‘We recognise our own responsibilities and have been making responsible lending more of a focus for us and on our website.
‘We categorically do not target the unemployed or those on benefits, and we always strongly advise that you don’t take a payday loan if you can’t afford one.
‘We also abide by the regulations set down by the Consumer Credit Act and associated legislation.’
Last month a number of loan firms came under fire for offering unsecured loans to fund plastic surgery.
While another lender Wonga was forced to remove marketing copy from its website which offered short term loans with interest of 4,000 per cent as an alternative to student loans.