A controversial payday loan store for children has just opened in Finsbury Park. For a limited time only children under 18 can get an advance on their pocket money at an interest rate of 5,000% APR. Applicants must be over 3 years old to apply. The maximum amount they can borrow is £20 and for a period no longer than 60 days.
But the payday loan store for kids known as Pocket Money loans is no more than a hoax. It was a publicity stunt and someone has gone to extreme lengths on this project. The windows have been kitted out completely with child-friendly cartoons. Their website has all the answers and explain how you can get money ‘easy-peasy’ for iPads, lollipops and what not. There’s also a basic FAQs explaining APR but its all very complicated and not very interesting they say …
Who is behind Pocket Money Loans?
But don’t worry, the whole thing is a hoax. No civilised human being could possibly tempt children in such a way. Pocket Money Loans is in fact a work of satire created by Glasgow School of Art alumni Darren Cullen, with which he is seeking to highlight the way the consumer credit industry makes things flashy and appealing without realising the impact its having on our debt culture.
Cullen told The Scotsman: “Almost all payday loan companies have cartoon mascots, animated characters or sing-along jingles in their adverts. Their high street shops often have play areas full of toys and some of them hand out balloons and sweets to kids at the counter. It’s a clear fact they target children, as both a means of persuading their parents, but also as a way to groom the next generation of indebted customers.”
This is not the first time Darren has created a bit of havoc. In the past, he also created a controversial children’s toy of a pregnant woman and there was also the billboard he created stating: “Santa prefers rich kids to poor kids.” So the guy isn’t scared about making a statement.
The Public Reaction
The initial public reaction was horrendous as many people thought this was real.
Somebody even walked in and asked for a loan but left when we said ‘sorry, we only lend to under 18s’
Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis has tweeted his (semi) approval of Cullen’s latest project, posting: “Pocket money payday loans… and worst of all I quite like them!”
Others didn’t see the funny side and one Twitter user @emmahucker saying “payday loans are not good for anyone especially children” and one anonymous correspondent writing to the website to say: “This is a very sick joke. One has to be over 18 to get credit.”
At The Lenders List, we think its important that people understand the message behind this. Loans can seem easy to obtain and the fun nature of the advertising can sometimes make the high-cost loans seem less important. However, we are fully aware of the dangers of high-cost credit and debt. We strongly support out role as a price comparison site to help users find the right payday loan for them – based on price and duration. We hope that our visitors seriously look at the individual lenders pages on our website to get a better idea of the costs involved and so that they can choose the best payday loan for them.
The shop will be open from 27 October to 8 November, 10am-6pm, Monday-Saturday, at 77 Stroud Green Road in North London. http://www.pocketmoneyloans.com