Anyone thinking about borrowing some money to help with the cost of Christmas needs to avoid the latest plague of websites that promise easy cash with no checks, following a warning from the Consumer Finance Association (CFA).
According to the CFA, a string of festive themed websites currently appear near the top of the search engine results for payday loans but the sites are far from reputable and potentially risky for borrowers.
With promises of no credit checks, instant cash and cheery messages about how much better your Christmas will be with a payday loan, the sites are all in breach of the industry regulations and the CFA has reported them to the regulator.
Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chief Executive of the Consumer Finance Association which represents some of the best know short-term lenders in the UK but does not represent brokersexplained: “Despite the FCA’s welcome crackdown on non-compliant brokers and misleading financial promotions, a plethora of risky Christmas-themed websites have sprung up to trap unsuspecting borrowers with promises of loans that offer no protection to borrowers.”
He continued: “The sole purpose of these sites is to entice people into applying for credit they may not be able to afford at what is always an expensive time of year. Our advice is simple. If you are going to borrow money to help spread the cost of Christmas then look at all of your credit options. A payday loan may be the right option, but reputable lenders have introduced tighter checks and you will only be able to borrow what you can afford to pay back. Never give your details to a website that you don’t know or trust. Look for an authorisation number and check that it is both genuine and correct on the FCA’s website. Of course, if the website is full of spelling mistakes and bad grammar you should leave well alone.”
The sites that the CFA has reported to the Financial Conduct Authority are:
|Site Name||Address||Areas of concern|
|Christmasloanspoorcredit.co.uk||http://www.christmasloanspoorcredit.co.uk/christmas-payday-loans.html||Trivialises borrowing by stating ‘Make Your Christmas More amusing’.
No APR given
No information about how it works
No information about who the company is, what they do or whether they are legitimate.
|VerrymerryLoans.com||https://www.verymerryloans.com/?no-credit&gclid=CKjzl6nAqsICFQjKtAod4EkAqw||Claims ‘All Credit Histories Welcome. No Credit Check’ which is in breach of FCA regulations.
Claims ‘Fully licenced and regulated by the FCA.’ This is a false claim as neither lenders nor brokers have yet been fully authorised by the FCA.
FCA number given does not appear on consumer credit register
|Christmasloanss.co.uk||http://www.christmasloanss.co.uk/||This site has many typographical and grammatical mistakes e.g. the wealth warning says:
‘…cause you serious money problume’
Nothing about who the company is and whether they are regulated
Same site at https://www.loansbyphones.co.uk/
|Does not make it clear to visitors that this company is a broker and therefore cannot provide loans directly.
Misrepresents FCA interim permission – states that authorised and regulated by the FCA
|Christmaspaydayloansuk.com||http://christmaspaydayloansuk.com/||This site uses poor English and so is not clear for potential borrowers e.g. ‘It is not intended for use in the long term, as well as loans. But what happens when you are a little short on cash. The loan payment in full with your next payday, you worry free. You will have to pay a small service fee only one time when you loan and interest are no longer added on.’
No contact or regulatory information.
No wealth warning
|Fast Christmas loans||http://www.fastchristmasloans.co.uk/||No indication of who is behind the site (lender/broker)
Also claims to lend to everyone and trivialises borrowing:
‘No matter how bad your credit score is, Fast Christmas loans can provide you with a solution. Enjoy the festive season and welcome the New Year with peace of mind.’
|Christmasloanbadcredit.co.uk||http://www.christmasloanbadcredit.co.uk/||Incorrectly states that ‘Finance in the United Kingdom is regulated by the Office of Fair Trading, the (OFT).’
Typographical errors e.g. Main banner says ‘Find your prefectloan’
|Xmaspaydayloan.co.uk||http://www.xmaspaydayloan.co.uk/||Trivialises borrowing: ‘do not let your desires take a backseat due to cash deficit. We can assist you bring home happiness in the form of additional funds.’
No indication of who is behind the site and whether they have interim permission from FCA.