Martin Lewis advises borrowers how to reclaim thousands of pounds – but they must act now

So, this is a wake-up call for anyone who may have been mis-sold a payday loan – DON’T WAIT to check if you’re due £100s or 1,000s, or it could be too late…

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Why have Wonga customers received so little?

Wonga customers who were awarded payouts having been mis-sold their loans, are only getting 4.3p per £100 owed.

In other words, due £2,000, get just £86.I and others long campaigned for payday loan regulation, but when it came in 2015, that was far too late.

These vultures had preyed on and profited from the vulnerable with impunity for years. Then when regulation finally came, enabling people to reclaim, some of these international firms declared their UK arms bust, so they weren’t liable, likely leaving some of the founders sitting on cushions of cash powered by usurious profits.

Yet ultimately, legally, UK Wonga doesn’t exist anymore – it’s a dead company. So (oversimplifying a touch) the administrators simply add up its assets and share them among those it owed money to – including those due mis-sold money back.

Ultimately, I suspect the only thing you’ll be able to do now is spit, swear, stamp your feet then get on with life.If you’ve been mis-sold put in a claim urgently.

Many of these firms are going under due to a combination of the regulation cutting profits and them paying the price for mis-selling so many loans. 

If you were mis-sold a payday loan by a firm that is still solvent, you get the full amount back. But if it goes bust, you’re just one of the creditors, and will be lucky to get a few pence per pound.

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How to check you were mis-sold

Payday loan firms should have done a number of checks to ensure the loan was appropriate, if not you were mis-sold. For example…

  • It didn’t examine your finances to ensure you can afford the loan and fees. For instance, you shouldn’t be given a £1,000 loan if you only earn £500/month

  • It wasn’t clear how much it would cost you in total to repay the loan

  • You weren’t given full or accurate information about how and when to pay back your loan

  • It didn’t tell you that a payday loan should not be used for long-term borrowing or if you are in financial difficulty

  • You weren’t told what to do if you have a complaint

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If you were mis-sold then you are due back all the interest, fees, charges and eight percent per year statutory interest on top since you took it out. 

My www.mse.me/reclaimpaydayloan guide has free help and a tool, or just write to the lender yourself explaining why you think you were mis-sold. And if the payday lender rejects you, take your case to the free www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk – over 60 percent of people who have, won.

Payday loan alternatives

There can be short term emergencies where some need to borrow. Always minimise the amount you borrow, ensure you can afford the repayments, and repay as quickly as you can (without killing your finances). 

Here are some options…

  1. Check out a credit union. Find if there’s one for you at www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk. Loan rates are capped at 43 percent rep APR.

  2. Ask family or friends for help. It may be tricky, but it may be worth asking for help, even if it’s just going around for dinner or babysitting children to help save on costs. Plus, often talking about your money problems can be a huge relief.

  3. Check if you’re eligible for a loan from the Government. It’s worth checking www.gov.uk/budgeting-help-benefits – but don’t expect it, there’s stringent criteria.

  4. Get non-profit debt counselling help. Book an appointment with either citizensadvice.org.uk, capuk.org, stepchange.org or nationaldebtline.org. They’re there to help, not judge. The biggest message I get after people go is “I finally slept last night”.

Martin Lewis is the Founder of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip

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