Government’s Eat to Help Program Caused Immediate 41% Increase in Payday Loan Applications, Report Says


A new report titled “Who Needed Payday Loans During the Coronavirus Pandemic” examines who has been hardest hit financially by the COVID-19 crisis. Read the full report at

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A report from found that payday loan applications increased by 41% on August 3, 2020, the day the government Eat Out to Help Out program began.

The program has helped business owners, but what about the people who borrowed expensive loans so they could afford a 50% discount for dining out? “

– Sarah Connelly, Analyst and Writer for Cashfloat

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, December 8, 2021 / – On July 8, 2020, the UK government announced an ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ program, where customers could get a 50% discount for eating at restaurants enrolled in the government program. The project officially started operating on August 3, 2020 and ended on August 31, 2020 – with the system active every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during these dates. Restaurateurs and other business owners in the hospitality industry praised the initiative at the time and said it helped boost business.

But what about consumers? Cashfloat, a London-based payday lender that specializes in bad credit loans, released a report last week titled “Who Borrowed Payday Loans During the Coronavirus Pandemic,” which analyzed payday loan applications received in the pandemic’s first year.

Compared to the previous day, he found that payday loan applications increased by 41% on the first day of the “Eat to Help” program. This could suggest that people wanted to borrow money to take advantage of the program, which they otherwise would not have done. The full report is available on the Cashfloat website here.

Sarah Connelly, Analyst and Writer for Cashfloat, commented:
“For people who might not otherwise be able to afford the luxury of dining out, a 50% discount is too good an offer to pass up. Yes, the program has helped business owners, but what about people who wanted to borrow expensive loans so could afford a 50% discount? Payday loans are very expensive and should not be used for something like eating out. This is why Cashfloat asks for the ‘loan goal’ in our application form, and we only approve a loan application if the answer matches our borrowing criteria. “

The findings of the report were gathered from first-hand data collected through and its affiliate websites. It analyzes just under a quarter of a million personal loan applications filed in the first year of the pandemic, from March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021.

The report contains an analysis of the evolution of the number of payday loan applications during the pandemic. It also includes the demographics of payday loan applicants during this time period including their age, gender, relationship status, location, jobs, salaries, etc.

To get exclusive statistics from Cashfloat or to request a custom report you can contact the Cashfloat team at
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About Cashfloat
Cashfloat is an FCA approved direct lender that offers payday loans, personal loans and small installment loans through its popular website Since its launch in 2014, it has grown into a leading payday loan brand, recognized and trusted by thousands of UK consumers across the UK.

Cashfloat is part of the Western Circle group, which builds advanced artificial intelligence technology systems to provide secure and flexible online lending.



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