A Million People Turn to Payday Loans to Cover Bills
Hughes, Kate, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
More than one million people are turning to expensive short-term lending to meet essential costs such as water, energy, and council tax bills.
Three in 10 Brits currently use credit cards, overdrafts, and a range of other sources of cash to cover the cost of household bills each month, borrowing 3.6bn or 259 per person, according to research from Santander.
But 2 per cent of the population, more than a million people, are turning to payday lenders to the tune of 2bn a year to keep a roof over their heads, the equivalent of 1,836 each.
"This is very worrying indeed," says Una Farrell, a spokesperson for debt charity the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. "If you start using credit for day-to-day expenses I just don't know where you'll end up, especially when payday loans are so expensive. Credit unions and even short-term lending from your bank could be so much cheaper.
"With so many people struggling at the moment, especially those from the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, this shows just how big the market is. …