Loan Shark Unit would like to speak to Reddit borrowers
Recent research commissioned by The Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit (WIMLU) reveals that Welsh citizens are using Reddit to look for loans from other users to make ends meet.
March 26th, 2021
The most shocking finding was that less than 45% of loans to Welsh borrowers were given by lenders who were in good standing, and nearly a third (31%) of lenders either had no track record of lending, or were subsequently banned from reddit due to account violations.
The majority of these loans are for relatively small amounts of money and are mostly to cover cash flow problems and everyday living expenses. The economic effects of the pandemic are likely to be behind much of this online borrowing - the number of people running out of money before the end of the week or month had increased by 60% between March and September 2020.
WIMLU would like to speak to anyone who has taken out a loan this way, whether their experiences were good or bad. They want to make it clear that nobody would be in any trouble for taking out a loan via reddit - they simply want to get a better understanding of the situation.
Any registered Reddit user, provided their account meets basic criteria, can request a loan by simply posting in new thread on the relevant subreddit. This thread can be responded to by any other Reddit user who wishes to provide the loan on the terms requested by the borrower, wherever they are in the world, with the finer details of the transaction are finalised via private messaging.
WIMLU Manager, Sarah Smith explained her concerns:
“We are worried that this type of lending is completely unregulated and open to abuse. We have seen loan requests from Welsh borrowers for as little as £7. People who are struggling to make ends meet can easily fall prey to loansharks and scammers. We want to talk to anyone in Wales who has arranged a loan via Reddit so we can get a better idea of how we can protect and help those who are at risk”.
WIMLU can be contacted for a confidential chat on 0300 123 3311 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding Money Lending in Wales
We have commissioned Wordnerds to help us understand the landscape of money lending online in Wales, in order to:
- appreciate the scale of the problem
- educate people about what's going on
- understand what people do when they're looking for small loans
The full report from Wordnerds can be found here.