A few years ago, payday loans started to get a bad reputation.
Sure, they gave you some extra money to tide you over when you were dealing with an emergency, but the interest rates were so high that many people struggled to pay back what they had borrowed. Instead of finding a quick fix to their problems, many lenders found themselves in a cycle of spiralling debt and missed repayments.
If you think that you were a victim of a loan that was simply unaffordable, then you may be in luck. The Financial Ombudsman Service recently revealed that it’s possible for some people to claim a refund for their payday loan, based on the issue of undue treatment.
So, how do you get your payday loan refund? That’s precisely what we’re going to cover today.
We’re going to talk you through all the different ways that you can request your refund and get the money that you deserve back from many of the Highstreet’s biggest lenders.
Which Companies Offer Payday Loan Refunds?
As the number of people complaining about unfair payday loan treatment has continued to rise in recent years, more companies are being forced to refund the customers that they have wronged. Notably, you should be able to use the templates you find in this guide to make a complaint with all the major UK lenders, including:
- Lending Stream
- Mr. Lender
- Payday Express
- Pounds to Pocket
- The Money Shop
- Payday UK
Importantly, high-cost loans from lenders like Amigo, Everyday Loans, and Provident require a different approach for refunds.
Contact Information For Lender Complaints
nico Finance email@example.com
Cash 4 U Now firstname.lastname@example.org
Cash Converters email@example.com
Cash Float firstname.lastname@example.org
Cash Generators use the contact form on their website
Cash Genie in administration, see below.
Cheque Centre in administration, see below
CFO (Capital Finance One) – in administration, see below.
Clear Account a brand name of SafetyNet Credit, see below.
Credit Star email@example.com
Dot Dot Loans no email for complaint, you have to write to them or use their contact form
Drafty (sister company to Lending Stream) firstname.lastname@example.org
Different Money in administration, see below.
Early Payday Loans (EPDL) & ECash Window email@example.com in administration
Everyday Loans see Large Bad Credit lenders below.
Express Finance and Express Finance (Bromley) see Payday Express
Fancy a payday firstname.lastname@example.org now changed name to Response Lending, see below
Fast Loan UK email@example.com
Ferratum firstname.lastname@example.org (emails should be sent from your registered email address)
Fortress use the Sunny email
H&T (Harvey and Thompsons) email@example.com
Herbert Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
Ladder Loans now taken over, see the Money Shop
Lending Stream no longer accepting email complaints. Use their web form here .
Microlend in administration, see below.
Mini credit If your loan was sold to Kapama/Opos, complain to them: email@example.com . If it wasn’t then you can talk to the Ombudsman but so far as I know Mini Credit has gone bust.
Miss Payday Customercare@Miss-Payday.co.uk
Money Boat firstname.lastname@example.org
Money Hive email@example.com
Money Platform firstname.lastname@example.org
Money Shop email@example.com
Monkey Dosh firstname.lastname@example.org
Month End Money part of the PDUK group
Mr Lender email@example.com
My Jar firstname.lastname@example.org
My Mate now called Different Money
Oasis Finance / Oasis Payday use the Sunny email
Payday Advance a brand name of CFO, see above.
Payday Bad Credit email@example.com
Payday Express / Payday UK / PDUK firstname.lastname@example.org These have stopped making new loans but the company is NOT broke and they are still looking at complaints and paying out.
Payday First – see CFO.
Paydayloansnet / PDNET email@example.com
Payday Store – see Payday Express
Pera Loans firstname.lastname@example.org
Provident – see Get a refund for doorstep lending as the complaints are a bit different. Contact details in that article.
Pounds Till Payday part of the Malta-based Northway group, see Swift Sterling loans before December 2015.
Pounds To Pocket email@example.com
Quick Quid firstname.lastname@example.org
Quick Loan Shop email@example.com
Quick Loans Express firstname.lastname@example.org
Quid.co.uk use the Sunny email address
Response Funding email@example.com
Safeloans no longer trading but complain to firstname.lastname@example.org
Safetynet Credit email@example.com
Smart Pig firstname.lastname@example.org
Speedloan see Herbert Brown
Speedy Cash UKComplaints@SpeedyCash.com They have now closed, but they are not in administration If this email doesn’t work, try Wageday Advance’s email (they are a sister company) and if they reject your complaint, talk to the Financial Ombudsman.
Stagemount see Quidmarket
Street UK see Track Loans
Sunny email@example.com (if you are complaining about another brand, make it clear which one)
Swift Sterling loans from 2016 onwards these loans are from a different UK lender firstname.lastname@example.org
The Quick Loan Shop email@example.com
Think Finance – use the email for Sunny
Tick Tock firstname.lastname@example.org
TM Advances email@example.com
Toothfairy – in administration, see below.
Track Loans firstname.lastname@example.org
Trusted Quid email@example.com
Txtloan – a trading name of MyJar so firstname.lastname@example.org
Txt Me Cash – see Cash Genie
Uncle Buck email@example.com
Wage Day Advance firstname.lastname@example.org
Wonga in administration but complaints can still be made to email@example.com
Zebit trading name of Lending Stream so firstname.lastname@example.org
1 month loan / 1 month money use the Sunny email
247 Moneybox email@example.com
Was Your Loan Unaffordable?
The most important thing to keep in mind before you get started is that payday loan refunds are delivered based on a person’s ability to repay their loan with or without “undue difficulty.” According to financial regulators, it’s important that you were able to pay the loan back without “undue difficulty,” while still being able to manage the expenses of your other bills, debt repayments, and anything else you might need to live (like food).
This means that if you managed to pay your payday loan off on time, without having to borrow additional money elsewhere, you may not be eligible for a refund. On the other hand, if you had to roll over your loan, or take out multiple loans, then you should be available for compensation.
Remember that payday loans were supposed to be a solution to a short-term problem. However they became a significant issue when lenders had to keep rolling the credits over to deal with the huge interest costs on the amounts that they borrowed.
You should also keep in mind that you could be entitled to a refund if you were treated unfairly by the person who was responsible for giving you your loan. In other words, if you went back to the payday loan provider after you borrowed your money and told them that you had a problem paying the loan back, they should have helped you. Loan providers have a responsibility to treat their customers fairly and assist them with making repayments. Payday loan providers should never use the fact that someone is struggling with repayments to encourage them to take out more debt.
Before You Make Your Complaint
If you think that you might be eligible for a refund, then you probably want to start filling out forms and sending off letters as quickly as possible. However, before you get started, make sure that you get a copy of your credit report. Sometimes, loan details get lost, and you’ll need a complete insight into your previous borrowing history to help you through the refund process. In some cases, it’s also helpful to go to the lender’s website and get a copy of any loan information that you find there.
Some lenders remove details about your account after a complaint, so print-screen as much as you can. If you still owe money to your payday lender for any reason:
- Make sure that you cancel the CPA to the lender from your bank account unless you can continue making payments without having to borrow additional money.
- Consider reading through your options with payday lenders and decide whether you’ll want to offer to pay a “reasonable” amount back on your loan. You can add this offer to the template letters that you’ll find below.
- Look for ways to create a debt management plan so that you can address your money problems after you’ve got the refund you need from your payday loan provider.
In some cases, a payday loan company might sell your loan to a debt collection company. If this happens, rest assured that you should be able to still make a request for a refund. You will need to let the debt collector know that you’re disputing the issue. Otherwise they might try to take you to court if you don’t follow through with your payments.
How Much Can You Ask for In Compensation?
During the year between 2018 and 2019, the Financial Ombudsman service saw about 50,000 complaints from people who were given unfair payday loans. Most of the time, the authorities suggest that you should be able to get a refund on all the interest that you had to pay on your loan and all the charges that you were responsible for during that time if you did not make your repayments on time. Additionally, you can also request that any of the loans that are deemed unaffordable in your history should be removed from your credit report. Doing this can help to heal a lot of your credit problems in the long-term.
Additionally, there are some cases where you might be able to cancel any remaining balance that is left over on your payday loans and receive an average statutory interest rate repayment of around 8%. Some clients have been able to claim refunds from loans that they have already paid off if they make their complaint within six years of initially getting the money.
Step 1: Getting the Facts
To get the money you’re owed back on your payday loans, the first thing you’re going to need to do is figure out exactly how much money you borrowed from the lender, and how much the loan cost you overall. If you’ve got plenty of details on this from your credit report, bank statements, and other documentation, then you can jump to step 2 on this guide.
On the other hand, if you need to get additional information, send the lender an email saying the following:
I am writing to you about a complaint I will be making about your company for irresponsible lending. I would like you to send me a list of the loans that I have taken out with your business, showing the dates of the loan, how much interest was charged, and any other fees I was expected to pay. I would also like an overview of how much money I paid towards that loan.
If the loan has been sold to a debt collector, please provide me with details of that collector’s name, contact information, and the date of sale.
You should never have provided me with such unaffordable loans, and I will be asking for the money to be refunded, along with any interest, charges I paid, and additional statutory interest. I would also like negative information to be removed from my credit history.
If your loans are more than 6 years old at this point, you may need to explain why you haven’t complained before this time. For instance, you could say that you didn’t know that you were entitled to claim for unaffordable loans in the past, and you only just realised that such a thing was possible after reading an article online.
By law, you should receive a list of your loan information within a month or less, and the email that you sent will have initiated the complaint procedure.
Step 2: Asking for your Refund
With all the details of your loan available to you, you will be able to send in additional information about the complaint that you’re making. Don’t worry about calculating the exact refund that you’re owed at this point. Payday lenders are regulated by the FCA, and they will be held to a specific standard when giving you your refund.
To start your email,
If you didn’t complete step 1:
I am writing to inform you of a complaint I am making about irresponsible lending. I will be asking for a refund on the loans that you gave me…
If you did complete step 1:
This is a follow up to my previous email about my irresponsible lending complaint which I sent you on (date).
Between the years of (Date to date), I have acquired (number) of loans from your company.
The interest I was forced to pay for these loans, and the repayments themselves left me with not enough money to live on. During this time, my take-home income was (£amount)a month.
My living expenses were approximately (include your living expenses if you know them to give the lender a better insight into how little money you were left with at the time. Living expenses can include child expenses, debt repayments, transport costs, clothes, food, utilities, and council tax, among other “reasonable” prices).
I could not afford to pay back these loans, and when I repaid you, I was forced to borrow again to get by for another month. You should have known by my constant borrowing that my debt issues were getting worse. Therefore it was not responsible of you to continue lending to me. (You can add extra details here about how many times you rolled over your loans or took out additional loans).
My credit reports also would have shown these debt problems (include any other issues you had at the time).
You should never have provided me with such unaffordable loans, and I am asking that you refund the charges I paid, the interest, and statutory interest, while removing any negative information from my credit record.
Ways to Improve your Complaint
Remember that the more detailed your letter is, the more compelling it will be. With that in mind, it pays to add as much extra information as possible, including:
- Whether you took out loans with other people, and how much it cost.
- Whether you had to borrow money to pay for the rent and food
- Whether you were treated poorly when you were borrowing – i.e., if you went to the lender to ask for help and they simply offered to give you another loan.
Your lender might say that you should have reduced your living costs at this time, but don’t worry about that. You will not need to include evidence showing that your living expenses were just.
There may be some lenders that require you to send them details of your credit record, information in the form of bank statements, and payslips. Most of the time, the purpose of this is to slow your complaint down. Don’t worry about sending payslips – the Ombudsman will not ask for them. You can also send bank statements if you want to, but it’s not mandatory. If you don’t want to send anything that the lender asks for, tell them that you will be willing to provide the Ombudsman with any information that they request.
Step 3: Go to the Financial Ombudsman Service
After you’ve sent the email or letter above, your lender may reject your complaint, or try to appease you with a very small refund – much smaller than what you deserve. Don’t worry – you may still have a good case, and you can pursue it with the help of the Financial Ombudsman. The Ombudsman service is easy and free to use.
Remember that a lot of lenders will do whatever they can to get out of paying you the money that you’re owed, so don’t be surprised if they tell you that your case is useless when it isn’t. People have had a great deal of money refunded in the past after their lenders have completely rejected them. The best way to proceed is to ignore negative comments from the lender completely. Some of the arguments that your lender might make include:
- Your loans are over 6 years old – the Ombudsman service will still look at these loans, so don’t worry about that.
- You had a good credit score at the time, so they didn’t worry about lending to you.
- Your borrowing amount didn’t go up every time – the fact that you kept borrowing is evidence enough of the problem.
- You paid off some of your loans early – This doesn’t show that the loans you had were just, it simply shows that you were doing what you could to limit interest
- They relied on your loan application for the full information – you should still have been given the full facts and not have been provided with an unaffordable loan.
Is a Refund Offer Good Enough?
Sometimes, the lender that you write to will get back to you and offer a refund amount to help put you at ease. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re being offered a reasonable amount for your hardship. Remember:
- You should not accept an offer if it only means that you will get a refund on some of the loans that you took out with the payday lender. This is particularly true if you think that you paid a lot of money in interest. Some people can get twenty times what they’re offered by a lender simply by speaking to the Ombudsman service.
- Offers to write off your current balance aren’t always good – Sometimes you should have your current balance written off and get a refund for your hardship too. Don’t be tricked into thinking this is a good deal when it isn’t.
- You should have negative information removed from your credit score. It’s important to ask for the negative details of your payday loans to be scrubbed from your credit history so that you can get better loans in the future.
In the case that you have a very difficult argument to make, and you simply feel as though you can’t win no matter what you do, you might decide to give up. However, you shouldn’t do this if the loan was rolled over several times, as this is sure sign that you deserve a refund. Additionally, it’s important not to give up if your loan was particularly large. You can win cases for bigger amounts with greater ease. Additionally, don’t simply ignore the issue if you still owe money to the payday lender, as your situation can continue to get worse in this case.
How to Send your Complaint to the Financial Ombudsman
If you borrowed money from multiple lenders to get by with your payday loan, then you’ll need to place a separate complaint with the Financial Ombudsman for each lender. Remember, this team of people is here to help you get the most out of your financial experiences, so you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to them. Many of the people who have sought help with the FO before, consider them to be very kind-hearted people who will do anything that they can to help with your claim.
The Financial Ombudsman website provides a few different methods that you can use to send your complaint to the team. The easiest option is probably to do it online, as you’ll be walked through the process step by step, and you’ll be able to attach relevant information along the way, including your correspondence with the lender. Make sure that you include details about why you didn’t claim earlier if you are claiming about a case that’s more than 6 years old.
What Happens After a Complaint?
Most of the time, after a complaint about a payday lender, you’ll simply have to wait for a response. Usually, you’ll hear something within a couple of weeks, and you’ll probably be asked for a copy of your bank statements and your credit record. You might have already sent these on one of your complaints. Keep in mind that you can request bank statements from a bank even if you have closed the account in question.
After the initial contact period is over, an official will pick up your case and look into it. Remember that they won’t be able to make a decision until your lender responds, and this can take about 5 months to happen. Most of the time, the cases will be settled at this point, but about 10% of cases are sent to the Ombudsman stage of investigation.
There are some instances wherein you might be more likely to end up with a problem case. If you didn’t lose too much money on a payday loan, then you might want to avoid applying if the following applies to you:
- You are currently bankrupt, or you’ve been bankrupt before as the refund that you receive will not go to you.
- You are in an IVA – again the refund will go to your IVA firm rather than your bank account. However, if your IVA has finished, then it’s important to look into making sure that future money does not go their way.
- If you are in a DRO now, as this can mean that your DRO will be cancelled
- You borrowed money from a non-UK lender. You will need to take a different approach if you borrowed from someone like Pounds ‘Til Payday, or Swift Sterling.
If you need extra help with anything that you’ve read here today, the best thing you can do is go to the local office for your Citizen’s Advice Centre, these groups can help you to overcome your debt issues, and they offer their assistance for free. Avoid going to a claims management company, as this can be a very expensive process.