Wonga.com is a UK based short-term loans company. They have grown massively since their launch in October 2007. This is due to huge marketing campaigns (they’re currently plastered all over London underground), continued innovation and a combination of positive and negative press.
Bearing all this in mind, it’s understandable why some people would be searching for ‘Wonga Scam’. You wanna make sure they don’t burn you at the stake after lending you fifty quid, right? However, even after factoring this in, the number of people asking whether it’s a scam or not is surprisingly high according to my search statistics.
Therefore, I’m going to take a good look at Wonga.com and reveal why some people are accusing them of scam’ish behavior and tell you whether they meet my high legitimacy requirements (my other brutal posts show that I give no mercy).
“What Have They Done That Is Scam’ish? Will They Send The Bailiffs Round If My Payment Is A Day Late?!”
Naturally, most of the people that have complained about them are those that haven’t been able to pay back the borrowed amount on-time. Please don’t get yourself in that situation as you will get hit hard. Failure to pay on time means:
“…a one-off £20 failed payment fee will be added to your balance. Interest will also continue to accrue on a daily basis, at the same rate, against any outstanding balance.”
Bearing in mind that these loans are designed to be short-term, if you don’t pay your outstanding balance, interest will accrue rapidly. They have a representative APR of 4214%, one of the reasons why they make so many headlines. However, this APR figure is misleading when you’re looking at short-term loans and the reasons why are shown clearly on their website. They interest you actually pay is typically just under 1% per day.
Some people hate the fact that short term loan companies, such as Wonga, exist as they believe these type of companies take advantage of the vulnerable. I think Wonga have their place in the market and can be a valuable tool if used correctly.
There is no proof that Wonga has scammed anyone and accusations are from those that are unhappy paying the charges and interest that are due if you don’t pay on time. I can confidently say that Wonga is in no way a scam.
“You Sure They’re Legit?! I’m Being Charged Tons Of Interest!”
If you’ve read the paragraphs above, you’ll know that I’m in favour of Wonga.
Wonga is a legit, ethical company and it’s wrong to call them a scam (or other profanities) for charging fees that they said they would if you’ve missed your payment deadline. If you don’t pay on time, they will charge you interest no matter how much you plead. However, in line with their responsible lending practices:
“If your circumstances have changed significantly, they (customer service reps) will do their best to offer a solution and come to an arrangement that helps you get back on your feet, which is always our goal.”
Here are some other reasons why I think Wonga is a through and through legit company:
- They are completely transparent about all their costs and you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have to repay when you take out the loan
- They don’t have any pushy sales material and they give you the facts on what you will need to pay and what happens if you don’t pay
- Everything is in plain English in an easily accessible format
- You are initially only able to take out a maximum of £400
“Should I Get A Loan With Them? What Are My Other Options?”
Wonga can be very useful when you have short-term cashflow needs that can’t be met elsewhere.
However, if you are in ANY doubt that you will not be able to repay on time, do not even think about getting a loan with them – it’s just not worth it. You’ll get a bad credit rating and you’ll have to pay back much more than you borrowed.
Some of the alternatives are:
- Borrowing money from friends and family
- Selling stuff, try eBay or even a pawnbroker
- Making money doing stuff online (however, this may not be as fast as you’d need)
- Find out if there’s a credit union near you that may be able to help
Wonga are a good option for those that know they can pay the money back when they promise. Here’s Wonga on our legitimacy chart:
Feel free to leave your comments below: