SINN Féin Glens councillor Noreen McAllister has urged the public to be cautious of money lenders offering ‘Pay Day Loans’.
Councillor McAllister says: “There had been a marked increase in this type of service in the Glens area which has resulted in constituents being charged large amounts of interest when it comes to paying back the loan.”
Speaking on the issue councillor McAllister said “I have spoken to a number of constituents who have used such companies and some are paying back extortionate amounts of interest on the money sought from the lenders, On many occasions this leaves the person worse off than before they sought the loan. These people are telling me that they were using this money to buy Home heating Oil or paying a bill that they weren’t expecting.
“When these companies advertise loans to make ends meat until the next ‘Pay Day’ most of them are waiting on their next benefit cheque, I find this to be a form of exploitation of some of the most vulnerable in our community.
“Having looked at some of these companies myself I was astonished to find that the interest rates stand at over 200% for a number of companies. This is a terrible indictment and it is nothing short of loan sharking.
“These companies are simply taking advantage of the harsh economic situation and I urge the members of the public to be cautious with these organisations and if they are thinking about using them do so as an ultimate last resort.
“Furthermore they should read the small print and make sure they are aware of the consequences should they realise they are not able to meet the payment,” said the councillor.