finance

Provident confirms it will axe door step lending putting 2,000 jobs at risk


Provident Financial has confirmed it is dumping its doorstep lending business, putting around 2,100 jobs at risk.

Doorstep lending is where providers give out loans, usually with high rates of interest added on, and then call at your home to collect the repayments. 

Provident is set to axe its doorstep loans business

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Provident is set to axe its doorstep loans businessCredit: Alamy

Provident Financial offers these types of loans, ranging from a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £1,000.

But the high-cost credit firm revealed in its latest financial results today that it is dumping this offering.

Chief executive Malcolm Le May said that the company would “no longer offer any ‘high-cost’ products” or any more doorstep loans.

This includes Provident’s online lending business, Satsuma – which offers payday loans.

Around 311,000 customers have taken out high-cost loans with Provident.

Provident expects that these customers should have paid off their loans by the end of the year.

The company will then sell on any debts which haven’t been paid off onto another company.

This means if you haven’t paid off your debt with Provident by the end of the year, it won’t vanish – you’ll just have to pay someone else back.

However, it’s a good idea to pay off your debts in time, otherwise your credit score may be hit.

The company said it expects its doorstep lending business be closed completely by the end of the year – and it will cost up to £100million.

Mr Le May said the company would focus on its unsecured personal loans offering instead.

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An unsecured loan is a sum of cash that’s borrowed without having to offer up any assets as collateral.

It’s the opposite to a loan such as a mortgage, which is secured against your property.

The firm will still run its credit card business, Vanquis Bank, and its car finance arm, Moneybarn, which last year had to pay out £30million in compensation to 6,000 customers who took out loans they couldn’t afford.

How to cut the cost of your debt

IF you’re in large amounts of debt it can be really worrying. Here are some tips from Citizens Advice on how you can take action.

Check your bank balance on a regular basis – knowing your spending patterns is the first step to managing your money

Work out your budget – by writing down your income and taking away your essential bills such as food and transport
If you have money left over, plan in advance what else you’ll spend or save. If you don’t, look at ways to cut your costs

Pay off more than the minimum – If you’ve got credit card debts aim to pay off more than the minimum amount on your credit card each month to bring down your bill quicker

Pay your most expensive credit card sooner – If you have more than one credit card and can’t pay them off in full each month, prioritise the most expensive card (the one with the highest interest rate)

Prioritise your debts – If you’ve got several debts and you can’t afford to pay them all it’s important to prioritise them

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Your rent, mortgage, council tax and energy bills should be paid first because the consequences can be more serious if you don’t pay

Get advice – If you’re struggling to pay your debts month after month it’s important you get advice as soon as possible, before they build up even further

Groups like Citizens Advice and National Debtline can help you prioritise and negotiate with your creditors to offer you more affordable repayment plans

The news comes as companies including Provident have been feeling the heat over doorstep lending since 2018.

The City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), introduced tougher rules on issuing doorstep loans three years ago.

These rules included providing customers with comparative costs of taking out another loan on top of an existing one, so they can see the total cost upfront.

The crackdown marked a huge victory for The Sun’s Stop The Credit Rip-Off campaign, launched to help the millions of Brits who fall prey to high-cost loan providers.

The Sun spoke to families who spent years paying back these loans along with sky-high interest rates.

The FCA also warned later that year that providers may have to cough up compensation for millions of Brits who were offered unaffordable loans.

The warning came as complaints about these loans reached a record high in 2018.

But earlier this year, it was revealed that Provident wants to limit the amount of compensation borrowers can claim over mis-sold loans.

It said it was planning to create a £50million pot of money to make payouts to those found to have been irresponsibly lent to.

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But this was less than the compensation claims are actually worth.

If you’re struggling to pay off your debt, it’s worth getting help from organisations like Citizens Advice and National Debtline.

They can help you prioritise and negotiate with your creditors to offer you more affordable repayment plans.

Millions of Brits in loans and credit card debt can apply for a two-month ‘breathing space’ from next week.

A quarter of young people using Buy Now Pay Later can’t afford food, rent or bills, Citizens Advice says.

Meanwhile, here’s how to get help with mortgage costs as 700,000 struggle with repayments.

Consumer Crew: How to fix your finances and get out of debt





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