Mike interviewed by BBC South East on ‘payday’ loans

Yesterday Sarah Smith of BBC South East interviewed me on the disappointing news that a pawnbroker in Chatham was using a Christmas themed advertisement to offer loans of up to £50,000. Christmas is a stressful time of the year, with pressure and expectation, and many will feel tempted to access credit of this nature to ease the burden. Eventually these expensive loans need to be repaid and can place borrowers under more pressure then before.

The advert in question lacked detail on what the loans APR would be and as the Portfolio Holder with responsibility for trading standards in Medway I immediately instructed council officers to look into whether this advert was legal. Although pawn broking and payday lending aren’t illegal we can make sure that their adverts are.

Fair access to credit is a problem in Medway, which is why the Council commissioned a task group to examine what can be done (you can view the report here: http://www.medway.gov.uk/pdf/Fair%20Access%20to%20Credit.pdf).

For those who want free, confidential, impartial and independent advice on debt Medway Citizens Advice Bureau will be happy to help (http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/bureau_detail.html?serialnumber=100807)

Photo shows me with BBC South East report Sarah Smith

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