Specialist charity Notts Housing Advice (NHA) is urging people from Mansfield and Ashfield who are struggling to pay their bills on so-called ‘Blue Monday’ NOT to resort to payday loans - which could end up putting their homes at risk.
NHA has helped thousands of local people with financial problems avoid homelessness. Its caseload has reached record levels, with new clients coming forward at the rate of ten a day.
Many have large debts accumulated though payday loans, leading them to fall behind on their rent or mortgage.
Cases seen by the charity in the past year have involved debts totalling millions of pounds, with some clients cutting back on basic necessities such as food to repay loans.
Recent research suggests that one in five people borrowed money in 2013 to meet rent or mortgage payments.
It’s feared that large Christmas credit card bills now arriving through letter boxes could trigger even more serious housing arrears.
Casework supervisor Cath Burton said: “We know that January is a difficult month financially. Payday lenders are using more aggressive tactics to get new customers and we see many people turning to them to get the money they need.
“However, this can lead to even more serious problems later on. It is vital that people seek advice before making their debt problems worse.”
NHA provides free and confidential help to people and across Nottinghamshire both face to face and via a helpline on 0845 2414 515.
This includes legal guidance and even representing clients in court. More details are available at www.nottshousingadvice.org.uk.
The charity currently receives funding from Mansfield District Council to support its work locally.