We were sitting watching telly last night when we heard our letterbox flap squeak as it does when someone pushes junk (and any other) mail though. I went over and grabbed the junk mail flier that had been pushed through and had a quick squizz.

The flier was for Provident gift vouchers. I very quickly dismissed it as more crap and then something caught my eye - the phrase "Typical 468.2% APR". I nearly had a heart attack. Surely this must be a typo so I checked their website and right there on the front page I was confronted with this...

254.5% APR

Yes, a personal loan offering a "fantastic" APR of 254.5%!!!! I was now hooked, I wanted to see how bad I could get the APR so I found their loan calculator and started playing with the figures. Soon I had the 468.2% APR for the vouchers...

468.2% APR

... but more amazingly, I found an even "better" deal...

545.2% APR

In case you don't see red on light blue very well, it reads a handsome rate of 545.2% APR!!!

I understand desperate times call for desperate measures, but this is blatantly ripping people off. People who can only get loans from these kind of companies really should not be taking any sort of loans out.

Do APR rates like this not trigger the same kind of alarm bells in those who actually apply for them? Given the fact the company advertise they've been around for 125 years (conveniently round number), I guess not.