Help Welsh people say no to debt row
Over the coming two months we will be working to highlight the savings and debt issues that are consigning so many people in Wales to a debt sentence.
It is a sentence that can start at a worryingly young age. In August, a study for Money Advice Trust found that more than a third of 18-24-year-olds in the UK have debts of almost £3,000.
Around half of those surveyed said they regularly worried about money, with 32 per cent feeling that their debts were a ‘heavy burden’.
University loans mean that many young people start their working life with significant amounts of debt. Meanwhile one in five of 17-24-year-olds in Wales are unemployed – one of the highest rates in the UK.
Easy-borrowing with credit cards or high-interest loans can make debt very hard to shift, leading to a very real risk that many of the younger generation could face a lifetime of debt.
More than their parents’ generation, young people today can feel the burden of debt at a very early age.
About 1.6m UK households are living in extreme debt, paying out 40 per cent or more of household income to creditors according to the Britain in the Red report from the TUC.
Of this figure, the reports states that more than 1m are families with a household income below £30,000.
Commenting on the report, TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Families can’t continue relying on credit cards and loans to get by.”
As financial co-operatives run for, and owned by, their members, credit unions in Wales do not have the advertising budgets of payday lenders, credit card providers and banks and we rely on our community to help spread the message.
During last year’s campaign we were overwhelmed by the support from our members, employers, politicians, local businesses, newspapers like this one and high profile celebrities who shared the ‘Say no to debt row’ message.
This year, we need that support more than ever.
At a time of the year when retailers are gearing up for the festive spending season, please help the people of Wales avoid a debt sentence. Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter and share the #nodebtrow hashtag.