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The Latest Payday Loan Statistics and Regulatory Facts

Author: Harry Jones And Facted Checked by : Shanie Capper
Last updated on : 20 May 2024

Introduction: Payday loans have emerged as a popular financial solution in the UK, providing quick access to funds for individuals facing temporary cash flow issues. In this article, we will explore the most recent statistics and regulatory facts surrounding payday loans in the UK, including the number of borrowers, total interest charged, online loan trends, and the measures implemented to safeguard consumers.

Payday Loan Usage and Borrower Demographics:

In 2021, approximately 1.7 million individuals in the UK took out payday loans, highlighting the continued demand for short-term credit. This indicates the significance of payday loans in assisting people in meeting their immediate financial needs.

Reference: FCA – Consumer Credit Market Study

Total Amount of Interest Charged:

Moving on to the total amount of interest charged on payday loans, it exceeded £200 million in recent years. This figure emphasizes the substantial financial activity within the payday loan sector, underscoring the importance of responsible lending practices and regulatory oversight.

Online Loan Trends:

Shifting focus to online loan trends, recent statistics suggest that a considerable portion of payday loans in the UK are now obtained online. Online applications provide borrowers with a convenient and accessible way to secure funds, with quick decisions and disbursements.

Reference: FCA – High-cost Credit Review

Interest Rate Caps and Affordability Checks:

In 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced regulatory changes to enhance borrower protection. One crucial measure implemented was an interest rate cap, limiting daily interest and fees to 0.8% of the total borrowed amount. This safeguard prevents borrowers from falling into a cycle of debt caused by excessive charges.

Additionally, lenders are now required to conduct comprehensive affordability checks to ensure borrowers can repay loans without experiencing financial hardship. These checks assess income, expenses, and credit history, aiming to protect consumers from entering into unaffordable loan agreements.

Reference: FCA – High-cost Credit Review

Complaints and Compensation:

Since the implementation of stricter regulations, the number of complaints related to payday loans has significantly decreased. In 2020, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received approximately 10,000 complaints, a substantial decline compared to over 65,000 complaints in 2013. This reduction demonstrates the positive impact of the new rules on consumer protection.

Furthermore, individuals who believe they were mis-sold a payday loan have the right to file a complaint and seek compensation. The FOS serves as a platform for resolving disputes and ensuring fair treatment for consumers.

Reference: Financial Ombudsman Service – Annual Report and Accounts 2020/2021

Alternative Lending Options and Debt Advice:

While payday loans can serve a purpose, it is crucial to explore alternative lending options and consider the potential long-term implications of borrowing. Traditional banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions may offer more favorable terms and lower interest rates.

Moreover, seeking advice from debt charities and organizations, such as StepChange and Citizens Advice, can provide valuable guidance and support in managing financial challenges


Warning: Late repayment of payday loans can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to