Millions of Brits will use payday loans to fund Christmas

Millions of Brits will fund their festive celebrations using a payday loan this year, according to a new poll.

A survey conducted by the Money Advice Service has indicated that the average Brit will spend

Majority of payday loans taken out to buy food

A new survey has revealed that four out of five people who take out a payday loan do so in order to buy food.

According to christiantoday.com, charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) surveyed 1,500 of its clients in order to find out how many of them had taken out payday loans at some point.

Over half of those asked (51 per cent) said they had taken out two to five payday loans and 16 per cent said they had taken out so many they had lost count, reports ibtimes.co.uk.

The majority of those who had taken out a payday loan did so in order to buy food, with 78 per cent of respondents citing this reason. Payday loans were also commonly used to pay bills (51 per cent) and to pay the rent or mortgage (36 per cent).

CAP's chief executive, Matt Barlow, said that although the majority of payday loan companies are responsible, better regulations are needed in order to make sure all firms are operating properly and are not lending to those who cannot afford to pay money back.

“We try hard to take a balanced view, being fair to both our clients and the credit industry,” he said. “Therefore we shall be taking this report to individual companies and the Consumer Finance Association with the expectation that they will want to engage with us.”

New rules for payday lenders will be announced this Thursday (3rd of October).

Money problems are biggest fear for Northern Ireland residents

Money problems are the biggest worry for residents in Northern Ireland, according to a new survey.

In the latest edition of the National Lottery Good Causes Poll, 49 per cent of Northern Irish people cited debt fears as their biggest personal woe.

Sinead Campbell, who is a money project manager for Advice NI, was far from surprised to hear of these results.

In an interview with belfasttelegraph.co.uk, she explained: “It has a knock-on effect onto personal lives, as well as mental and physical health. We have people coming in with worry on their faces, some break down in tears in their first interview or consultation.

“Some are out of their wits with worry, ready to hand back the keys to a house they can't afford and walk away. We can offer so many options so you know you don't have to face tough finances on your own.”

Thankfully, there are options out there for those struggling to pay their bills. For example, a payday loan can be used to get short-term access to the money needed to pay off overdue household charges.   

New figures released by Debt Action NI give a glimpse into the size of the country's personal debt problem. According to ballymenatimes.com, the charity has helped 200 clients with combined debts of

Fewer Scots going into bankruptcy

The amount of Scots going into bankruptcy has dramatically declined this financial year, according to new figures.

A report from Scotland's insolvency service Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB) has indicated that 8,838 Scots declared themselves bankrupt in 2012-13, which represents a 20 per cent dropped compared to the previous year.

According to heraldscotland.com, this is largely due to an increase in the amount of Scots repaying their debts through the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS). There was a 40 per cent increase in applications for this scheme in 2012-13.

In spite of these figures, debt still remains a fear for a significant portion of the Scottish population. These individuals may be comforted to know that there are options, such as a payday loan, that can help them if they are struggling to pay certain bills. 

Rosemary Winter-Scott, who is chief executive of AIB, believes that the Scottish debt problem is slowly moving in the right direction.

Speaking to stv.tv, she said: “The Annual Report for 2012-13, reflects another busy and exciting year across the whole organisation, with much progress made towards our vision to create an insolvency system that is part of a Financial Health Service through our considerable work on policy and legislative reform.”