Don’t believe the TV loan hype

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

Last week was uncomfortable in more ways than one.

Not only did I have crippling abdominal pain and two visits to the doctor which involved embarrassing examinations, I also watched daytime TV.

It was a sad state of affairs; I was off work for a few days with the pain, but when my tablets finally kicked in, my feet went up and the TV went on.

Well, where do I begin?

For starters, did you know that Jerry Springer was still going?

I thought he had long since hung up his mic and cue cards, possibly in favour of running for office or something.

But no, there he was, stuck in the middle of his chat show “guests” whose main objective in life appeared to be knocking lumps out of a love rival or a relative who had wronged them.

I watched a few episodes - strictly for the purposes of research you understand - and I must say, I lost a little bit of faith in my fellow man.

Of course, in among this nonsense were the adverts.

Usually, this is when I venture into the kitchen for a cuppa, but last week, it was too much of an effort in my weakened state.

Instead, I watched as half a dozen loan companies offered people money to ease their financial burdens.

One advertised an APR of 1250 per cent!

I should at this point say that these companies, which are no doubt targeting people who have no other means, state that this fast cash will solve many a headache.

This is the part I have a problem with - that this kind of money is a good financial decision.

Quick fixes at massive cost later on are deemed as wise, and something that can lift the weight from people’s shoulders.

I realise that some people are desperate for money, and I am in no doubt that many people who borrow from these companies do so for their families.

But my plea is to the loan companies: don’t sugar-coat it, say it like it is.

How about this: “If you need money and have absolutely no other option, take out a loan with us on the understanding that your money problems are only going to grow.”

Oh, and don’t have people smiling in these ads either, someone looking miserable is much more appropriate. Tune into Jerry Springer for examples of suitable actors.