Corby Borough Council’s Safer Corby Team are supporting key messages by national organisations around the dangers of getting into debt and relying on illegal money lending over the Christmas period.
With the festive season upon us, the illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) are urging families not to borrow from loan sharks amid fears a small loan could lead to massive repayments in the New Year.
A YOUGOV poll of over 2000 people found that a lot of families rely heavily on credit and for those on low incomes, it can be tempting to turn to illegal money lenders, or loan sharks, to help get them through the Christmas period.
The Safer Corby Team delivered a school education initiative earlier in the year to provide children with a basis understanding of money lending. 60 children from St. Patrick’s Primary School participated in a trial project, which combined using photography and class based activity to discuss a wide range of money management issues. It’s anticipated the project will be extended to other schools in 2020. The project was delivered in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureau and Clockwise Credit Union.
Evaluation from the project highlighted that children recognised that a lot of their favourite activities/items don’t cost a lot of money and over 50 % of participants would think more carefully about the cost of activities and items before buying them in the future.
Corby Borough Council’s Lead Member for Housing & Neighbourhood Services, Cllr Bob Eyles, said:
‘Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many families struggling with the extra cost of buying presents, as well as keeping on top of household bills. Any initiative helping families to understand the risks of illegal loans and stops them getting caught up in a cycle of debt is vitally important.’
Notes to editor
Some useful tips from National Debtline could help you to manage your money better over the Christmas period:
- Make a list of who you need to but presents for, set a budget and tick to it!
- Don’t forget you still need to pay your normal household bills in December, such as mortgage, rent council tax, gas and electricity
- Resist borrowing more - It can be tempting to borrow but you need to consider whether you can afford to pay it back.
If you need advice or support over the Christmas period you can get free debt advice 24 hours a day at www.mymoneysteps.org or call National Debtline on 0808 808 4000.