Christmas cash websites should ring alarm bells, not jingle bells, for online borrowers

A new wave of risky websites that promise easy cash with no checks has appeared posing a risk to anyone thinking about borrowing some money to help with the cost of Christmas.

The Consumer Finance Association (CFA) is warning that a string of festive themed websites has once again appeared near the top of the search engine results for Christmas loans. But it says 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 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 known short-term lenders in the UK but does not represent brokersexplained: “We warned about borrowers about these sites last December and thankfully most of those we reported were taken down and are no longer available. But the problem has not gone away and a new wave of risky Christmas-themed websites has appeared this year.”

He continued: “These dodgy sites offer no protection to borrowers, but they can be enticing to unsuspecting borrowers, particularly those with poor credit histories who are tempted to take loans that they may not be able to afford.

“Reputable lenders run rigorous checks and have capped prices so that you will only be able to borrow what you can afford to pay back. Never give your details on a website that you don’t know or trust. Avoid any website that is full of spelling mistakes and bad grammar. Look for an FCA authorisation number and check that it is a genuine lender on the FCA’s website.”

The CFA offered the following advice to anyone considering a loan:

“Christmas is expensive and the long gap through to the January payday after a pre-Christmas pay packet in December is a real stretch for many households. 1 in 5 people say January is one of the most stressful months of the year with regards to money and a third say that they cannot be certain that they will be able to cover their bills*. So many people will use some form of credit to cover at part of the cost of their festivities.

“If you are going to borrow money to help spread the cost of Christmas then it is important to be realistic about what you can afford to spend, only borrow what you need and then stick to your budget.”

The sites that the CFA has reported to the Financial Conduct Authority are:

http://www.christmasloanbadcredit.co.uk/
http://mistletoeloans.co.uk/
http://affordablepaydayloan.co.uk/ChristmasLoans.html
http://www.loanpoint.uk/christmas-loans/
http://www.gethristmasloans.co.uk/
http://www.fastchristmasloans.co.uk/
http://www.needxmasloans.co.uk/
http://www.online12monthloans.co.uk/services/christmas-loans.html
http://www.getchristmasloans.co.uk/
http://www.christmasloansnow.co.uk/xmas-loans-unemployed.html
http://www.5minuteloans.co.uk/christmas_loans.html
http://www.easy3monthloansuk.co.uk/christmas-loans.html
http://www.ask412monthloans.co.uk/christmas-loans.html
http://justjinglecash.co.uk/tag/xmas-payday-com/
http://xmas-payday.com/
http://www.12monthloansbadcreditnoguarantor.co.uk/online-christmas-payday-loans.html

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For more information, or for interviews with the CFA, please contact Richard Griffiths at richard.griffiths@cfa-uk.co.uk or on 07875 653959

Editor notes

*Source: In November 2013, Censuswide surveyed 2,052 UK adults on behalf of the Consumer Finance Association. The respondents were randomly sampled from Censuswide’s panel of over 69,000 UK members who are are fully representative of the UK population. The survey was conducted online in accordance with Market Research Society guidelines. Full details at: http://www.cfa-uk.co.uk/media-centre/press-releases/press-releases-2014/the-january-squeeze-hits-a-third-of-the-uk-says-new-poll.html

About the Consumer Finance Association

  1. The CFA is the principal trade association representing the interests of some of the best known short-term lending businesses operating in the UK. Members include Lending Stream, Mr Lender, The Money Shop, Quick Quid, SpeedyCash, Payday Express, Payday UK, Peachy, Sunny and WageDayAdvance.
  2. The CFA paved the way for the FCA’s statutory regulation by driving industry improvements and best practice through the implementation of an industry-wide Good Practice Customer Charter and the CFA’s own Code of Practice in 2012.
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