Swimming with the sharks

Monday 13 September 2004

Anyone visiting the website Can't Wait could be excused for thinking the "wage advances" (otherwise known as loans) on offer are a great deal and the website's call centre is staffed by people who just want to make your life easier.

By The Landlord

Prospective clients might even be impressed by the easy-to-read fine print. But there's a catch to these loans.

Cantwait.com charges 729.96 per cent interest a year on its loans. If you are late, your repayments will be loaded with missed-payment fees.

For people who can chuck an extra few thousand dollars on the mortgage when extra cash is needed, the idea of paying 40, 50, 60, or even 729.96 per cent interest to such lenders of last resort, otherwise known as loan sharks, is difficult to comprehend.

But the shark schools in poorer urban areas of New Zealand can mean children go hungry because parents are too frightened to miss payments, says Consumers Institute chief executive David Russell.

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