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Payday loans helped Edwardians finance Christmas

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Payday loans are by no means just a modern problem, as newspaper archives show ads from 1912 offering Christmas loans for the equivalent of more than £450,000.

 

The set of adverts from the British Newspaper Archive’s collection has shown that legal loan-sharks were making money from offering cash advances to Edwardian Britons in the run up to Christmas with tempting front page adverts. From more than six million digitised newspaper pages, researchers at britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk have found that on this day 100 years ago private lenders and companies were offering from £5 (£460 in today’s money) to £5,000 (almost £463,000 in today’s money) to “all trustworthy persons”, in a variety of advertisements in newspapers.

 

One company entices potential customers with the promise of “a departure from loan office routine and humbug” and an assurance that all they need to issue a loan is “your own written promise to pay.” Another offers “reduced rates on all loans between now and Christmas” and terms that are “impossible to improve upon.” One man, claiming to be “a boon to would-be borrowers,” offers unsecured personal loans of £20 to £1,000 – almost £100,000 in today’s money.

 

The lenders, who charged “no fees up front” and offered “low interest and easy repayments,” were meant as a lifeline for cash-strapped families to find the money to pay for presents, food and fuel over the festive period.

 

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9756285/Payday-loans-helped-Edwardians-finance-Christmas.html


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