We all, from time to time, touch our parents for a few quid. I’m just in my forties and have only very recently got out of the habit. Now it’s my turn as, yesterday, I withdrew a cool ton for my stepson who ‘neeeeded’ the money to buy new tools for the apprenticeship he’s recently started. Fair play, I suppose, when you think that my cash advances from the bank of ‘Dad’ (still unrepaid) used to be for Stella Artois or Golden Virginia at the end of a heavy month.
However, my touches are nothing in comparison to one 27 year old son who took his mother for over £1,000 in all to repay his instant cash loan addiction – and never even told her! This article serves as a warning to any parent who commits to paying off their offspring’s debts with their own credit card.
In spring of 2011, the mom, who has remained nameless to protect her family, was approached by her son who had ran up outstanding debts from several payday advances; now that the lenders wanted their money back and he was all out of options, he asked his mom for the money.
Finding the cash wasn’t the issue, it was the deliberation of whether she should or not that was giving her consternation. Reading between the lines, I can almost here her saying to her son when she agreed to pay of the first loan (you just know what’s coming, don’t you?), “Now you promise me you won’t get into this trouble again!”, to which the son no doubt duly promised, honourably or not.
And, for a while, ‘mom’ heard nothing, indeed forgot about the whole event. She had repaid the instant cash loan – to Wonga, as it happens – on her debit card, and that was that, as far as she was concerned.
That was until she came to look at her bank staement towards the end of last year. Not only had her son took out loans with Wonga again, but on multiple occasions, and as much as £400 in one hit. The total that the instant cash loan specialist had taken from ‘mom’s debit card since the initial debt repayment had risen to almost £1,000!
What ‘mom’ had not realised was that when she had repaid the initial short term loan that her son had come cap in hand to her for, by using her debit card she had triggered an automatic registration to pay off all future debts against the account.
To be fair to the payday lender, it is all in the t & c’s and Wonga, after ‘mom’ had written and complained that it was not her debt but her sons, apologised and said that it had assumed the card belonged to the debtor as it was registered at the same address. Mmm – a bit six of one, half a dozen of the other, if you ask me.
All’s well that ends well, as they say. Upon receipt of the complaint, Wonga automatically suspended her son’s account and, fair play, returned the money to ‘mom’. Legally speaking, they may or may not have had to do that.
However, in the light of other stories shedding not such a glorious light on the cash advance company (again, not that Wonga were 100% to blame, there – the students lending the money are, after all, supposedly learned subjects), they have credited ‘mom’ with the sums not authorised by her and have come to an arrangement with ‘son’ to repay the debt in bite-size chunks, rather than the lump sum as was originally agreed when he first took out the short term loans. Let’s just see what happens when he defaults on one of those payments, before showering Wonga with plaudits, eh?