Budget 2018 - Reaction to Chancellor's Statement on Payday Loans: "Time to enforce the rules"
Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement of a feasibility study on interest-free loans to help people escape payday lending, the founder of Consumer Campaign Group Debt Hacker, Alan Campbell, said:
“The Government seems to be finally waking up to the fact that millions of Brits have been sold unaffordable high-cost loans and are trapped in a spiral of debt. But the proposal to conduct a feasibility study on an interest-free loan scheme could be too little too late.
This Government needs to deal with the root of the problem; the credit industry has been getting away with breaking the rules and selling unaffordable loans to vulnerable people for years.
The best way to stamp out these practices once and for all is for Government to firmly enforce the existing affordability rules. While the regulator has been asleep at the wheel, some borrowers have taken matters into their own hands, and their complaints about unaffordable loans helped bring down Wonga.
Now it’s time for more borrowers to be empowered to exercise their rights, and the rest of the payday lenders held to account.
While we welcome the extension of the “breathing space” initiative and the launch of a £2m fund for technology entrepreneurs, these measures alone won’t resolve the nation’s personal debt crisis.
The Government should invest in a public awareness campaign informing consumers that they are already owed money back on the unaffordable loans they were mis-sold, just as the FCA has done with PPI claims.
The credit industry needs to be reformed for good”.
Alan Campbell, founder of Consumer Campaign Group Debt Hacker
About Debt Hacker
There are 8.3 million people in the UK who are dangerously overindebted, for many of them their debts have been perpetuated by unaffordable lending on a massive scale.
Debt Hacker’s objective is simple, for the lending industry to change its ways. If the lending industry only provides affordable loans, as it is obliged to, then those who have been on the sharp end of irresponsible and unaffordable lending will be liberated from one of the key causes of the debt cycle so many endure.
Debt Hacker seeks to do this by putting the power in consumers hands.
If consumers understand what the affordability obligations on lenders are, they will know when they have been exploited.
Armed with this knowledge, they will be able to seek appropriate recourse and get back all their interest and charges. Not only that, the loan would be removed from their credit file giving many borrowers a clean slate.
Understanding that affordability rules have been broken (going back years) will also aid the debt advice industry in helping overindebted people do away with the loans they should never have been sold.
In doing so they will leave the unaffordable lenders no choice. Change their ways or go the way of Wonga. Bust.