CAB office sees worrying number of serious payday debt cases

WEEKLY INDUSTRY RECAP: WEEK ENDING 27 JAN 2013

The number of payday loan related debt cases has grown to ‘worrying’ figures, according to one local Citizens Advice Bureau office.

The Leighon CAB, based at Bossard House, West Street, has long provided specialised counselling to those suffering from multiple sources of debt. Money adviser for the Bureau office, Kate Cook, says that in her own casework alone the number of her clients that are suffering with debt derived from high interest rate short term loans has absolutely skyrocketed over the last year.

In 2011 only 2 of Ms Cook’s cases featured payday loan debt. However, 2012 saw a massive increase in this figure, with last year’s case load containing 28 cases of debt related to instant cash loans.

The CAB’s generalist advice service also reported a much larger number of individuals approaching it with payday loan problems. CAB offices specialise in giving advice on how to prioritise debt in order to repay multiple debts in the most efficient manner, will negotiate a more affordable repayment plan on behalf of a client, and will also show a client how to stop a payday advence lender from taking cash directly from their bank accounts as well.

Last November, a leading payday lender industry body issued a Customer Charter in order to provide customers better protections when borrowing cash from a payday advance lender. In the months since, CAB offices have been calling upon borrowers who have used a payday lender following the institution of this new charter to participate in a nationwide survey to determine if these payday loan providers are actually abiding by these new rules, which aim to regulate the industry from the inside.

Once the survey is completed, Citizens Advice has plans to announce its initial findings later in 2013. If you’re experiencing any sort of difficulty with a payday loan, if you’re thinking on whether you should take such lending out in order to help pay your bills, or if you’re suffering from any sort of debt problems whatsoever, you should call or visit your local CAB office for free help and advice in resolving your financial woes.

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