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Around The House: Can credit unions challenge payday lenders?

The high cost of credit - and alternatives to payday and short-term loans - were discussed in this month's political programme, Around The House.

Helen Ford was joined by the Conservative MP for Hexham Guy Opperman - and Stockton North's Labour MP Alex Cunningham - to consider the options for people struggling with debt, and the high level of demand for emergency loans.

You can watch the debate here:


City Council blocks access to payday loans companies

Newcastle City Council has become one of the first in the country to block access to the websites of payday loans companies via its own computer system. The council is also planning to try to stop the lenders advertising on some billboards in the city.

However, not everyone is against the loans companies - a survey by uSwitch found half of people who had taken out a payday loan found it a positive experience.

Gregg Easteal reports.

Council blocks payday loans company websites

Newcastle City Council has blocked access to the websites of payday loans companies across its entire computer network, including offices, libraries and council-owned community centres. It is also looking at how to prevent them advertising on some billboards in the city.

The companies promise very quick, short-term loans, but come with high interest rates and penalty charges Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

However, a survey published by uSwitch found 50% of people who had taken out a payday loan found it a positive experience. Almost a third would take out another loan.


Full Report: Concerns over payday loans

The adverts are everywhere, some endorsed by celebrities and one soon to be on the shirts of Newcastle United players.

So-called payday loan companies offer small amounts of money at high interest rates over a short term.

The companies say they are a useful service, but charities say that they are worried about the increase in people from the North East getting into difficulties.

You can watch the full report from Lucy Taylor below.

"We know that people need to borrow money"

Payday lenders, who give short-term loans at high interest rates, are being discussed by Newcastle Citizens Advice Bureau.

One of the companies,, begins its sponsorship of Newcastle United next season.

The company says that the majority of its customers pay the money back on time and don't get into difficulties.

However, the MP Stella Creasy - who has campaigned against these sort of loans - told the meeting she is worried.