How to complain about a payday loan company

If your payday lender is not dealing with your case fairly, you can put in a complaint and even take it to the Financial Ombudsman. Our guide explains how.

In summary

  • Financial providers must deal with your complaint within eight weeks
  • You can also refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if you have exhausted the company's internal complaints procedure
  • If your bank or credit card provider is refusing to cancel a Continuous Payment Authority you can also use the Ombudsman to complain

1 Collate all your evidence

If you have an unresolved issue with your payday loan company, you can issue a complaint directly to them. Financial providers must deal with complaints within eight weeks.

Make sure your email or letter is clearly headed with 'Complaint', is succinct and includes the names of people you've spoken to as well as the dates on which you talked to them.

Remember to detail how you would like the matter to be resolved.

2 Dissatisfied with response

In line with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Rules, all banks and financial providers should have a set of internal procedures for handling your complaint.

Any staff dealing with complaints should know what these rules are so you can be informed if the need arises. Procedures should be clear and well defined.

If the payday loan company is unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction by the close of business on the day following receipt of your complaint, then it should provide a prompt written acknowledgement that your complaint is being considered.

You should be kept informed about the bank’s progress in dealing with your complaint, and within eight weeks receive a final response or an explanation as to why a final response has not yet been reached.

3 Complain to the Financial Ombudsman

You should also be informed that you can refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

You can take your complaint to the ombudsman if you've exhausted the payday loan company’s internal complaints procedure.

The payday loan company should respond with a final decision to you within eight weeks, or have issued you with a final deadlock letter before then if the situation cannot be resolved.

It’s not just problems with payday lenders that the FOS can deal with.

If you’ve asked your bank or credit card provider to cancel a continuous payment authority, for example, but it hasn’t, you can complain to your card provider and, if you’re not happy with the response, take your case to FOS.

Your bank should tell you where FOS complaints are applicable, and how to complain to the FOS.

4 Clean up Credit campaign

Following a new Which? investigation, we believe that payday lenders are acting unlawfully by charging excessive default fees.

10 of the 17 leading payday lenders we looked at have default fees of £20 or more, and four charge £25 and above, with Wonga topping the table at £30.

We believe that excessive default fees are unlawful under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

We want the industry to clean up its act and lend responsibly. We’re calling on the Financial Conduct Authority to set tough rules on credit lenders.

Tell us your story and help make the financial regulator take action as part of our Clean up Credit campaign.

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