More Borderers getting into debt with payday loans says charity

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A charity has claimed the number of clients in the Borders using payday loans has more than doubled.

Only 11 per cent of Borderers approaching StepChange Debt charity in 2012 had the loans compared to 25 per cent in the first three months of 2013.

Between 2011 and 2012 the average amount owed increased by £842 to reach £1,501, although fell to £1,235 by March this year.

Across Scotland as a whole the average payday loan debt of those seeking help from StepChange Debt was £1,665 in 2012, up from £1,199 in the previous year.

The data shows that in 2012 the average monthly income of a StepChange client in Scotland with payday loans was £1,268 per month, but the average payday loan debt was £1,665.

Sharon Bell, head of StepChange Debt Scotland said: “The dramatic rise in problem payday loan debt in Scotland is alarming as this type of debt is expensive and can quickly spiral out of control.

“Regulators are taking some action but there are still widespread problems across the payday loan sector.

“It is crucial that anyone struggling to repay what they owe at the end of the month doesn’t just roll their loan over and rack up very high charges, but takes control and seeks advice from a debt charity instead.”

In March, The Office of Fair Trading gave the 50 biggest payday lenders a 12-week deadline to prove they practiced good behaviour after a series of complaints.