Towns in the south-east are in the grip of a soaring personal debt crisis fuelled by the rapid growth of payday loan shops. Moneylenders, who charge interest rates as a high as four thousand percent.
The cash transfers are promoted as quick-fix loans, affordable as long as they are repaid promptly. But for many, the 'quick fix' quickly becomes an inescapable financial trap.
The Medway Towns have the highest concentration of payday loan shops in Britain. A cluster of 23 in a small area of Chatham and Gillingham. And, as John Ryall reports, you do not necessarily need a 'pay day' to get a payday loan.
There's been a significant increase in the number of people using payday loan shops in one area in Kent, according to new figures.
Medway now has the greatest concentration of companies in the country - with a total of twenty-three. The Citizens Advice Bureau says the average amount of unsecured personal debt now stands, locally at £43,000.