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Edwardians risked loan charges to pay for Christmas with payday loans

Newspaper archives have revealed that payday loans are not a modern phenomenon as many people may have thought, with Edwardians using them to cover the cost of Christmas.

The Telegraph has revealed adverts from 1912 that offer loans to Edwardian Brits from £5 to £5,000 (£460 to £463,000 in today's cash), although it specified that they were only for "trustworthy persons".

No fees were charged up front and they were advertised as "low interest and easy repayments".

Many Edwardians would have risked loan charges to get the cash to pay for presents, food and fuel over the Christmas period.

"We can see that front pages and entire newspaper columns were dominated by advertisements for quick cash to help broke Edwardians to pay for Christmas and it seems that turning to payday loan companies for an extra bit of help is not just a 21st century phenomenon," said Debra Chatfield, spokesperson for the British Newspaper Archive.

Payday loan companies have been criticised in modern times for targeting vulnerable people, such as those studying at university. The National Union of Students has said that six per cent of all people in higher education take out the high interest loans.

Samantha Clarke
Samantha is a former banking assistant and has over ten years experience in retail banking.ADNFCR-2776-ID-801510252-ADNFCR

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