Pay day loans are blocked from PCs

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Derbyshire County Council is blocking access to payday loan company websites from all its computers.

Anyone trying to access lending sites from any county council computer will instead be re-directed to sources of safe, affordable loans such as credit unions, financial support services and welfare rights advice.

The move will affect all 7,000 of the computers owned by the council across the county including those in libraries and those used by its employees.

It follows concerns about very high interest rates charged by payday loan companies on short-term loans – in some cases over 2,000 per cent on a 12-month period.

Coun Dave Allen, Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for health and communities, said: “There have been a number of recent cases in Derbyshire of people who have taken out a payday loan then come to us for help when they have found themselves in difficulty.”

Derbyshire County Council’s welfare benefits information and advice team is on hand to offer free benefits checks to residents with financial concerns.

The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 11am-4.30pm on 0845 120 2985 or 01629 531535 or email welfarebenefits@derbyshire.gov.uk.