More than 25,000 people have approached a Leeds-based debt charity for help this year after taking out payday loans, and the organisation expects it to reach 30,000 by the end of the year.
In the first three quarters of 2012, 25,476 people sought help from StepChange Debt Charity, previously the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS). It believes the number will increase to 30,000 by the end of December.
The figure already exceeds the 17,414 people who approached the charity for help in 2011, and continues an upward trend from 7,841 in 2010 and 6,491 in 2009.
– Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director of StepChange Debt Charity
The dramatic rise in problem payday loan debt is alarming as this type of debt is expensive and can spiral out of control very easily.
It is therefore crucial that anyone struggling to repay what they owe at the end of the month doesn't keep rolling over their loan and racking up very high charges, but seeks advice from a debt charity instead. Otherwise, they could very quickly find themselves with a serious debt problem.
The charity commissioned research from the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol which highlights the benefits of seeking debt advice.
Clients of StepChange Debt Charity who were interviewed said that as well as putting in place a mechanism to manage their consumer credit debts, debt advice often changed how they felt about money and how they managed their money.
The charity wants to help people who are unable to repay their payday loans, who keep rolling payday loans over, who have multiple payday loans or who are taking out one payday loan to repay another.