Thursday 7 March 2013

Payday Loan Arranger

I'm all for looking after the weak and helpless. I'm not so sure I want to provide the same supporting shoulder for the stupid and feckless; to those who have brought misfortune on themselves. Payday loan companies are in the news again and The Guardian is reporting "widespread irresponsible" lending behaviour. Of course there is, largely caused by elements of widespread stupidity. 

And hot on the heels of the actual news story we get the inevitable tacked-on sound-bites from the wounded survivors of the loan companies’ rapacious attacks on their inability to grasp that nobody lends money commercially for any other reason than profit. And if I'm brutally frank they all sound a bit whiny, a bit ‘victim’ and – let’s not be coy – a bit dim. 

Who are these hapless borrowers and why do they need protecting? Oh yes, it’s the same old suspects beloved of every political party wanting to put on a caring face. Well, ever heard the expression ‘you have to be cruel to be kind’? The alternative to legal extortionate lending is illegal extortionate lending and unlike the loan sharks, at least Wonga might not break your legs. 

Why would anybody take a payday loan? They are short-term bridging loans and they do have a place for those times when, say, an emergency finds you with too much month left at the end of your money. On such blue-moon-rare occasions they are a godsend for some. But they are a desperately unwise source of funding for a sure thing at the three-thirty at Kempton or to satisfy a craving for a tattoo... or to pay off another loan. There is a heavenly host of voices throughout the land advising the avoidance of any such undertaking and the fact that others have judged you un-credit-worthy should be a big clue. 

Obviously, in the view of Stella Creasy, it is down to the government to wade in and help out ‘the most vulnerable in society’ as if it hasn’t been the activities of interfering governments – principally her party – that resulted in so many being so stupid, naive or reckless as to be tempted by such usury. There has been a progressive deterioration in education, self-control, self-respect and concern for others, coupled with a rise in welfare dependency and entitlement mentality, etc, the inevitable outcome of which is aberrations like Heather Frost. Yes, it is all her fault; why not? 

Pointing the blame finger is easy, but when will we wake up and accept that some humans are just lesser examples of the species than others? Yes, we can all fall on hard times but given that most payday borrowers probably watch more television in an afternoon than some of us manage in a month they ought to be wise to what happens to those who don’t repay. Even with all the warnings of concrete boots or an opportunity in construction - propping up a flyover for eternity – not to mention a wealth of personal experience, some people are just too stupid to listen and too impatient to wait. 

Welcome to the inevitable cost of Socialism’s profligate ‘caring’ policies – Wonganomics – the more you avoid hard decisions in favour of misguided aid the more you entrench the levels of dependency. Maybe it’s time to let people learn from their mistakes, rather than teach them the state will always be there. The time is fast approaching when it just won’t be. 

Money talks. For most of us, all it has ever said is “Goodbye!”


  1. Bridging loans. Clue: it's a bridge between two, supposedly secure places. Not between shifting quicksand and the wide blue yonder and limitless horizon.

    But how else can we pay for all we need to get by? There's a new 'puter game out where zombies mash vampires and you gotta have 'cos afternoon telly is just crap, and hey there's a new flavour pizza crust I have to try from the takeway and me and the lads need to drink lots of fizzy lager while we have belching contests and look at the pictures in Toss Off Monthly but wait, our little lass is wailing 'cos she hasn't got gold stud earrings or painted toenails and the boy wants the latest high-tec trainers and how else can i get a tattoo on my face that says 'pay me more bennies or watch out'?

    Simples, huh?

  2. I agree - the problem is that poor people are poor. The approach of campaigners like Dr Creasy is to go at one of the symptoms of being poor. That of the last government to go after those symptoms in a scattergun way by giving poorer people more money in benefits.

    However, the only cure is to go for the basic causes and fix the economy. That medicine is yuckily unpalatable in the short to medium term and not improved by being taken in small doses over a long period (that just means more days of a bad taste in the mouth). The last heyday of high cost credit was during the early 90s recession. The industry took a bath once the recovery was under way. The oddity is that then, during the post-2000 boom, their fortunes improved.