New data from StepChange Debt Charity shows a dramatic rise in the number of people in Dumfries and Galloway seeking help with payday loans.
Across Scotland as a whole the average payday loan debt of those seeking help from StepChange Debt Charity was £1,665 in 2012, up from £1,199 in the previous year.
The charity has seen a significant increase in the percentage of clients with payday loans in almost every one of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland. Eighteen have seen increases of 10 percent or more, while three have seen increases of over 20 percent.
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. This means their monthly repayments could leave them with no money for living expenses, pushing them further into a spiral of indebtedness.
Sharon Bell, head of StepChange Debt Charity 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.”
Help can be found online at www.stepchange.org