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Rhoda Grant MSP - Debtbusters Survey Reveals High Levels of Debt Concern

3rd December 2013

Visit MSP Rhoda Grant's surgery for money advice and hwo to join a credit union at Pulteneytown People's Project, Huddart Street, Wick on Friday 6th December between 1.00 – 2.00p.m.

Following the launch of the Debtbusters campaign in at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Wick last month, Highlands and Islands (Scottish Labour) MSP Rhoda Grant issued a Debtbusters survey to homes across Wick in order to get a better picture of the current financial situation for those living in the county.

The Debtbusters campaign is targeting payday lenders who charge high levels of interest on short term loans and encouraging those thinking of using a payday lender to look at lower cost alternatives such as Hi-Scot Credit Union.

Last year the CAB published a report which showed that 75% of people in Scotland who take out payday loans are in full time employment. The majority are of people who take the loans out are under 35 years old and nearly a third own their own homes. A further report issued by ‘Step Change’ the debt charity reported that parts of the Highlands has some of the worst levels of payday loan debt in Scotland, on average around £2418.50, whilst the Scotland wide average is £1398.07.

Rhoda Grant MSP said:

“I want to thank those who took the time to respond to the survey, and if you haven’t done so yet there is still time as all information will help in the campaign to tackle the payday lenders.”

“I was pleased with the response to the survey which indicated 90% of respondents were supportive of the campaign to increase awareness around the risks of using payday loan companies, the promotion of credit unions and increasing awareness of where to get debt advice.”

“The Debtbustes survey revealed that 36% of respondents currently feel under financial pressure, a number which I am sure will increase in the run up to Christmas. The crucial thing is to make people aware alternatives to payday loans are available and where they can go if they need financial advice.”

“Only 9% of respondents were members of credit unions, this is a number I would really like to see increase in the coming months.”

As a follow up to the survey Mrs Grant will be hosting a Money Advice Surgery at the Pulteney Town Peoples’ Project, Huddart Street, Wick on Friday 6th December between 1 – 2 p.m. An independent debt advice specialist will also be on hand to help with any Debtbusters leaflets along with information on how to join a credit union will also be available. The surgery is open to all and is not exclusive to financial issues.

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