More women experiencing debt difficulties

More women experiencing debt difficulties

Women in Debt, which offers female-focused debt advice, has warned that the number of UK women facing serious debt has grown significantly over recent years.

The organisation believes that more women will need advice on solving debt problems in the future because they are building up an unsustainable level of indebtedness.

Women in Debt’s director, Georgina Earle, said: “Females have fought for equality over the last decade or so … We have wanted independence from our spouses and to be able to afford a lifestyle based on this equality.”

However, in their efforts to achieve equality, many women have taken on debts they can’t afford, she warns, and the economic decline in recent years has made the situation worse.

“More females have been able to secure credit based on better jobs [and] higher salaries … However the past few years have seen a huge change and I believe that women will fare the worst,” Ms Earle said.

Labour MP and anti-debt campaigner Stella Creasy recently warned that women are being targeted by payday loan companies.

There has been a rapid increase in the number of payday lenders operating in the UK in recent years as household incomes have been squeezed by the recession.

Payday loan companies offer instant loans of small amounts for a short period, typically around a month.

If the loan is paid off in full at the end of the term there usually isn’t a problem, but rolling over a loan to the following month can quickly cause difficulties because of the extremely high interest rates charged by payday lenders.

Payday loan companies have set up websites targeting women and are advertising on television programmes such as Glee and Friends.

Ms Creasy said women are being taken in by payday lenders.

“Because they are working and have a regular income they are able to pay back at least some of the loan. But if they can’t make a payment they make money for the firm through paying penalties and extensions,” she commented.

At the end of last year accountancy firm RSM Tenon reported that women account for nearly half of all insolvencies, while in the 1980s it was very rare for women to become bankrupt.

Tags: , Georgina Earle, , Women in Debt

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