Lots of stuff about payday loans in the media just recently. I’ve mentioned on my Twitter feed that the subject was featured in “Broadcasting House”, one of my very favourite programmes on BBC Radio 4, yesterday morning.

I thought that in several ways the programme presented a balanced view. Rather than simply saying “these loans are terrible and should be banned because of their outrageously high interest rates”, at least one interviewee said that the amount paid (and it’s generally small, as it’s generally on smallish loans) could well be less than what the bank would charge you for going into (unauthorized) overdraft.

A fair point and another reason why people would be tempted. I’d previously said in my last post (at the back end of last week) that these kinds of loans could be considered in emergency, provided you also put a plan in place which ensures that you repaid the loan at the next payday .

High interest charge … or a bank charge? Maybe both

However, there is a comprehensive article on this by Matthew Wall in ‘Moneywise’ magazine (November 2010). The article points out something else, which adds a further danger to what’s already known about these kinds of loans.

He says: “Lenders usually take your debit card details as part of the application process so they can take out the full repayment come payday. They’ll do this whether you have the money in your account or not, potentially pushing you into overdraft and triggering bank charges if you don’t.

In this situation it’s a double whammy; you’ve paid the payday loan company’s interest rate (which is well known to be very high) but then you are stung with the bank charge anyway.

Matthew Wall goes on:

If you can’t repay the full amount you can ask to defer the loan, but they’ll usually insist you at least pay the borrowing charges.

There may also be a deferral fee or a charge incurred for arranging the new loan. So it’s not hard to see how cash-strapped borrowers can quickly become submerged in debt.”

Want to know more?

1. To see the whole of Matthew Wall’s article, go to:

2. My book “Back to the Black: how to become debt-free and stay that way” is available on the Smashwords site. To sample (first 20% free) or to buy at only $3.99, go to