Personal debt figures one of the worst in Chorley

Coun Alistair Bradley with GM of Unify Credit Union Angela Fishwick
Coun Alistair Bradley with GM of Unify Credit Union Angela Fishwick
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People in Chorley have one of the worst levels of personal loan debt, new figures reveal.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have released figures that state people in Chorley have on average £1,401 of personal loan debt, per head of the population.

Chorley is fourth in the list only sitting behind London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Peterborough.

The latest figures, for the end of March this year, do not cover all banks and building societies.

The lenders which have voluntarily helped to compile the figures are Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, Santander UK, RBS and Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks.

Chorley Council is helping residents with their debt problems.

They have joined in the fight to force loan shark companies out of business and it wants to ban adverts from payday loan firms on the advertising sites it owns across the borough.

The council has also opened a credit union shop in Chorley town centre which offers local people, who are struggling to make ends meet, an alternative to turning to the loan sharks and payday loan companies.

The shop opened in August, 2013 and in its first two months it attracted more than 200 customers.

Numbers have continued to rise at the popular store.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle said: “It’s very disturbing to learn of the levels of the debt in our town.

“I’m keen to ensure people get the right advice and help that is available.

“The Credit Union has done a fantastic job in the town and I want to promote the work they have done.

“It’s vital people use the services on offer rather than going to loan sharks and pay day loan companies, the credit union is a safe way to borrow money.

“Clearly the level of debt is only a reflection of the current economic circumstances.”

The BBA’s chief economist Richard Woolhouse said He said: “When we look up and down the country, we can see a good spread of lending. That’s important for individuals, businesses and the wider economy.”