Three more universities have banned payday lenders from advertising on their campuses as the National Union of Students (NUS) launched a campaign to encourage more institutions to do the same.
The University of Northampton, Northumbria University and Swansea University made the commitment to their students’ union to never allow payday lending companies to advertise on campus.
It followed a decision by the University of East London in February this year to ban advertising on campus.
Research by the NUS found that 10% of students in vulnerable groups had accessed high risk debt, including payday loans, cash-a-cheque and doorstep loans.
Pete Mercer, NUS national vice president of welfare, said: “Students are struggling to make ends meet and this is having a real impact on their wellbeing and their education.
“It’s clear that at least some payday lenders are targeting vulnerable students and the government has so far failed to act so it’s important we do everything we can to limit their ability to reach our campuses.”
But Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the Consumer Finance Association (CFA), which represents short-term lenders in the UK said he is concerned that the NUS is denying choices to its members.
He added: “Payday loans are extremely flexible but that doesn’t make them right for everybody. To get a loan from a reputable and responsible short-term lender you need both regular and disposable income.
“So, unless students are in work while studying, it is highly unlikely that a reputable payday lender would approve a loan or that it would be the right choice for most students.”
Hamblin-Boone said: “We fully support the NUS’ desire to protect its students and any efforts to drive out rogue lenders, but this campaign against advertising on campus will do little to tackle bad lending practice and discredits the whole industry unjustifiably.”