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Payday lenders targeting vulnerable families this Christmas

Maureen Nuttall  13 November 2012

Our response to news today that payday lenders are planning to target the vulnerable this Christmas by encouraging them to take out expensive short term credit loans. 

Service Development Manager Maureen Nuttall commented:  "Today's reports on pay day loans paint a worrying picture for vulnerable families this Christmas. At such an expensive time of year, pay day loans can be appealing to families who are already struggling to make ends meet, but want to give their children special memories of Christmas. But taking them out can be a problem in the long term, especially if the deadline for payment is missed and the loan grows instead of shrinking - many families can get caught in this trap.

We've seen a sharp rise in demand for our money management courses, with 62 per cent of managers at our children's projects across the UK offering more debt advice compared this time last year[i].

Our money management sessions cover topics like budgeting and managing bank accounts whilst also working with families so they can make informed financial decisions, which will help families better prepare for expensive times of the year such as Christmas.

Money worries can be just the tip of the iceberg for some of the most vulnerable, and what concerns us is that eight out of ten of our projects are reporting seeing more struggling families. That's why Action for Children has launched an emergency appeal this Christmas to help families across the UK. As well as providing emergency crisis support - such as food parcels, baby food and breakfasts - our services are working with them to provide long term support, with courses such as cooking on a budget and money management, so families feel better equipped for expensive times of the year such as Christmas."

[i]Action for Children surveyed 80 service managers from across England, Scotland and Wales between 3rd and 21st September 2012