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Jackie Bird: Kids Shouldn’t Learn To Love These Payday Loan Arrangers – Jackie Bird

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Mr. LENDER, Mr. QuickQuid and Mr. Wonga look like happy children’s party hosts instead of three business leaders accused of being legal loan sharks.

The silly names and funny advertisements they use to ply their trade are part of a campaign to be remedied to make their industry more attractive and accessible.

However, their appearance before MPs last week was no laughing matter.

Being asked how many people you’ve ‘really’ hurt can’t be a comfortable experience, but I guess the discomfort is eased when you make millions of pounds in profit.

Payday lenders aren’t new, but what’s different is that the new generation of businesses is presenting borrowing as a normal lifestyle choice, not something that should only be used after careful consideration. .

As always, it was up to consumer guru Martin Lewis to get to the root of the problem when he accused companies of “grooming” the next generation of borrowers and called for a ban on their eye-catching TV commercials tailored to their needs. children.

There are people who say that you should never borrow money – only if you can’t afford
something, you should do without.

I agree with the principle but I fear that such ideals are difficult to live up to. As a child, I vividly remember my mother and I scanning store windows for a small card with a tick on it.

This meant the store was accepting something called the Provy Check. La Provy – or
Foresight – the loan experience meant that you borrow a certain amount, spend it in stores that stamped your card, and pay it back weekly to a collector who came to your house.

That’s how I got everything from my school uniform to most of my Christmas presents.

I remember my mom’s embarrassment when we walked into a store that didn’t accept Provy. The assistant shook her head and we awkwardly ran away.

There was nothing fun about living with money that wasn’t yours. There weren’t any puppets or quirky ads to make the experience cool but, with kids at home and Christmas around the corner, it took a hard heart not to go the ‘take it now and go’ route. think about the consequences later ”.

I don’t want the Provy experience to look pinkish as a method of lending money.

Interest rates were high and the repayment regime was strict. It was a lucrative business and its use was not considered a bit of fun, nor was it described as “living on the Provy” for anything.

In fact, it was used as an insult by other working class children if they found out this was the source of your new dress or shoes.

If, as we are told, children gleefully nag their parents into taking out loans, then something is seriously wrong.

The current controversy over payday loan companies includes calls to ban them. I don’t know if that wouldn’t send their desperate clients into much murkier waters with bigger, hungrier loan sharks.

But I agree with Martin that banning reckless TV commercials would be a start to removing the idea of ​​a loan for laughs and putting it back in the category of last resort.


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