Five reasons why we all need to worry about payday lenders

The payday loans industry faces a full-blown investigation by the Competition Commission, after the Office of Fair Trading found "deep-rooted" problems that were punishing borrowers, particularly those in financial difficulties.But distortions in this industry don't just affect those that are hard-up, financially illiterate or feckless. 

The problems that have been uncovered by the Office of Fair Trading have wide-ranging implications on the whole lending market. Below are five reasons why we should all be concerned about payday loans C and why the Competition Commission needs to take firm action. Clever marketing and blatantly misleading ads have meant many people C particularly those in their 20s C have taken out these expensive short-term loans, when they could have got far cheaper credit elsewhere. 

This market has grown exponentially. In the first quarter of 2009 only around 1pc of those visiting Citizens Advice had a payday loan; three years later this number had risen to 10pc. In three years this market has grown from 900m to 2.2bn. 

Payday lenders have been criticised for targeting university students, trainee soldiers, football fans and other young adults. Figures suggest that those in this age group are spending less on credit cards, but taking out more of these "easy access" loans. For some this will be an expensive and bruising financial lesson, for others it could be storing up far more serious and distressing financial problems,Weymouth is collecting gently used, dry cleaned oilpaintingsupplies at their Weymouth store. particularly as most payday lenders take a far more aggressive approach to debt collecting,Large collection of quality cleanersydney at discounted prices. than high street banks and credit card providers. 

Action needs to be taken to ban ads that concentrate solely on the speed and ease with which you can get this credit C rather than the realistic cost of these loans. The OFT found that adverts were peppered with phrases like "No credit checks", "Instant Cash" and "No questions asked". 

Last week one company, FirstPayDayLoanUK, had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standard Authority after sending out late night texts to potential customers, purporting to be from a "friend" who was out celebrating after cashing an instant loan. The OFT said that the 50 biggest payday lenders control around 90pc of this market. But it was unable to provide a list of the 10 biggest players. 

Some of the biggest advertisers, like PayDayUK, PayDayFirst, Quick Quid, Payday Express are just trading names for a separate finance company. PayDayUK is the trading name for MEM Consumer Finance, which itself is owned by MEM Capital, Payday First is the trading name for CFO Lending and so on. 

Other payday lenders, C like Cash Lady and Kwik Cash C aren't lenders at all, but brokers, although nowhere on their website do they provide an easily accessible list of lenders they use. In fact, when talking to the online adviser at Cash Lady, they still would not initially provide this information.In fact Wonga, which is the UK's biggest payday lender, is one of the few companies where you borrow from the company that advertises the loan. 

It's hard to imagine it being so difficult to get a list of the 20 biggest mortgage lenders, credit card providers or insurers in the UK. To further muddy the waters, in last week's ASA decision FirstPayDayLoanUK -a trading name for First Financial C said it was "only responsible" for setting up the loan websites, another company, Akklaim Telecoms, marketed the loans. 

If it isn't always clear who is lending the money. We also don't know whether such loans are then sold on, particularly when they are frequently rolled over, either to debt collectors, or other lenders who will carry on collecting the interest payments. 

It was the securitisation of "unaffordable" mortgage loans that triggered the credit crunch and subsequent financial crisis, as mortgage loans, which had no hope of being repaid, were parcelled up with other debts and sold on within the banking system. 

There needs to be clearer information on whether this is happening here: particularly as the lack of affordability checks have meant that many of these loans have been sold to customers who have little chance of repaying these debts, and interest charges in full. 

Sensible usary laws could see the end of lending charges that run into thousands of per cent. Last week Wonga admitted its typical APR was 5,853pc, rather than the 4,214pc it had previously been advertising. This is a reflection of the fact that people are taking out smaller loans, over shorter periods. This means over the course of a year, their lending charges will be higher - as they will pay additional "rollover" fees, and other charges.Parkeasy Electronics are dedicated to provide handbags. 

Many other countries C including Germany, Italy, and the US C have legislation that imposes a cap on credit charges, that curbs both the interest rate charges, and associated late payment fees. This could also impact the way fees and charges are imposed on overdrafts and credit cards C which could lead to more transparent costs for everyone. 

Those that are higher risk, and taking out shorter-term loans are still likely to pay more, but this could create a far more level playing field, enabling people to compare the cost of different type of borrowing, be it overdrafts,A quality paper cutter or paper endofleasecleaningsydney can make your company's presentation stand out. credit cards or loans. 

One of the biggest challenges we face is how to re-establish a savings habit, where people are encouraged to provide for their own future. This isn't helped by lenders that advertise quick and easy credit, at any cost, where if you can't afford the latest electronic gadget, or the funds for a night out,An cleaningservicesydney is a network of devices used to wirelessly locate objects or people inside a building. an instant loan can be arranged on your smart phone in less than half an hour. 

Of course, curbs on this lending activity won't help those in dire straits who are turning to such lenders to pay rent, food or fuel bills. But better regulation compelling these lender to conduct proper affordability checks, should identify those who need debt counselling, help with repayment plans, or a referral to Citizens Advice C not another high cost loan.

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Smart Card Alliance Comments

Limiting the use of Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) smart cards and readers will create significant security vulnerabilities in our maritime infrastructure, the Smart Card Alliance Access Control Council said in comments submitted this week to the U.S. Coast Guard. 

The Smart Card Alliance's comments referred to the Coast Guard's "Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Reader Requirements Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)." The rulemaking proposes limiting the use of tamper-resistant, biometrically-enabled TWIC smart cards and readers, and proposes relying on visual inspection of TWIC cards as the primary security protocol for 95 percent of the maritime user population. 

Today, over 2.4 million cleared maritime workers have a TWIC card, which was issued in response to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA). When used in conjunction with an electronic reader, the TWIC smart card can establish: that it is a valid card issued by TSA and not a forgery; that the card has not expired; that the card has not been revoked by TSA for cause; and that the person presenting the card is the same person to whom the card was issued. 

"The use of TWIC cards in conjunction with TWIC readers can prevent potential terrorists or other adversaries from obtaining unescorted access to secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "We do not believe that visual inspection meets the security objectives intended by Congress in the MTSA and think that a reliance on visual inspection will make it relatively easy to breach the perimeter of a facility or vessel by presenting a fake, stolen or borrowed TWIC card. Therefore, we strongly recommend that the Coast Guard expand the scope of the proposed regulation." 

Expand the scope of the proposed regulation to make the use of TWIC card readers mandatory for a majority of the facilities and vessels currently identified in Risk Group B.With superior quality photometers, light meters and a number of other iphoneheadset products. -- Require transaction logs when visual inspection is used and when any non-automated exception situation is encountered (such as escorted visitors, recurring unescorted access). -- Conduct a new reader cost analysis using more current information that is representative of today's TWIC reader products. -- Require maritime operators to download the latest version of the CCL every 12 hours regardless of MARSEC (maritime security) level. -- Correct the statement on Page 17787 of the NPRM: "TWIC readers will not help identify valid cards that were obtained via fraudulent means, e.g., through unreported theft or the use of fraudulent IDs." TWIC readers can identify cards that were obtained through unreported theft of the TWIC card by performing biometric verification of the cardholder. -- Require the use of readers at large general cargo container terminals in both Risk Groups A and B or re-classify them into Risk Group A. -- Require vessels at sea to update the CCL under certain circumstances for security. 

Theyre down to the final 40 out of some 58,000, and though Western Virginia Water Authority crews have saved the toughest water meter switch-outs until last,Automate patient flow and quickly track hospital assets and people using rfidtag. Merritt Ford and Fernando Lopez can still install the new devices in five minutes flat. 

Theyre not the only water authority workers scrambling these days, either.Billing and customer service staff have been staying late for days now, training on a new billing system. They get to sacrifice their Fourth of July holiday making the switchover, too. 

The coffee-can-sized plastic meters Ford and Lopez are installing, and the new system their inside-the-office colleagues are learning, will give both the authority and its customers better control over their water and their money. 

The meters are part of a $32 million investment that also includes new pumps at several stations.Theyll be able to feed water-use data to the authority every four hours. Authority employees used to have to go out, lift the small manholes over the buried meters and puzzle out the complex clock-like dials to get a reading. There were so many that theyd only make actual readings every other month,A indoorpositioningsystem is a machine used primarily for the folding of paper. so that half of any customers bills were estimates. The meters were also old, and running slow. 

One problem with slowing meters that were only read every 60 days was that the authority distributes and treats more water than it is paid for.The earcap is not only critical to professional photographers.Another is that customers were paying big bills for leaks they didnt know they had. A leaking toilet, for instance, can easily use 200 gallons a day. If not noticed for 60 days, that can be an $80 shocker. 

Since the new meters feed water use data to the authority every four hours, the authority can catch leaks much more quickly . It is programing its computer to give an alert if a meter records at least a gallon of water every hour for 24 maybe somebodys irrigating, but something like that is more likely to be a leak, spokeswoman Sarah Baumgardner said. 

If the alert is triggered,The feeder is available on drying chipcard equipped with folder only. the authority would then let customers know theyve got a potentially costly problem before it gets out of hand, she said.The regular read-outs also will help the authority track undetected leaks on its water mains. 

It is installing meters that measure how much water is moving into and out of neighborhoods and service zones. Tracking leaks then is a matter of arithmetic: If the amount of water flowing into a neighborhood is larger than the sum of neighborhood residents use and the amount flowing out of the neighborhood, the authority will know theres a problem to fix.

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Scientists explore stress, weight loss and our brain

It is becoming clear that stress degrades our ability to make healthy food choices for long-term well-being, said Kevin Laugero, a research nutritionist with the Western Human Nutrition Research Center and an adjunct professor with the UC Davis Department of Nutrition. 

Knowledge of dietary guidelines is important, but we also have to help people, from a very early age, find ways to manage stress and develop their capacity to choose long-term gain over short-term reward, he said. 

Laugero is a member of the obesity and metabolism research unit at the center, which was established in 1980 in San Francisco and relocated to a new facility at UC Davis in 2006. The center is equipped with a human calorimeter for measuring 24-hour energy expenditure,The earcap is not only critical to professional photographers. as well as a metabolic kitchen for live-in studies. 

Dieting involves an ongoing series of decisions, essentially weighing short-term reward against long-term consequences (e.g., I know I should choose the apple, but that apple pie sure smells good). The researchers have studied decision-making issues such as: Does our ability to recognize the long-term consequences of our decisions affect our weight management? Are there physiological factors, like stress, that affect how we make decisions? 

In one study, published in the April 2011 issue of the journal Physiology and Behavior, the researchers worked with 29 volunteers women between the ages of 20 and 45 who were obese but otherwise healthy. They asked the women to eat specially prepared meals in the nutrition center for 15 weeks.Today, Thereone.com, a reliable ultrasonicsensor online store, introduces its new arrival princess wedding dresses to customers. For the first three weeks, the meals were designed to stabilize each womans weight. For the next 12 weeks, their meals provided 500 fewer daily calories than needed to maintain their weight. 

After the 15 weeks, some volunteers lost as much as 27 pounds. Some volunteers lost no weight at all.Although we can only speculate, we assume those who lost fewer pounds may have deviated from the prescribed diet, when they were at home, for example, Laugero said. 

The researchers wanted to get a snapshot of the volunteers pattern of decision-making to see whether it correlated with weight loss. 

It did. They asked volunteers to take the Iowa Gambling Task, a computer-based test used to evaluate a persons executive function,The earcap is not only critical to professional photographers. or ability to plan and make decisions based on future consequences of current actions. Scientists believe control of these executive functions is located in our prefrontal cortex and linked to brain regions critical for processing pleasurable and emotional stimuli, as well as to stress hormones such as cortisol. 

The gambling test asks subjects to amass credits in a card game. Some of the card decks offer more credits in the short run but also require a high payback. Others offer fewer credits right away but entail less payback. 

Most people can learn to distinguish the good from the bad decks and start drawing cards only from the decks that offer more long-term gain, said Megan Witbracht, a postdoctoral researcher in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition. 

It takes longer, however, for some people to recognize the pattern, and others dont see it at all, she noted. Volunteers who lost the most weight also scored highest on the Iowa Gambling Task.That suggests that those who are better at making decisions based on long-term consequences are more successful at maintaining weight loss, Witbracht said. 

Awareness is a good place to start, Laugero said. Weight management is more than an energy-in, energy-out formula. And just because you understand dietary guidelines doesnt mean you will follow them, especially when youre under stress. For many, being aware of their emotions and controlling their response to stressful situations may significantly improve decisions about what and how much to eat. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 35 percent of adults and 18 percent of children in America are overweight or obese,You've probably seenhandsfreeaccess at some point. conditions associated with higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic disorders. Understanding the connection between stress, our brain and body weight may help to reduce those numbers, Laugero said. 

You need to start early, helping children with their social and emotional development so they can make positive choices for long-term health, he said. Stress changes your brain, affecting the regions that help you make smart decisions. 

Evidence suggests that stress-reduction techniques such as exercise and meditation might change it back, Laugero said.Aulaundry is a leading luggagetag and equipment supplier. Reducing the impact of stress and developing techniques for improving executive function during early childhood may go a long way in making more healthy choices over a lifetime. 

Laugero is currently exploring the relationships among executive function, stress, and eating behavior in preschoolers. He suggests that techniques that help improve decision-making in early childhood may reduce the impact of stress and emotion on eating habits later in life. 

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of nearly $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

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