Feb 05, 2014 Philip Burgess
Over the past few years, families across the United Kingdom have been very worried about whether or not their next paychecks were going to cover the basic costs of living, like rent or mortgage, utilities bills, student loan payments, car-related expenses and so on. The effects of the global recession were far-reaching and it seemed as if very few British families were left unscathed.
However, that sentiment wasn't true for households in which parents had next-to-perfect consumer credit. Assuming they weren't affected by the many layoffs and increasing inflation that plagued so many individuals, a lot of people in this favorable position were able to easily stay afloat and still secure things like loans from high street banks. But what about everyone else in the country?
The fact is, the majority of the British population was affected by the recession, and then realized another financial tragedy when they tried to get loans to cover unexpected expenses and were subsequently denied. That's where alternative credit companies like short term lenders stepped in. Although they might get an undeserved bad rap now, they were among the only businesses that came to the defense of hurting citizens just a few years ago.
In many cases, peoples' financial situations have only changed slightly, so these operations are still much needed. But with responsibilities like families or jobs taking up most of individuals' time, do they have any extra minutes to patronize a short term lender's storefront? The answer might be no, sending then into yet another tailspin. As such, many lenders have made themselves more available in order to increase consumer convenience. But can such companies be found on the Internet? The answer is both yes and no.
It seems as if many, if not most, of the most popular short term lenders in the U.K. have an Internet presence, which can be helpful for individuals who don't have time to visit a brick-and-mortar location. They can go online at any hour of the day, whether or not the lender's physical storefront is open, and start filling out applications to gain quick access to money. This transaction can start being processed right away, no matter the hour, and the consumer's bank account can see a boost in mere hours.
In fact, even if the brick-and-mortar location is still open, it might be a better idea to go online because comparison-shopping based on rates and fees is easier. For instance, money.co.uk has a tool that compares a number of the most well-known short term lenders based on their offerings.
Although short term lenders are starting their own websites to better help citizens tap into alternative finance, consumer access to such webpages is being denied. Take Wales' Caerphilly County Borough Council, which recently passed a proposal to ban these sites from being accessed on council computers.
However, even more concerning is that the council plans to lobby the Welsh government to mandate that local authorities ban these pages from being accessed across Wales.