'Wonga may have kicked the bucket but Britain's unhealthy reliance on payday loans is still very much alive - and it's getting worse.
New data, seen exclusively by This is Money, has revealed the full extent of the country's payday loan addiction, with UK borrowers racking up astronomically expensive debts surpassing the billion pound mark last year.
Total payday lending reached a phenomenal £1.2billion in 2018, according to Financial Conduct Authority figures.
The official figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information Act request made to the financial watchdog by flexible wage app Wagestream.
They place Birmingham as the payday loan capital of the UK, with an eye-watering £37million in payday loans taken out last year.
Residents of the West Midlands city also took out the most payday loans by volume - a massive 146,176 throughout the year — as their personal finances came under pressure.
When ranked by the total value of payday loans borrowed in 2018, Birmingham was followed by Manchester at £28.6million, and Sheffield at £23.8million.
After millions of people turned to payday loan providers following the financial crisis, the watchdog capped the outrageous rates of interest they were being charged in 2015.
Before this, there were examples of APRs hitting 5,853 per cent - meaning a £100 loan would accrue £672 in interest in just six months. If left for a year, the interest on the £100 loan would hit £5,853.'
Read more: Britain's payday loan hotspots revealed as high cost credit addiction sees debts spiral to over £1billion
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