About Capfin Loans (Closed)
Capfin had a planned UK launch of 2015, but there was a delay until 2017 when they finally got under way, operating from Milton Keynes. This brand had been trading in South Africa since April 2011. They would in time also spread out to Australia. These sites are still live, but the Aussie site wasn’t taking applications on a previous check. When visiting www.capfin.co.uk now, a notice of the closure is made dated April 2019. Learning of Capfin’s closure didn’t come as a big surprise as they never managed to gain any traction with their Alexa traffic ranks always trailing way behind the leading brands. Investment from their high profile owner was certainly necessary.
In control was Steinhoff International Holdings NV who specialise in furniture and household goods, controlling the established Bensons for Beds and Harveys Furniture brands here in the UK. They also acquired Poundland back in 2016 that they acquired for £610 million. Financial services obviously isn’t their area of expertise, but surely some investment and patience could have been set aside here. When it came to the product pitched, this was quite a restricted loan available on a 6 month term on small amounts of £200 to £500. The pricing was quite competitive at £162.30 for £300 borrowed. There were no late fees charged and they were more lenient than usual instalment lenders.
About Track Loans (Closed)
Track Loans looked to have great potential when they launched on the market back in 2017. “Your Route to Affordable Finance” was headlined on www.trackloans.co.uk where for a short time you could receive the cheapest instalment loans with bad credit. Unfortunately, this project closed without any notice being given. From studying Wayback Machine, the site was taken offline in 2018. As it stands, secure visits (https) redirect to www.street-uk.com. They haven’t however redirected correctly on non-secure visits (http) where you’ll be shown an index listing error. The owners were Street (UK) Cic who formed in 1999 with Street UK later trading from September 2000. Cic for reference refers to the “community interest company” business structure.
Street’s product is restricted to West Midlands. All customers must reside within 15 miles of a branch. 2 of these are located in Birmingham whilst single branches are located in Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. The Track loan project was initially unveiled in 2017 as a localised service, but they soon upgraded to cover all areas of England and Wales. Track’s USP was their excellent value that was passed on to those unable to qualify elsewhere. The term range offered was 3 to 6 months and their pricing over these terms at £300 came in at £59.46 (3m) and £108.66 (6m). Both examples were the cheapest bad credit instalment deals available at that time.
About Pounds to Pocket Loans (Closed)
Pounds to Pocket closed quietly sometime in the early stages of 2019. This hasn’t been a forced closure, but rather a business move on their part to merge P2P with On Stride Financial. A notice of the change currently shows on www.poundstopocket.co.uk and there is a login button that’ll redirect to Stride’s site where the same login details can be used by existing customers. When learning of this development, it was surprising that they’d fuse 2 very different products on the repayment side. Fortunately, there has been a restructure and so you can find the same 6 to 12 month options with Stride’s product that now spans between 6 and 36 months (previously 1 to 2 years).
To cover the background, the Pounds to Pocket loans were unleashed on the market in the year 2010. This was formed to support the QuickQuid brand that was already firmly established on the payday market. Enova International are in charge after they took over from Cash America after Enova was spun off from the organisation. At launch a set 12 month loan was provided and they operated 24/7. The flexibility was enhanced to begin at 6 months whilst the call centre hours were brought back to Monday to Friday (8am-9pm) and Saturday to Sunday (10am-6.30pm). The company grew very quickly after early investment in TV advertising that rocketed the project firmly into the limelight.
About WageDayAdvance Loans (Closed)
Curo Transatlantic Ltd (a subsidiary of Curo Financial Technologies Corp) entered administration in February 2019 that sunk with it WageDayAdvance (aka Wage Day Advance) and Juo Loans. This closure was caused by a wave of compensation claims mimicking the same fate as Wonga who closed in August 2018. It is common for loan books to be sold on to debt collectors, but WageDay’s business plus assets have headed to Shelby Finance Ltd for £8.5m. Shelby is part of Morses Club that outside of doorstep lending trades as Dot Dot Loans. With bad debts nuked, around 50,000 customers have moved across. The employees have also moved with the call centre and decision platform being part of the deal.
WageDayAdvance (WDA) had been one of the longest running payday lenders active at www.wagedayadvance.co.uk since 2004. The business was formed by former pawnbroker Dale Chapman who successfully guided a highly profitable payday lender over a decade. WDA that helped to put Skipton on the map was took over from America’s Curo in early 2013. WageDay’s initial focus was monthly-only lending, but they later extended to cater instalments between 1 and 6 months. Customers could receive between £80 to £500 when new and £1000 when reloaning. The company operated 7/7 between Monday and Friday (8am-8pm), Saturday (9am-5pm) and Sunday (10am-4pm). Monthly pricing was price capped (£24 per £100). For instalments per £300, they charged £211.20 (3m) and £253.99 (6m).
About Wonga Loans (Closed)
The once dominant payday giant Wonga closed their doors for business in August 2018. The lender collapsed into administration after a wrath of compensation claims. They were however already skating on thin ice through capping, fines and write-offs. Some may have seen the writing on the wall when they reported a heavy after tax loss of £76.5 million across 2015. The local site at www.wonga.com is still live to highlight the administration notice and the Wonga claims portals is also in place here. Whilst the UK business has closed, the brand is still active overseas. The Spanish site has recently closed, but they are still actively trading in Poland and South Africa.
Going back to Wonga’s origins, they started out in the year 2007. The market leader at this time was PaydayUK, with QuickQuid later challenging them. Wonga’s growth come after a few years when their enhanced flexible payday loan alternative started to gather real traction. Back then they operated 24/7 and paid out quickly for just several pounds extra at a time (competitors usually charged expensive CHAPS fees). Rather than borrowing monthly, the customer could choose what specific day they could repay. The amounts rather than starting at £100 also moved in small £1 increments starting from £1. This was later bumped to £50+ and their 24/7 hours were cut back to Mon/Sat (7am-8pm) and Sun (8am-5pm).