The County You Live, Work And Play
Stepchange Debt Charity Reveal Figures
People in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse have on average £10,395 of debt.
That’s according to the StepChange Debt Charity who released the figure for debts such as council tax arrears, energy bill arrears, rent arrears, and payday loans.
They do not include secured debts like mortgages, but mortgage arrears are included in the figures.
The average amount of the debt in the area has been coming down since 2010 when the average debt for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse was sitting at more than £17,000.
However, worryingly, the number of payday loans taken out by residents in the area is on the rise. Not only are the number of clients with payday loans on the up, the number of individual payday loans per client and the average balance is up.
Head of StepChange Debt Charity Scotland, Sharon Bell, said: “Keeping a roof over your head and heating your home are basic needs, yet for too many Scottish families these are constant worries.
“While debts have fallen, the nature of that debt is shifting.
“We are seeing more of our clients in Hamilton and across Scotland struggling to pay essential bills like council tax, energy bills and rent.
“Using credit to help cover basic bills can see people owing thousands in interest and charges. What the governments in Edinburgh and London need to look at is how we can catch these people before they fall into a spiralling cycle of debt.
“We urge anyone who is relying on credit to get from payday to payday to seek help at the earliest opportunity. Seeking debt advice is not only a means of getting your finances under control, but could help address one of the underlying causes of stress and anxiety.”
StepChange offers free debt management advice and solutions. For more information call 0800 138 1111