Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
James Mahon

GET UPDATES FROM James Mahon
 

Life or Debt in the UK ?

Posted: 30/07/2012 19:15

2012-07-29-pics-ScreenShot20120723at12.55.25300x1681.png


"Running into debt isn't so bad. It's running into creditors that hurts"


With the lack of job prospects in the UK affecting so many, hundreds of Britons are being forced to turn to alternative means to get enough money to get by, week in week out.

The Sheffield Debt Support Unit has found it's resources pushed to the limits over the past twelve months as the number of debt related issues get more common and more complex. The main issue with the cases Steve Wilcox and his team are dealing with seem to be with money lenders who charge inflated interest rates to those who are desperately in need of pay day loans and emergency loans.

With banks getting more restrictive and credit ratings plummeting, the uptake in online loans and demands on doorstep lenders is getting to the point where the bubble has to burst.


Debt Advice

Getting advice and good advice at that can either bring you out of debt quickly and effectively or push you further in. With debt advisors popping up across the UK and online, getting impartial and full advice seems to be the key to moving forward. Yet many advisors are only in the game to prey on those who are vulnerable and tie them into five and six year debt management plans that leave many in a far worse situation than when they started.

Ralph Keene, is a debt advisor with charity Christians Against Poverty and feels that debt is an issue that can easily affect any or all of us in our lifetimes.

However according to Andrew Bowers, who is a private debt advisor and insolvency practitioner based in Leeds, good advice and impartial advice is essential whether you get it free or pay for it. He feels that the wealth of partially qualified and inexperienced free debt advisors often leaves his sector receiving a bad name.

"Internet is the quick and easy option"

With mounting debts and the current recession showing few signs of recovery, Jacqueline Halliwell of Sheffield Credit Union feels Yorkshire and the UK needs to curb over spending and cut down on a lifestyle that British citizens take for granted due to credit cards and loans. She says she has found that the internet is proving to be the get out card for people in Sheffield and beyond when they owe money to loan sharks. She said the Credit Union has found that they are now dealing with clients who not only owe money to doorstep lenders but money to e-loan websites to keep the doorstep lenders at bay.

Future

With stricter licensing laws for money lenders and caps on interest rates may come the suppression of lending at the outrageous rates of over 100% apr that have affected so many in the past few years. Yet it seems as though while as soon as the Office of Fair Trading shuts some lenders down others will appear or the previous ones will reappear under different names. As long as demand exists for quick loans and we continue to buy beyond our means then loan sharks and shrewd debt advisors will continue to practice.

 

Follow James Mahon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JamesPMahon

FOLLOW UK LIFESTYLE