A NORTHUMBERLAND debt advice expert is urging residents not to rely on payday loans to cover monthly bills.
The stark warning from Liz Chadwick, Chief Executive of Blagdon-based DAWN Advice, comes as it was revealed by Citizens Advice that the number of people facing financial difficulties as a result of payday loans has quadrupled in the past two years.
She said that their so-called advantages, including no credit checks, instant approvals and payments banked within hours of application, can often lure people in without them really considering the bigger picture.
“Short-term credit may often appear like the easiest and simplest solution to cover bills – almost like a quick fix – but it is frequently just a case of papering over the cracks,” she added.
“If repayment deadlines are missed and debts roll over, the unsettled interest can quickly grow, often spiralling out of control.
“Payday loans are often linked with exorbitant Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) with some lenders charging interest rates upwards of 4,000 per cent.
“Although the loans are not intended to provide credit for anywhere near a full year, it is a dangerous cycle which is difficult to break.
“If a borrower takes on, then pays back, a short-term loan at the end of one month, they will almost certainly need it at the end of the next month, too. Every time incurring costs and in all likelihood, slipping further into debt. Instead they should be seeking independent financial advice to prevent their debts from escalating.”
Anyone who is facing financial hardship or concerned about matters relating to debt can drop in to the DAWN CAB in Morpeth for free and independent advice.
For telephone advice contact the Northumberland Advice Line on 0844 4111309.