Last May, Carol Lewis, 21, killed himself after spiraling into debt stemming from a payday loan. Lewis, who worked part time at a bar and studied physics at Swansea University, took out a loan for £100, or $157. Within three months, the payday loan’s interest rate made his debt balloon to £800, or about $1,250.
The night he died, Lewis swallowed diet pills that were considered unsafe for human consumption and posted on Facebook, "I don't want to die, I think it is too late.” Lewis’ friends called for help, but he died at a local hospital.
Swansea coroner Colin Phillips said, “[Lewis] took the tablets as a cry for help, but despite alerting friends who took him to hospital he died of [the overdose].”
The payday loan service was not identified in an inquest, but investigators concluded it was acting legally.
Lewis hailed from South Wales and was largely described as being a warm and friendly presence. Former Students' Union president Luke James said: "His friendliness made it a better place to be every day. It is obvious his unique impact on our university and so many people’s lives will be felt forever.”
Sharon Lewis, Carol’s mother, was heartbroken and posted a poem to his Facebook after he died. "There aren't enough tears in me that can wash away the pain of knowing I'll never see you smile or hear you laugh again or feel your arms around me, see your blue eyes shine so bright to talk with you for hours from morning through to night,” she wrote.
"You knew I'd find it difficult to keep going day by day not having you here with me and the price I'd have to pay for accepting that you had to go you felt you had no choice so I shut down everything in me and listened for your voice.”