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Festive campaign puts spotlight on high interest borrowing

Posted on 19th September, 2014 by Lincoln Against Poverty

A campaign is being launched to warn people of the dangers of high cost borrowing in the lead-up to Christmas.

City of Lincoln Council’s Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee and its partners have carried out a two-month review of high interest lending after it was identified as being a key issue for the city from the anti-poverty strategy and action plan.

Figures have shown that between April 1, 2013 and February 11, 2014, Lincoln Citizens Advice Bureau Specialist Caseworkers were approached with 386 priority debts worth a total value of £459,535, and 1,421 non-priority debts, worth a total of £2,396,435. Priority debts include mortgage and rent arrears as well as other money owed which could result in a person losing their home. Non-priority debts cover such things as credit and store card debts as well as payday and doorstep lenders.

A case study also showed one person who took out three high interest loans borrowed £2,000 but will have paid back £4,210.

Following the review, which featured information from a number of organisations, including Leeds City Council’s Take a Stand Campaign, Lincolnshire Police and the Citizens Advice Bureau, the committee made a recommendation for a campaign to warn people of the dangers of high cost lending.

‘Say no to high cost borrowing’ will get under way in October and run into the new year, featuring advice and information for people looking to borrow money.

Councillor Karen Lee, chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee, said: “Christmas is a time when we know many families find it difficult financially and look to borrow money.

“This campaign will highlight to people that there are affordable options if they are looking for a loan or help is out there if they need debt advice.”

Anyone interested in displaying a poster to support the campaign can email communications@lincoln.gov.uk