PAYDAY Loans Questions and Answers
Who can make a complaint against a payday lender?
Anyone who was sold an unaffordable loan can make a complaint against a payday lender.
There is no time limit on how long ago the loan was made.
If you could not pay the loan back on time, had to pay your payday lender instead of paying bills, or you had to go without food or essentials to pay the loan, then your loan could have been affordable and you may be able to make a complaint.
It doesn't matter if you have paid off all your loans. Even if you managed to pay them off, they might not have been affordable.
What is a payday loan?
Payday loans are short-term, high interest loans that are usually for a few hundred pounds. They are often due to be paid off when you reach your next payday, or within one month.
There are dozens of payday loan companies, including QuickQuid, Satsuma, Peachy, PiggyBank, Lending Stream and Wonga. Payday loans are often applied for online, from a phone or computer.
How long will my complaint take?
Payday lenders have up to eight weeks to respond to your complaint. In some cases they may reject your complaint or make an offer that is less than the full amount of interest. You can take this offer if you think it is good, but you may be better off refusing.
Will this affect my credit file or credit rating?
Making a complaint will not affect your credit file or your credit rating. In fact, it could be good for your credit rating. If your complaint is successful, then you can get the loan removed from your record if you want.
Who decides whether my complaint is successful?
Once you have submitted your complaint, the lender has eight weeks to respond. If they don’t offer a full refund or one that you are happy with then you can pass the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.
Our payday loan complaints tool allows you to do this simply once your complaint has been submitted and you won’t need to give new information.
The final decision on complaints is made by the Financial Ombudsman.
How much will I get if I make a complaint?
This all depends on your circumstances, how much you borrowed and how much interest you paid. You won’t be able to get a refund on the actual amount loaned, but you will be able to ask for interest, fees and charges you may have paid.
If successful, you may also receive 8% interest on top of interest and charges that are repaid.
The first loans are not always refunded, but if you have had quite a lot of loans, you may be able to receive refunds.
Many people have received hundreds of pounds back after a successful complaint, and it does not cost anything to make a complaint.
Can I make a complaint on a payday loan that I am still paying back?
Yes, you can make a complaint, even if you have not paid a loan back in full. Simply use our payday loans complaints tool to make a complaint to the original lender.
This is the case even if your loan has been passed to a credit agency or debt collector. But you should inform the debt collector of your complaint to the lender in writing. Your complaint is only against the lender, not the debt collection agency, but you can inform them about what you are doing.
If you really cannot afford to pay the loan back then you need to stop paying, cancel any direct debits, inform the lender and let them know why.
It is always best to try to speak to a lender directly if you are having problems repaying a loan, but if you receive a legal letter, a claim form or ‘letter before action’, seek advice from an expert.
See our page on getting out of the payday loan trap for further information, including what you can do if the lender offers to reduce your debts.
What is an unaffordable loan?
This simply means that the loan you were offered was not one you could reasonably be expected to pay back on time.
It may mean that the loan was too high and the payments set too high a rate for you to pay rent and bills while paying back the loan.
The loan may be unaffordable if you already have other payday loans outstanding or had to cut back on food or heating to get by. Even if you managed to pay back the loan in full, it still could be viewed as unaffordable.
If you were given an unaffordable loan then the lender may have breached regulations, meaning you can complain to get back interest and charges.
How do I know if I have been mis-sold a payday loan?
If the lender didn’t make proper background checks or if they gave you any loans without making new checks about the affordability of the loan for you then you may have been mis-sold a payday loan and can complain.
A lender must check that you can afford to pay back the loan.
If the lender made you an unaffordable loan, you might be able to get a refund on interest and charges.
In all these cases, we would encourage you to make a complaint.
My loan was with Wonga. Can I still complain?
Wonga is now in administration and there is a chance that anyone making complaints will not be paid in full. But it is still worthwhile making a complaint using our tool. Especially as you can get the dodgy loan removed from your credit file.
Making a complaint is easy to do and you will become an unsecured creditor if the complaint is upheld.
You can read more about this on Wonga’s own site.
I have been declared bankrupt, should I still make a complaint?
Do not make a complaint if you are bankrupt now or have been in the past. Regardless of your bankruptcy status, any money you get back will go straight to the official receiver or trustee.
I’m in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), should I make a complaint?
Do not make a complaint if you are currently in an IVA, as any money you get back will go straight to the IVA company.
I have a Debt Relief Order (DRO), should I make a complaint?
Do not make a complaint if you have a DRO, as any refund you get may mean that the DRO is cancelled.
A payday lender has offered some money, what should I do?
Sometimes, payday lenders will make you an offer after you have made your complaint. In most cases this will not be the full cost of the interest on your loans and any charges you may have paid.
Whether you take this or not is up to you. You may feel that an offer of most of this money may be enough and will save you time dealing with the Financial Ombudsman.
But, if the lender is making an offer, it is a clear sign that they think that the loan has been mis-sold to you. This means that the Financial Ombudsman is likely to rule in your favour. Turning down the offer and continuing with the complaint is often the only way to get 100% of what you may be owed. If you take an early offer then you may miss out.
I ran up payday loans due to my gambling habit, can I still make a complaint against the lender?
If any loans were unaffordable for you then you can make a complaint against the lender. Spending the loans on gambling will not invalidate your complaint and may in fact help with it. Tell the lender if you took out multiple loans that you could not afford in order to gamble, or if you were borrowing to gamble in an attempt to pay off loans. You should detail any gambling addiction in your complaint and explain how it affected your income and ability to pay bills or buy food.
Can’t see an answer to your question here?
Contact us if you think there is something we need to add to our pay day loan questions and answers.
Don’t be tempted to use a claims management company. Our tool is free and simple to use, guiding you through the whole process of making a complaint and we don’t make any money from it.
Claims management companies can be costly and are more interested in getting paid than helping you. They will not help you to fix your credit record. The Debt Hacker complaints tool will do that.