Older people ‘seeking more debt help’

Older consumers have to seek debt help as well as the young, a debt management officer has said.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, …

Older consumers have to seek debt help as well as the young, a debt management officer has said.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Anjie Cawthra of Leeds Older People's Forum said youngsters have no monopoly on financial troubles.

She said: "It's a myth that older people don't get into debt. You might think that they've got to that age and everything is hunky dory, but a lot of them really struggle."

Ms Cawthra explained how one 87-year-old woman had got into trouble with a £200 payday loan that she did not understand the terms of.

Having written postdated cheques because she could not pay it back by the due date, she then agreed to pay £53 a month interest on the loan and eventually ended up owing £2,200.

Ms Cawthra managed to get the lender to write the debt off after threatening to report them to the Office of Fair Trading.

Criticising such companies, she said: "All they care about is getting people to sign up. They don't do any credit checks."

Concerns about payday loans have been widely expressed, with the danger of piling up unpayable debt a clear one for young and old alike once the initial deadline for repayment is missed.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Money Box podcast earlier this month, Lyn Jones of the National Debtline said her organisation has seen a large rise in the number of people seeking help over such loans.

She said that over the year to October the monthly tally of such calls had risen from around 200 to 1,200.

By James Francis

Tell others:

shortlink