Loan shark victim 'appalled' Lewisham has most payday shops to people in UK

News Shopper: Lewisham councillor Cllr Mike Harris is 'appalled' the borough has highest ratio of payday shops to residents in the UK Lewisham councillor Cllr Mike Harris is 'appalled' the borough has highest ratio of payday shops to residents in the UK

A former Lewisham loan shark victim is "appalled" that the borough has the highest ratio of payday shops to residents in the whole of the UK.

The borough ranked worst nationally with 7.6 quick-cash stores for every 100,000 residents, according to new figures released by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

It is the first time stores run by the biggest high street suppliers of short-term credit have been mapped and the findings linked deprived areas with higher numbers of lending shops.

Labour Councillor for Lewisham Central ward Councillor Mike Harris, who was himself a victim of spiralling payday loan costs, has voiced concern over the clustering of shops in Lewisham.

Cllr Harris said: "I am absolutely appalled that Lewisham has become the target for payday loan firms.

"Lewisham Council called on the government to give us the powers to say ‘no’ to anymore shops and the government has refused to give us those powers so our hands are tied.

"At the moment we are in a straight jacket."

He says many residents have contacted him with fears about the number of shops in the area with some stuck in a "cycle of debt" and forced to take in lodgers to get extra cash.

He went on to say firms also targeted estates where people had been hit by benefit cuts to flyer them about high interest loans.

Cllr Harris, who needed quick cash years ago, took out a loan for just £80 and was hounded with messages from the firm and had to repay £100 the following week.

He said: "They would bombard me with text messages and aggressive emails to make me take out more.

"I was lucky but a lot of people can’t get out of the cycle of debt.

"The real reason that Lewisham is at the top of the list is because of the impact of benefit cuts.

"It has disproportionately impacted on inner London boroughs and Lewisham has been really hit with around one in 10 families affected."

He urged families needing a short-term loan to go to their local credit union where interest rates are much lower than payday loan firms.

Comments (2)

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8:52pm Mon 17 Mar 14

richy0 says...

The real pressure on the government to regulate pay-day-loan companies will be coming from the banks. The same banks of course who own the credit card companies who, before the rise of pay-day-loan companies, were the "pay-day-loan" companies of the time. Did credit card companies ever carry out any of the meaningful checks on a persons ability to repay a loan - No. Did credit card companies rack up costs with add-ons for late payment or exceeding limits - Absolutely. Did credit card companies use un-ethical methods to pressurise people (and their families) who found themselves unable to repay - Yes. Now of course there are many alternatives to the monopoly that the banks have enjoyed and, guess what, they don't like it.
http://speedyloansea
rch.com/
The real pressure on the government to regulate pay-day-loan companies will be coming from the banks. The same banks of course who own the credit card companies who, before the rise of pay-day-loan companies, were the "pay-day-loan" companies of the time. Did credit card companies ever carry out any of the meaningful checks on a persons ability to repay a loan - No. Did credit card companies rack up costs with add-ons for late payment or exceeding limits - Absolutely. Did credit card companies use un-ethical methods to pressurise people (and their families) who found themselves unable to repay - Yes. Now of course there are many alternatives to the monopoly that the banks have enjoyed and, guess what, they don't like it. http://speedyloansea rch.com/ richy0
  • Score: 2

5:30pm Tue 18 Mar 14

goldenbroomboy says...

£100 payment for an £80 loan is 20% interest, which is not that bad. Payday loans are fine provided you use them like a Charge Card & most importantly pay them back on your next payday. Yes you will be encouraged to pay them back over a longer period but you need to grit your teeth, pull in your horns & get shot of them as soon as possible.
£100 payment for an £80 loan is 20% interest, which is not that bad. Payday loans are fine provided you use them like a Charge Card & most importantly pay them back on your next payday. Yes you will be encouraged to pay them back over a longer period but you need to grit your teeth, pull in your horns & get shot of them as soon as possible. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 1

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