‘Poor’ and ‘cash-strapped’ are two words often associated with students and loan companies are fully aware of this. Therefore, some companies, such as Smart-pig, target students promising a quick and easy way to borrow money to cover shortfalls in the budget. These types of loans are informally known as "payday loans" as they are aimed at providing money between paydays. It is typically expected that the debt is repaid the next payday.
However, don't be tempted into taking out a loan with these companies. Smart-pig charges 0.8% A DAY capping the interest at 50% of the original loan (according to the website). Wonga, the infamous payday company that recently went bankrupt, charged an interest rate of 292%. Therefore, you can quickly get into more financial problems if you have used one of those short-term loan companies.
An even worse source of money is a loan shark. These illegal lenders target low-income people and charge high interest rates. For example, according to the Money Advice Service, one woman who borrowed £500 ended up repaying £88,000. These lenders will seem friendly at first, but unlike payday loans, these loan sharks will often harass you or resort to violence if you get behind on your payment. In addition, they might pressure you to borrow more money to cover the original loan. As a result, you might end up in a spiral of debt that you can never repay.
A payday loan or a loan shark should never be relied upon if you are short of cash. What you can do instead, is talk to your parents or friends and see if they can help you out with your financial issues. I'm sure they are more than willing to help you out.
In addition, as a Swansea University student, you have a comprehensive team to support your financial issues. Your first point of call should be Money@CampusLife team which can give you advice about keeping your finance in check. In addition, the Money@CampusLife team can advise you about the Hardship bursary to help students who are struggling with their finances.