Shelter Scotland says payday lending causing serious harm

WEEKLY INDUSTRY RECAP: WEEK ENDING 6 JAN 2013

It’s bad news this week north of the border according to Shelter Scotland, with the housing charity declaring some 725,000 people running into debt problems.

Shelter Scotland remarked that 20 per cent of people are finding it a struggle to pay their mortgage or rent on a monthly basis. In fact, the housing charity says that 3 per cent have had to resort to taking out high interest rate payday loans in order to help with their housing costs.

It’s not just payday advance lenders that Scots are going to in order to bail themselves out of housing dilemmas. It turns out that, according to Shelter’s research, 9 per cent have relied upon an unauthorised overdraft facility to help meet ends, even though the fees and interest charges on using such an overdraft can actually be more expensive than a payday loan in many instances.

Communications and policy head for Shelter Scotland, Gordon MacRae, urged those struggling with paying for the cost of their housing to look for aid immediately instead of turning to a high cost credit solution. Mr MacRae was shocked to think about how many families will have to face massive, crippling fear in the coming year by struggling to keep a roof over their heads, especially since taking out a payday loan is going to do nothing but make things even harder in the long run when it comes down to it.

You can’t rest on your laurels when it comes to seeking advice, the housing charity official warned. You wouldn’t want to leave your household at risk by waiting until things come to a head in a few months from now, Mr MacRae added.

According to the survey, less than 4 out of every 10 respondents said they were keeping up with their monthly rent or mortgage repayments with little to no difficulties. Meanwhile 60 per cent said they were struggling in no small measure. 4 per cent admitted to falling behind with their monthly housing payments, the research revealed.

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