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Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:02

Wallet Wizard, Nimble and other ‘small’ loans - smart or dumb? Featured


TV is awash in ads offering loans because you’ve laminated your cat, swallowed a trumpet or turn into a zombie ghost on holiday, but should you resist temptation?

Whether it’s Wallet Wizard, Nimble or some other firm, loan companies stand ready to loan you money. I'm not linking to these companies. 

However, even Shakespeare knew the folly of this, stating in Hamlet

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

While the terms for these lending companies are different, and there are different lending companies out there, from pay day loan companies through to pawn brokers through to companies such as Wallet Wizard or Nimble, there’s a salient warning and statement I found at the Wallet Wizard site, which is ‘an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.’

The statement says:

“WARNING - Do you really need a loan today?

“It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

“Check your options before you borrow:

  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94

“The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.”

As an example of the kind of fees you need to repay, if you borrow $2000 from Wallet Wizard, its online fees and payments ‘calculator’ shows that a $2000 loan is repaid over two years, either weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Whichever way you pay, a $2000 loan will cost you just over $1000 extra - $3017.04 in repayments over 24 months (in this case paid monthly).

A $3000 payment paid over 24 months at $184.75 per month equals $4434 - or a whopping $1434 extra.

Other sites will have different repayments - check for yourself to see how much you'll have to pay back. 

Look, what you do is up to you, but you could always sell stuff you don’t need on Gumtree, cut down other expenses, use an existing credit card (which comes with its own debt traps), get a second job, think of something lateral (and legal) or do without.

More below, please read on. 

Borrowing money is easy to do - paying it off is the hard part. Like fat, which as they say is a moment on your lips and a lifetime on your hips, so too is borrowed money paid out from your hands and then re-paid for years.

Be smart and start 2016 as debt free as possible - and if you’re in debt, work hard to pay it off!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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