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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Wonga stops targeting students after Twitter protests

 

Short-term lender Wonga.com has announced that it is taking down information on student finances from its website following accusations it was encouraging undergraduates to take out one of its high-interest loans. Earlier Wonga.com came under severe criticism after its website claimed that its loans can offer students "a little more financial freedom and independence". The claim attracted outrage on Twitter. One user, Neale Gilhooley, tweeted: "A pox on loan company #Wonga offering students loans at a sharking 4,214pc APR." On the "student loans" section of its website, Wonga.com says these government-backed loans – despite their very low interest rates – could encourage people to borrow too much. Student loans currently attract interest at 1.5pc or 5.3pc, depending on when they were taken out. "It's pretty hard not to get carried away when you're a student on a budget and have the option to borrow large amounts of money with a student loan. But the problem with student loans is that they potentially encourage you to live beyond your means," the website says. "They're intended for living and education costs, but it's all too easy to fritter away the money once you have it. Wonga encourages responsible borrowing because, depending on your trust rating, you can borrow as little as £1 up to £1000, as long as you can repay it within a month."

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