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Universities back ban on payday loan ads

payday-loansUniversities are banning adverts by payday lenders on campus over fears they could add to students’ debts.

Northampton, Northumbria and Swansea universities have backed a campaign by the National Union of Students, which wants more to follow their lead.

Pete Mercer, the union’s national vice-president for welfare, said: ‘Students are struggling to make ends meet and this is having an impact on their wellbeing and education. It’s great these institutions have joined our campaign and I hope others will soon follow suit.’

Michael Ossei, a personal finance expert for uSwitch.com, said payday loans should only be taken out as a short-term measure.

‘It’s vital that anybody considering taking one out has a concrete and guaranteed means of paying it back within the specified time frame,’ he added.

The Office of Fair Trading is expected soon whether it will refer the industry to the Competition Commission for ‘widespread irresponsible lending’.

The Consumer Finance Association, which represents major short-term lenders, said: ‘It is concerning the NUS is denying choices to its members, who are all educated and intelligent people.’

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