Preston families in debt misery

DESPERATE: Many Preston families are falling prey to loan sharks
DESPERATE: Many Preston families are falling prey to loan sharks
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128 tenants across city owe £768,000 between them.

Debt is forcing struggling families to choose between food or fuel, the Evening Post can reveal today.

Latest figures from a Preston housing association show that 128 tenants owe a massive £768,000 between them – and many are plunging into further debt by turning to payday loans and even illegal moneylenders to get themselves out of financial scrapes.

And agencies claim people are telling them that welfare reforms and benefits sanctions are to blame for their spiralling debt problems.

Catherine Cunliffe, money advice officer at social landlord the Community Gateway Association, said: “A lot of people are trapped in a debt spiral and are taking out one payday loan to pay off another and robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Captain Alex Cadogan, of the Salvation Army in Preston, says he is coming across greater number of people facing debt problems and are aware of some who have fallen victim to loan sharks.

He said: “The changes in benefits and sanctions have hit some people very hard and they are struggling more than ever.

“Some people have turned to illegal moneylenders and are living in fear too frightened to seek help.”

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