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12 June 2009

I'm not going to insult your intelligence by pointing out the long list of "cons" of short-term loans - they have massive interest rates normally, are horrendously expensive on the whole and if you're so in need of extra credit, what about getting a 0% on purchases credit card or quickly clicking through to Zopa?
Well if you've already exhausted those options, a new(ish) player is doing the rounds. has just taken on a rather large cash injection of its own from venture capitalists so that it can make its business model even more efficient. Presumably this is because they expect it to grow...

Anyway, billing itself as a responsible lender, offers very short term loans up to £750. As previously mentioned, you're looking at interest rates (or APR) of 2,689%. That amounts to a few quid in real terms and if you think you can get credit at short notice for a short term and not pay for it, then think again. are completely up-front about all of this and explain what their fees are, why the APR is so high and stress many, many times that they want to be responsible lenders.

Here's an example: borrow £135 for 15 days and you'll end up paying £161.29. If you don't pay it back in time, the usual procedures apply: you'll incur fees and the debt collection boys (or girls) will be round. The site advises not taking on a loan unless you know you're going to be able to pay it back on time and in full. Wonga is for people who know what they're doing financially but might find themselves with a cash flow crisis. The first time you use the service, you can only borrow up to £200 but each time you use the service and pay back your loan, your "trust" rating goes up. The maximum you can borrow is £750 but at such high interest rates that's just as well.

Although has a consumer credit licence from the OFT, it's not regulated by the financial services authority. If something goes badly wrong, it can have its operating licence revoked by the OFT but there isn't the protection for consumers that regulation by the FSA offers. Perhaps it'll come under the FSA's umbrella in time - til then, your best options if you have to borrow cheaply are aforementioned credit cards. Or try your local credit union.


  • gravy
    Am I the only one finds this advert a bit distasteful? If you've exhausted other options then you are seen not to be a great credit risk. If that's true taking on a loan at these rates is not a good idea. While it's *supposed* to be for the short term what happens when you unexpectedly lose your job, or have some very urgent need for the money you'll be using to pay back? The whole low amount to start with, with more later......rather than trust that seems to me more like they give small loans which people may be able to pay back.....sucking them in....making them use to the idea..building up to bigger hits. So after credit card and zopa this is it is it? Shouldn't you be publicising credit unions ahead of this payday loan scum?
  • Francis R.
    If you take a loan out from these peepes you're a WANGA!
  • mutui
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