Payday Loans Show More People Have Debt Problems

By: Abbi Rouse

National Debtline are claiming that more UK consumers are struggling to meet their financial commitments, as each month more are applying for payday loans.

It warned that the increased number of payday loan applications - which was highlighted by a recent moneysupermarket study - was symptomatic of an underlying problem where people are finding that their outgoings regularly exceed their incomes. Advice offered by the national telephone helpline service informs consumers they should set out a budget to help them manage their financial situation and minimise the effect that items of expenditure such as shopping and household bills, mortgages and personal loan repayments are placing on households every month.

According to the moneysupermarket study, the number of people opting to take out payday loans has increased by 55 per cent since September. The group attributed much of the growth in popularity to inflated demands on personal finances arising from recent energy price hikes and the increases in the average costs of food. Tim Moss, head of loans at the firm, said that the loans were proving a more attractive option than going into an unauthorised overdraft.

Commenting on the findings, Beccy Boden Wilks, spokesperson for National Debtline, said: "If your salary is not lasting until next payday, and therefore need to use this service, then there is obviously a problem.

You are spending more than you earn. So if somebody feels the need to use a payday loan on a regular basis, it's probably symptomatic of a serious underlying debt problem. Therefore, you need to set a budget, or [ask] are your current financial commitments too high, or have you overstretched yourself with your mortgage."

She added that for those whose outgoings are exceeding their incomes, seeking independent financial advice may be a prudent option. In doing so, people might be able to identify areas where they can cut back on monthly spending and lessen their reliance on lending. She also advised that people may want to negotiate with their creditors to agree upon an extended payment period with a lower monthly contribution, while extending the length of a mortgage was also identified as a way to reduce the strain on finances. According to Ms Boden Wilks consumers who are struggling with their finances should ask themselves whetehr or not they can realistically meet their mortgage and credit responsibilities, or whether they should consider talking to their providers to renegotiate terms.

Moneysupermarket's Tim Moss also noted that while payday loans were an effective short-term solution, people who were regularly struggling with monthly payments should sit down and evaluate their finances and identify areas where they can cut back on spending.

Elsewhere, residential property industry commentator the Council of Mortgage Lenders last month identified a growing trend among those looking to get on to the property ladderScience Articles, with first-time buyers approaching their parents for a loan to cover the costs of a deposit as many mortgage providers withdraw 100 per cent lending packages.

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