I am urging people finding themselves in financial difficulty because of the COVID-19 crisis to steer of moneylenders.
We are getting reports that moneylenders – some of whom are licensed – are preying on vulnerable people.
These unscrupulous individuals are targeting estates where working people live in order to induce them to take out loans. This is blatant opportunism in a time of crisis.
It is astonishing that some of these lenders can charge extortionate, rip-off Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of up to 187%.
I would urge all those that find themselves in difficulty to talk to reputable institutions or services such as MABS – the Money and Budgeting Advice Service – which helps people organise their credit and plan their finances.
I am also calling on licensed moneylenders to outline ways in which they intend to support borrowers, following on from the example that is being set by the Irish League of Credit Unions.