Help is needed to fight debt misery debt

THE level of debt run up by households in Glasgow from high-interest lenders is staggering and deeply concerning.

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The reason why so many people turn to these firms is often because they are locked out of the traditional routes to borrowing from banks or their needs are short term or for smaller amounts than banks are willing to lend.

The amounts soon increase if there are any missed payments and the original problem multiplies leaving people in despair.

The session run by the council and Citizens Advice Scotland is a good example of taking the services directly to the people in need and hopefully some can be helped to find a way out of the ­misery.

The problems still remain of why people are forced to borrow short term in the first place and the lack of regulation on high interest lenders and the even more concerning practice of doorstep lending.

The council has done some good work on blocking access to payday loan firms from council-owned computers, but what is required is a cap on the interest rates they can charge, which would need to come from a higher authority.

More help for those struggling with debt is welcome but the more that can be done to stop people getting into difficulty in the first place would be even better.

Finance

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