Have you been contacted by Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK about a loan you have taken out but not repaid? Are you unable to repay the loans, and not quite sure what to do next? Are you being threatened about potential court action? Do you feel that the loan should never have been offered to you anyway? If you are facing these issues with Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK, this article is designed to help you. You might be able to cancel your loan and even obtain a refund.
It’s not your fault. Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman have risen this year from 830 to 2,006, so it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
Deal with your debt today and feel better tomorrow.
Who are Pounds 2 Pocket Loans?
Pounds 2 Pocket Loans is a company that used to offer short-term unsecured loans to customers in the UK. The company has recently merged with On Stride Financial and is currently under administration with Grant Thornton UK LLP.
Read what to do if you can’t pay back your debt.
Why are loan companies making it too easy for borrowers to get access to funds?
In some cases, it is extremely easy to get access to loans. There are many companies over the internet who are willing to offer cash advances in just minutes, ensure money is in the borrowers account in seconds, and offer loans for those who have an extremely bad credit score. This is, of course, not a responsible way to lend money, and it has led to many issues for borrowers; which is hardly surprising.
If Pounds to Pocket Loans did not follow any of the laws below, then you could claim for a refund!
What leads to debt problems and is the government doing anything to deal with loan sharks
With a combination of irresponsible lending, together with high interest rates, the loan industry started getting out of control. it reached the point that it was peaking £2 billion, before the new regulations were introduced. The issues with the loan industry were down to lenders offering loans to people who couldn’t afford to pay them back, as well as extremely high interest rates, which were making repayments impossible.
The Financial Conduct Authority looked further into the loan industry, and found that there were a high number of unfair practices being undertaken by many lenders, which caused fines to be issued to some of the most well known lending companies. These included Wonga, The Money Shop and Quickquid. The fines were so high in some cases that they ended up being put out of business. The new regulations may have been harsh, but they worked. Consequently, the number of lenders dropped from 240 to 60, and loans also feel from 10 million to 1.8 million.
Are you due a refund? Read through the next section in which we look at these new rules in some detail. If Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK is in breach YOU MAY BE DUE A REFUND EVEN IF YOU HAVE PAID OFF THE LOAN.
Loan interest and other charges – the government caps
The Financial Conduct Authority ended up introduced a price cap, which was designed to try and offer protection for borrowers from facing excessive charges. These include:
- A cost cap of 0.8% per day on the value of the loan you have borrowed – this all includes interest and fees
- A cap on default fees of £15 – interest can still be charged after a default has been issued, but it should not be more than the original rate of 0.8% per day.
- A complete cost cap of 100% – you should not be asked to pay more than100% of the money you have borrowed.
These limits are relevant to credit agreements which have an interest rate of 100% or more each year and that should be fully or substantially repaid within a year.
There were also other regulations put into place in May 2017. According to the new legislation, lenders must have details of their products on a price comparison website, which should be authorised by the FCA. Borrowers must be offered a summary of the total cost of borrowing.
If Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK have been in breach of these regulations and they are advising you that they will charge you more than they should, your credit agreement will become unenforceable and this means they will not be able to force you to repay.
Find your best debt solution (in 1 minute!)
Is all this information starting to feel overwhelming? Don’t panic! I’ve put together a 4 question debt calculator so you can quickly and easily find the best solution for you. If you’re eligible for the new government scheme, you could write off up to 85% of your debt! Answer the four questions now.
It is difficult to believe but there are loan companies who are attempting to operate as a business, when they do not actually have any authorisation to do so. According to the law, only authorised companies are able to make certain credit agreements. This means that if they are not authorised, they will not be able to try and enforce repayments. If you decide not to make payments, they cannot do anything to enforce it.
You can check if Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK is authorised by entering the name of the company on the Interim Permission Consumer Credit Register search page. Alternatively, you may want to search the financial services register here. If you cannot find an up to date entry on either of these registers, you may want to just stop paying them. They will not be able to enforce the payments.
Other signs that Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK are not operating legally include little information on the company website, out of date information on the website or different information on various sources. Non-disclosure of the APR is another sign that the company may not be acting legitimately.
Do you want to complain about Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK?
If you feel that Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK have been in breach of the regulations and they are treating you unfairly, you will be able to make a formal complain, and if they feel to deal with your dispute or they do not deal with it in eight weeks, you will be able to take the complaint further by contacting the Financial Ombudsman.
In order to make the complaint, it is imperative that you collect all your evidence together, and this may include any phone calls you have received, as well as text messages/letters etc. You should write to Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK with the word Complaint at the top of the letter. The more information and evidence you have in relation to the complaint, the greater your chances of success.
If Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK do not offer you a satisfactory conclusion, you may wish to take your complaint to the financial ombudsman. You can reach them by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
If Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK are found to have treated you unfairly, you might be able to claim for to a refund, even if the loan has been completely paid off within six years. If you are eligible to receive a refund, you can also expect to be receive any interest you have paid on the loan, as well as additional charges. You could also receive 8% interest on these payments.
If it is found that the loan was unaffordable, and you should never have received it in the first place, you will be able to insist that it gets removed from your credit record and that the outstanding balance would also be cancelled.
In the first instance, you should write to your lender with an explanation of your case and a request for compensation.
If you do not receive a response within 8 weeks, or you are unhappy with the response, you will be able to follow it up through the Financial Ombudsman by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.
Changes to the Continuous Payment Authority
There have also been some changes to the Continuous Payment Authority. You may not even realise it, but in most cases, loan companies will sign you up to repay the debt using a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA). The CPA is attractive to lenders, as it gives them the opportunity to debit money from your account, at any time they wish, and sometimes without even letting you know. They should always let you know when they plan to debit your bank account, but in many cases, they don’t bother to do this. This means you may end up without any money in your account when you least expect it.
If you are facing issues with paying your most important bills, such as your rent, mortgage or your other bills, and you find that they money has been taken by Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK before your bills have came out, you may end up in serious financial hardship.
There have been some significant changes to the CPA, which have been designed to help protect borrowers. These mean that if the CPA fails twice, the company would not be able to make another request to your bank account.
There are also rules relating to the the amount of money they are permitted to take using a CPA. They are no longer allowed to take a partial payment. If you have less money in your account than the full value of the payment due, they will not be able to take anything at all. There is one way they can do this, and that is if you give them permission to do so. Unless you have given permission, they will not be able to take any part payments.
If they have tried two requests or more, or they have taken a partial payment, without your explicit permission, they will be in breach of regulations. You can report them to the financial ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123.
Can’t afford to pay? Here’s what to do next!
If Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK are operating as a legitimate business, but you are not able to repay the loan, these are some of the ways you can protect yourself, if you have already set up a repayment plan.
If you are paying the debt by CPA, or you have a standing order or direct debit set up, you will be able to contact your bank and request that they cancel these. If you take this action, Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK will not be able to collect payments from your account, and you will be able to keep control of your account. Your bank will probably advise that you speak to Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK prior to doing this or at least afterwards, but you do not need to do this. If you take this action to stop payments, they will be unable to take any further payments, unless you give them permission to do so.
Regardless of doing this, you will still owe them the debt, and you must speak to them about this. If you try to ignore the debt, they will still keep contacting you until you finally make the payment, or at least set up a repayment plan. In the first instance, you should contact Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK and discuss your finances with them and what steps you want to take next. They will have an obligation to treat you fairly, and to help you reach a suitable arrangement to reschedule your repayments.
the law states that lenders must:
- Provide you with information on where you may be able to obtain free independent debt advice
- Stop debt recovery for a period of time, which gives you a chance to develop a repayment plan, which may involve using a debt advisor
- Giving you time to repay the debt, potentially freezing interest and additional charges, where possible.
When you start obtaining debt advice from a debt advice agency, it’s important that you inform Pounds to Pocket Loans of this as well.
They are obligated to give you breathing space while you set up your debt solution. Most creditors give you about 30 days to set up your debt solution which is what Pounds to Pocket Loans would give to you as well.
Depending on how much money you owe the lender and how much money you can spare each month, you will choose a debt solution that works best for you.
This could be an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), a Debt Management Plan (DMP), Bankruptcy, a Debt Relief Order (DRO) or a ‘Full and Final’ Settlement offer.
An IVA, DRO and bankruptcy are all formal debt solutions. This means that when you opt for these solutions, you become ‘formally insolvent’.
Formal debt solutions are great because they are legally binding to both you as well as your creditors. This means that, for example, if an IVA is set up in place, your creditors cannot take legal action against you such as petitioning for your bankruptcy or attempting to get a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against you.
An IVA involves a portion of your debt being written off. Bankruptcy and DRO are debt solutions that involve the entirety of your debt being written off. A Debt Management Plan is an informal debt solution that would involve you paying off the entirety of your debt. A ‘full and final’ settlement offer would involve you making a single lump-sum payment to your creditors.
This payment does not have to be the same amount as the amount; it can be lower. The lender would be willing to accept this payment if they feel that you won’t be able to realistically pay back your debts if you do it in instalments.
Whatever you do – don’t roll the loan over
Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK may advise that you roll the loan over, but you should not do this, as it will end up costing you more. The more you roll the loan over, the greater the interest you will end up being charged and additional charges. This will cause you to end up with more debt issues. You will not be able to roll the lover over more than twice.
Getting debt help
There are some organisations that can provide you with free independent advice on debt. These include:
Are loan companies all bad?
Loan companies have a bad reputation, but it is fair to say that not all are the same. It could be said that many loan companies offer a valuable service by providing credit to people who may be unable to get access to credit elsewhere. The problems arise when the loan companies don’t consider the customers, and put their profits first. There are obviously still sharks around, but the regulations are making it safer to take out loans.
If Pounds 2 Pocket Loans UK are failing to abide by the regulations, you would be able to stop paying them as the debt will become unenforceable. If you are not able to afford to pay the debt, you should contact one of the organisations above, and they will be able to help.
If you can’t pay back your loan do check out my other article here.