Household debt around the UK is on the rise and is causing concern in Salford.
According to The Office for National Statistics (ONS), household debts have risen by £12 billion from 2016 in their most recent Wealth and Assets Survey.
Within that, more than 30% considered their debt to be a burden with 7% considering it a ‘heavy burden’.
Salford Credit Union Ltd provides a safe and fair financial service to people around the world and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
😊Whether it is a loan or savings you need, friendly faces await at your local Credit Union
— Salford Credit Union (@CUSalford) 12 October 2019
Sheila Murtagh (CUDE), Chief Executive Officer at Salford Credit Union Ltd, said:
“We’ve had some of our members saying that they’ve had to get debt management arrangements if they can’t pay their loan back. It is a concern for us.
“We seem to have had more of that lately and we are still monitoring that just in case it’s a blip. There is uncertainty in the economy at the moment because of the wider national political context for businesses and individuals. We’ve started to see people that are in debt relief or individual arrangements so they’ve stopped paying us back.”
The service tries to prevent the rise of debts by carefully limiting who is able to receive loans from them.
“We promote savings. We want those people that are currently part of a life cycle that they need to borrow we want them to be the savers of the future. Trying to get people away from debt is our longer-term mission.
“It’s about being responsible and making our loans as affordable as possible. We could give out a lot more loans but just putting people into more debt isn’t the right thing. That’s not what we do.”
Salford Credit Union urges anyone who is struggling with debts to seek advice and see if there is any financial help out there without turning to loans.
Loan sharks can seem like the answer to #Christmas money worries, but they’re illegal lenders who can make your life a misery. Speak to your local credit union instead @CUSalford pic.twitter.com/MvAJSgBjAJ
— Salford City Council (@SalfordCouncil) 6 December 2019
“If you’re already in debt, getting in more debt might not be what you need. What you need is support and advice”
“That’s when we say to people go to Citizen’s advice or go to a council welfare rights team. If you’re in debt that you’re really really struggling with, you need advice on making sure you pay back your priority bills like rent etc and looking at ways to get your income up like benefits you’re unaware of.”