Hundreds of library computers are blocking people from accessing the websites of payday lenders following a campaign to stop families falling into inescapable debts.
Today it can be revealed that 825 computers across Dudley, Wolverhampton and Sandwell are refusing access to sites such as Wonga.com and QuickQuid.
Enormous four-figure interest rates mean that someone who borrows £100 could end up owing thousands if they do not pay it back quickly.
Now councillors in Dudley are the latest to announce that 271 library computers across the borough will no longer allow the lenders’ websites to be displayed because of the massive rates they charge and the debts they can leave people in.
They have blocked 255 websites from being seen on computers in 13 libraries.
It comes after neighbouring Sandwell Council blocked the websites on 350 computers at 19 libraries.
And at Wolverhampton City Council’s 15 libraries payday loan websites were revealed to have been blocked at the end of July.
The council has 220 computers in libraries, other public buildings and youth services and all of them refuse to display the websites of payday lenders.
Bosses said they were looking at other steps to take to restrict the advertising of payday lending services.
The latest decision by Dudley Council is intended to help people avoid being drawn into what it called ‘excessively’ high interest loans and encourage people to use the not for profit Castle & Crystal Credit Union.
Ian Austin, MP for Dudley North, has been campaigning to get payday lenders off the high street.
He said: “It is brilliant news that these websites are blocked on so many computers. It’s great to see councils taking action.
“I want payday lenders driven off the high streets because they prey on hard pressed families who are struggling to make ends meet.
“We need to see more people using credit unions so they can access credit they can afford.”