UEL student talks to Ed Miliband about payday loan dangers

Students from the University of East London spoke to Ed Miliband Picture: Movement For Change

Students from the University of East London spoke to Ed Miliband Picture: Movement For Change - Credit: Archant

A student from the University of East London spoke to Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party about the dangers of payday loans

Mr Miliband was in Peckham today during a visit to London Mutual Credit Union with Movement for Change.

His visit coincided with the Labour Party’s pledge to impose a levy on the profits of payday lenders to help support lower-cost lending from credit unions, and boost money advice services.

Natalie Downs discussed with Ed Miliband her own personal situation of taking out a loan of £400 to supplement her student loan, but ending up paying back over £1000.

She said:“It was great to be able to share my experiences with high cost credit with Ed. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.

“I want to challenge the stereotype of the person who takes out a payday loan. People studying and working hard to further their career are also finding it difficult to make ends meet and get into serious debt because of a lack of access to fairer forms of credit.”

Eight months ago, UEL launched a campaign to warn students of the perils of borrowing money from payday lenders and took the landmark decision to ban all payday loan advertising and promotional materials at its campuses in Docklands and Stratford – the first UK university to do so.

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The campaign saw the university team up with the National Union of Students (NUS) and Movement for Change – an organisation that lobbies for a cap on the amount of interest payday lenders can charge.

Vice-Chancellor of UEL, Professor John Joughin, said: “Back in February we took the decision to protect our students from rapacious payday loan companies. We were the first UK university to ban all payday loan advertising on our campuses and it is excellent to see other universities now following our example.

“If our students find themselves in financial difficulty we have a Student Money Advice and Rights Team to offer advice and support. We will not accept payday loan companies taking advantage of our students, particularly those who may already be in a vulnerable position. We welcome the new rules being proposed by the FCA and are pleased to see this clampdown on unscrupulous lenders.”