4 June 2015
In response to today’s debt report from the Centre for Social Justice, Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said:
“This report is a welcome contribution to the debate surrounding affordable credit options for low-income households.
“There is a clear need for more suitable credit products for those who are struggling financially. We have seen the harm caused by products like payday loans that have previously tried to fill this gap, and it is vital to ensure that genuinely affordable alternatives are available for those who are shut out of the mainstream credit market.
“At the same time, it is crucial that we also address the reasons behind the increasing reliance on credit as a safety net. More and more people are falling behind on household bills and turning to credit to pay for essentials. This use of credit in this way is unsustainable, and often signifies severe financial distress. It is vital that the government does more to help low-income families save for a rainy day, and introduces statutory protections to help vulnerable families rebuild financial resilience and get back on their feet in situations where credit is not, and will never be, the solution.”