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Charity calls for tighter rules in order to protect the vulnerable
Four in five people who take out a payday loan do so to afford food, a Bradford-based charity has revealed.
And one in five people are not even asked if they have a job, according to national debt charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP).
The charity, based in North Street, surveyed more than 1,500 of its clients about their experiences with the controversial lenders and is now calling for tighter regulations to protect the vulnerable. CAP chief executive Matt Barlow said: “This evidence shows that people taking out payday loans are not, typically, doing cosy house repairs as most payday lenders would have us believe. People who take out this expensive sort of credit are hungry, worried about keeping warm and becoming homeless.” The charity runs two debt advice centres in Bradford, as part of its 233-centre national network.
Jo Edwards, manager of the Bradford Central CAP debt centre, based at the Light Church in Jermyn Street, said they were seeing more and more people come to them after getting into problems with payday loans.
She said: “More people are accessing these type of loans and if they are accessing them in the first place, there’s no way they can ever repay them. They’re struggling before they’ve taken out the loan.”
Mrs Edwards urged anyone thinking of using a payday lender to instead seek debt advice or go on one of CAP’s money management courses. The Consumer Finance Association (CFA), which represents the lenders, said it was disappointed to see the statistics.
Chief Executive Russell Hamblin-Boone said: “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with CAP in its call to protect vulnerable customers from rogue lenders. The CFA remains committed to driving out irresponsible lending practices by delivering the promises in our code of practice and working with the government, regulator, debt charities and consumer groups to continually drive up standards.”
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