Payday loans: A hard lesson about easy money

If you are growing tired of "watchdogs", "regulators" and "official investigations" into consumer grievances - here's a story that may inspire you.

Today I met Lisa Kelly who took out some payday loans while she was a student.

She was so concerned by this brush with the short-term lenders (some charging APR running into thousands of percent) that she started her own investigation.

Her findings should be a role model for the Financial Conduct Authority which today took over regulation of the UK's 500 payday firms.

Lisa now works for a reputable loan company, Amigo, and had their advice and backing to ensure her research was robust.

Lisa Kelly's research should be concerning to industry regulators. Credit: ITV News

Last month she applied to lenders and found that eight of them advanced her money within just four days.

This was almost seven times her monthly disposable income and she tells me she could never have repaid.

She is angry at this evidence that some of the lenders failing to check whether people can repay - perhaps because they can make so much from "roll-overs" whereby loans are extended.

Lisa's anger and passion to expose the worst practices in the industry are a timely lesson to the officials paid to mount such research.

As she says, "people go to these firms for help - but can end up far worse off."