Payday lenders are still making headlines as billions upon billions pile up for these companies. The lenders are spreading across the globe like a phone app, bringing their cheap loans and interest rates to all of the four corners while keeping an eye out for any other nook and cranny where a nice shop front would blend into the scenery. Payday companies have risen to international corporate status and we find them operating in America, Australia, The United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales, and New Zealand. Heck, these days it is as easy as pie to take out a payday loan as you touch down at the Cape Town International Airport, just to make sure you have enough funds to make it to the top of the infamous Table Mountain at the very least. You could probably be clearing that loan online, on your phone, and at the same time you are lifting your bag off the carousel and clearing customs on the ground.
Suitcase – check, passport – check, taxi to the hotel – check, looking good in the new sun glasses – check, crisp new money in the bank, arrived seconds ago – check! That sounds fabulous and it seems like you are going to have a blast but there is one small detail that seems to have been overlooked. Who checked you?
One of the major players in the international Payday industry recently had this question put to them. Were they checking the information submitted by customers seeking loans? Were credit checks being performed? Were applications being considered as to whether it would be prudent to lend money to people who clearly would not be able to pay it back any time soon? Were these loans being given out anyway because it was obvious that they would have to drag out and mount up in interest?
Here is a hypothetical question. I have something that you want. I have a lot of it and a lot of people want it. It is obtainable elsewhere but only a certain kind of person can get it and that person is not you. I say to you I will lend this thing to you, but that if you don’t give it back you will have to give me something in return. Something you have. You tell me you have a cow. You will give me this cow if anything goes wrong. So we shake hands and I give you the thing. You know that you do not have a cow. You know that I will not check to see if you have a cow. Maybe I even know you don’t have a cow. When I find out that you can’t give me my thing back and you don’t have a cow, well then I want to take your chickens.
Who is doing the dirty deal here? The fine line is so faint it isn’t even there. The whole story begs the question, why can’t all of us get our “things” in the reputable institutions? Why has “credit” become a word that makes every banker produce a piece of soap and start scrubbing at your tongue? Who is sitting on the wealth and why? That guy that just landed in Cape Town, that guy is the kind of person that should be applying for a quick cash advance for a crazy weekend, because he knows he will be paying it back. That guy who doesn’t have a cow, well he should be tending to his chickens, eating eggs, planting something and staying away from anything with the word “loan” in it.