Dad Upset About Payday Loan Company Compensation

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A father racked up thousands of pounds in debt to a payday loan company which he says “took advantage of people’s misery”.

George Lea, 76, and his wife Linda, 71, of Tuebrook, took out a series of loans from Provident Lender over the years to help pay for grocery, Christmas and birthday purchases. George said the loans were a “quick fix” at the time, but with sky-high interest rates they soon spiraled into debt.

Provident, was part of a company called PFG, which previously provided short-term, secured, home loans with interest rates of up to 1,557.7% APR, but after being hit hard by false-selling claims, the company closed for good. on December 31 of last year. .

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George and Linda are among Provident clients recently offered compensation for loans the company improperly sold them, but for only less than 10% of what they are owed. It comes after a court ruling in August last year, which gave the gateway lender permission to limit compensation payments for missold loans to just 4p to 6p for every pound sterling owed for fees and interest that they were charged.

In the case of George and Linda, this means they have been offered compensation of up to £4.50, a figure that George says would not even cover the cost of buying each of his seven grandchildren a bar of chocolate. .

George told ECHO: “They played on people’s misery. Even if you just needed to do the shopping for that week, it was that bad, we were broke.”

“It was Christmas most of the time or maybe a birthday, we couldn’t afford it, so we got a quick fix that helped at the time, it worked, but when it came to paying for it every week and you’re still struggling.” “

George said that every week an agent from Provident would come to their home in Tuebrook to collect the money they owed, and each time they would ask if the couple wanted to take out another loan. He said: “[The agents said] ‘Listen, if you can’t afford this, why don’t you get another one? Pay it off and you’ll have a few pounds to spend.

“When you’re depressed and when you’re homeless, you do things like this, you’re desperate. We always fell for that. If you get a loan, you have to pay it back. These were desperate times and they knew that.

“If you borrow £200 straight away, they go up to £400. It kept going up and at the end I said ‘we have to end this’.”

After paying all the interest they owed on the loans and refusing to borrow any more money, George said they didn’t expect to hear from Provident again until they received a letter about compensation.

He said: “They contacted us, they sent us a letter saying they would receive compensation and they [had] to turn off. We thought ‘we’re going to get a few pennies because we gave them a lot of interest and that’s what they offered us: £3-£4.50.

“It was a shame. I couldn’t even buy a candy bar for my grandkids, I told the guy ‘keep it’.”

George and Linda are in the process of appealing the amount of compensation they have been offered and it is now being reviewed by an independent adjudicator. To be eligible for a refund, you must have taken out a loan that was unaffordable between April 2007 and December 17, 2020 from Provident or its sub-brands Satsuma, Glo and Greenwood.

Provident closed its claims portal in February 2022. This was for customers who believe they were improperly sold a loan prior to December 18, 2020. People who believe they were improperly sold a loan on December 18 2020 or later, you can still submit a complaint to Provident through its Complaint Helpline or through a complaint form on its website.

The ECHO has approached Provident for comment.

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