Along or ‘Ah Long‘ are terms that refer to unlicensed lending companies or loan shark. Usually, those who are bound by Along’s loans are from low-income or desperate people who need immediate cash. This situation occurs because Along loans are simpler, simpler and generally do not require any credit checks compared to bank loans or licensed money lending companies.
Although unlicensed, posters of Along’s loans can be found around the city to attract the public, with sweet words that appeal to those in need and who are unaware of the dangers of making loans from Along.
Money borrowed from Along comes with high interest and risk. Many underestimate the risk of borrowing money from Along. They feel that as long as the amount borrowed is small and repayable within the shortest possible time, the money lending from Along can go smoothly with no problems. To compare the hustle to get personal loan from banks, much more harder. But the reality is very different.
See 6 reasons why getting indebted to Along can harm your life and your family.
Endless interest rates
Have you ever heard the term ‘ten-thirty’? It refers to the interest rate charged on the borrower. The interest rate of ten means that for every RM10 borrowed, RM3 will be charged as interest. In other words, the amount you borrow will be 30% interest in just one month!
To give you a better idea of how much money to repay if you make a loan from Along, see the example below:
Amount borrowed: RM1,000
Interest payable (monthly): RM300
Interest on a 12 month loan: RM3,600
Total payable: RM4,600
Are you still interested in making a loan from Along? Ten-thirds is not the only interest rate offered, although it is obviously very high. The interest rates offered by Along also include ten-four and ten-five, depending on the loan amount or the borrower’s credit situation. Imagine how much interest you would have to pay if your loan amount was charged at the rate of ten!
Cost and terms are hidden
Unlike licensed banks and financial institutions, Along does not have to have clear and detailed terms before you sign a loan agreement. You can never be too sure of the additional costs and charges you may incur if, say, you missed a refund as scheduled. Of course they will promise you sweet words before you sign your loan agreement, as fees and charges are small, or the repayment schedule can always be discussed again.
Their verbal promises are far from reality. Like banks, Along imposes a penalty interest rate if you pay late or miss payments. However, the penalty rates are often higher than the banks. In addition, as long as the terms are not in black and white, Along can change the rules and rates at any time without any hindrance.
Important personal documents are taken as ‘security deposit’
Identity cards, passports and bank cards are often kept by Along as a ‘security deposit’ to ensure continuous payments even though they are illegal. This is one of the tactics by Along to ensure that you will not run away before settling your debt.
Your identity document is your legal right, and can only be withheld by law enforcement for official purposes. Your personal information should be protected against cases such as identity theft.
Securing your passport or identity card for a money loan is not worth it, as they can easily misuse personal information without you even knowing it.
Pressed to take out loans from other Along to settle the debt
If you find it difficult to repay your loan, they will often put pressure on you to take out another loan to fully repay your first loan with the aim of avoiding paying more interest and charges in the long run.
Don’t be fooled! In fact, they encourage you to be tied to bigger debt and higher interest rates.
Physical and mental hallucinations
When you are unable to repay your debt, it is not unusual for them to force you to make payments through threats and threats that could lead to violence. What’s worse, they won’t hesitate to involve your family members to force you or your family to settle your debt.
In January 2016, a couple of husbands and wives were reported to have been harassed by Along for several months because of their unresolved daughter debts. In fact, Along also burned the couple’s house door to force them to make payments. The full coverage of the news can be found here in English.
In short, the best way to deal with Along is to not deal with them at all. Find a valid and licensed money lending company if you cannot get a loan from a bank.
If you plan to get a loan to solve your financial problems such as credit card debt or personal loans, contact an advisory body.
In conclusion, please try your best to not getting involve with these Along or unlicensed organisation. Or else, you will suffer for the rest of your life. You may go to any licensed or bank to get help on your financial.