Can you get a refund from Payday UK, Payday Express or The Money Shop?
If you had loans from them that you struggled to repay, perhaps rolling the loans or having to borrow again every month, then you may be able to win an “affordability complaint” and get a refund of the interest you paid.
Read How to ask for a payday loan refund for details about what an affordability complaint is. There are template letters and lists of the email addresses for all the lenders so it’s easy!
These three brands are no longer lending
These three large payday lenders are brand names of the same company, Instant Cash Loans Ltd, and they all have the same approach to handling affordability complaints.
Refunds apply to the Money Shop’s cheque based lending from their stores in the same way as other payday loans – if you gave them a post-dated cheque for £100 and were given £85 in cash, then the £15 difference is the interest you paid on this loan.
In October 2017, Payday UK and Payday Express stopped lending. See One of the UK’s oldest and largest lenders gives up for details. This did NOT affect complaints against them. Indeed their complaint handling got rather faster and more professional since that point.
In August 2018, the Money Shop also stopped lending. but its other business (pawnbroking, buying gold, travel money) are still carrying on. The company is not in administration, there is no reason to panic if you are currently asking them for a refund.
Getting a list of your loans
Many people don’t have a list of the loans they took from a lender, so asking for a Statement of Account is usually a good first step. In 2019 Payday UK and Payday Express have been sending statements out promptly without a charge.
Now people have a different problem – how to work out what the statement means – because it looks so complicated!
This is what I suggest you do if you only had one loan at a time:
- Go through the statement dividing it up into loans. A loan starts with a line labelled Principal Deposit and it ends when the balance is zero. Then another one begins. Draw a line between loans and label them Loan 1, Loan 2 etc.
- The amount you borrowed is the Principal Deposit number. Unless you topped a loan up, there will just be one at the start of the loan.
- The amount of interest you paid is the sum of the lines for that loan labelled Interest Repayment. They should show in the Amount column as being in brackets, ie you paid the money.
- Ignore all the other lines (unless there are any late payment fees.)
It’s harder if you had more than one loan at once or if the last loan wasn’t repaid. But the general approach – that you borrowed the Principal Deposit lines and the interest you paid is the Interest Repayment lines – is still correct. It’s just difficult to be so clear that “This happened to loan one, this happened to loan 2.”
Searching your credit record
It’s fine for a lender to check your credit record when you make a complaint, but these should be recorded as “administration reviews” which don’t harm your credit score.
In 2016 for a few months some people had Payday Uk and the Money Shop incorrectly record a credit application – these searches were deleted in November 2016 and in January 2018 the people affected were automatically sent redress of £75.
How they usually reply to complaints
Asking for longer
You may get an email on the last day of the 8 week period they are supposed to respond to complaints in, saying that they haven’t completed their investigation. At this point you can send your complaint to the Ombudsman if you want – the lender will still carry on looking at your complaint even if you do this, so if they do make you a good offer you can then tell the Ombudsman you have settled the complaint.
If you are desperate to get your complaint settled as soon as possible, sending it to the Ombudsman and not waiting is the fastest approach. But these lenders sometimes make reasonable offers, so you may decide to wait a few weeks and hope you don’t have to bother with the ombudsman.
Although they are making some good offers, they also seem to turn down good cases, so deciding to wait is a bit of a lottery.
“We don’t know – please send bank statements”
Quite a few people complaining get a response towards the end of the 8 week period or after another few weeks from one of these lenders saying they aren’t sure if some of the loans were affordable or not and will you please send your bank statements so that they can look again at them.
Sometimes they offer a refund on some loans, reject others and list a few where they aren’t sure. Sometimes they reject most of them but say they will look at a few if you send statements.
Here are some comments in 2018:
I have received a response letter from PDUK on 02/08 who confirmed that they believe out of my 27 loans, 3 were lent responsibly, 14 unable to determine, and 10 agreed funds lent irresponsibly. They have asked for Bank statements to review the other 14 loans. My offer [on the 10 loans being refunded] is £3,815.99 and the removal of any negative information recorded on my credit file.
Pduk have sent me their final response, 1 loan affordable and 2 loans unable to determine. They have asked for bank statements to help the decision on those 2 loans
I made a claim to PDUK 7 weeks ago and received an offer letter for £2,849. I have also been asked for statements for some others so they can review. I will be sending the statements this week as my offer was based on 4 loans and there is 12 loans for the period they have requested statements for.
Payday Express have made me an offer of £2062.24 from 1 loan but on another 6 loans which they were unable to determine have now said after viewing my bank statements were lent responsibly.
The Money Shop have made me an offer of £1478.04 for 3 loans I had and another separate offer of £1079.73 for another 3 loans I had and 1 loan they cannot yet decide whether to determine.
I think you should normally send them the statements. Some readers have done this and then had some or all of those extra loans refunded. Others have had the extra loans rejected.
If you want to accept their offer and send the bank statements so they will look at the other ones, sending them onto the Ombudsman if they are rejected, it’s best to check with PaydayUK first that you can do this. They normally agree.
The exception is if they have only asked for details about a couple of loans and rejected a lot more. If you wouldn’t be happy with a refund on just the ones they have asked about you may as well send the case to the Ombudsman right away.
Asking for details if you are complaining about loans that are over 6 years old
If any of the loans you had were taken out more than 6 years ago, you are normally asked:
I can see that some/all of the loans that you are complaining about are more than 6 years old. So for me to consider these loans, I need you to tell me why you didn’t complain about these loans until now.
To answer this, just say very briefly how you found out what an affordability complaint is. Also mention if you have been in a DMP.
For example one person might reply:
I had no idea in 2011-12 that you should have checked that I could repay the loans without having to borrow again. I had a DMP in 2014 but my DMP firm never mentioned that I could make this sort of complaint and I still thought it was my fault that my finances were in a mess. I only found out that I could complain about unaffordable lending in 2018 when I saw an article about Wonga in the papers.
Don’t copy that – say what happened to you. There are no wrong answers – you may have seen a Facebook advert from a claims company, you could have had an email from the Wagedey Advance administrators, a friend told you about irresponsible lending complaints, or you could have found Debt Camel while looking for information about credit records.
Only reply about some of your loans
If you had loans from Payday Express and you notice some of the older loans aren’t referred to in Payday Express’s response to your complaint, tell PDE this. They may have been on an old system under a different account number – PDE will then look at your complaint again, taking all the loans into account.
They always add 8% interest
All three lenders routinely add 8% interest to their offers, no messing around with goodwill offers and not paying the 8% element like some other lenders do.
Not fast at the Ombudsman level but good refunds in the end
Having taken 12-16 weeks to reply to many complaints, they are also slow at the Ombudsman level.
One reader reported:
I sent my complaint with Money shop to FOS in April this year and they are still waiting at the end of June for TMS to send through their business file despite them being sent a reminder.
Many people have reported their adjudicator having to give two or three two week extensions. They do accept a lot of adjudicator decisions though they also reject some good cases.
My notes show many people getting refunds of a thousand pounds or more from their complaints. One reader received over £9,000 after going to the Ombudsman. So this may take some time, but it can be well worth it in the end!
They do pay out on loans over 6 years old
In 2017, Payday UK, Payday Express and the Money Shop started paying out on affordability complaints about loans over 6 years old. They were the first of the big lenders to agree to do this after the Ombudsman said they could look at the older loans in late 2016.
These older cases still take longer than complaints about loans under six years, but they are going through. And the 8% added interest can be very large for these older loans.
They aren’t agreeing to payout on all older cases – if you later had a DMP, PDUK is trying to argue that this means you should have made an affordability complaint then. It’s not a very good argument from them – after all, if you knew you could make an affordability complaint in 2014 (say) when your DMP started, why didn’t you do that then? So these cases are having to go to the Ombudsman.
VERY slow to actually hand over the money
At the end of all this, it is depressing to have to say that when a refund has been offered by them – or ordered by the Ombudsman – they are still slow about actually giving you the money.
Last updated May 2019