Families in Hull struggle with debts of more than £50 million

August 29, 2014 No Comments

According to a new report, thousands of families in Hull are struggling to pay their bills and loan repayments.

Families across the city struggle with debts of almost £50m with 19,000 children living in a home with financial problems – this makes Hull one of the worst in Yorkshire.

The research was conducted by The Children’s Society and shows 11,000 families across Hull are trapped in debt.

Matthew Read, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “Families in Hull are increasingly relying on debt as a way to make ends meet, but we are in danger of ignoring the impact this is having on children now and in the future.

“We cannot allow children to pay the price of debt.

“With little savings to fall back on, it can take just one unexpected setback – like illness or being made redundant – to tip a family over the edge and into a debt trap that can feel impossible to escape from.

“This research exposes the shocking reality of parents lying awake at night worrying and unhappy children going without.

“Many families are feeling the squeeze and parents struggling on low wages are battling just to pay the bills.”

In Hull West and Hessle, 3,811 families are fighting debt issues. The figure is 3,599 for Hull North and 3,493 for Hull East.

In Hull West, families owe more than £16m, while in Hull North and Hull East the figures are £15,200,000 and £14,800,000 respectively.

Robert Croll, manager of Humber Debt Solutions in Hull said: “This research shows that families become trapped in a bad debt cycle causing debt and financial crisis. Unfortunatley children can become the victims of this cycle. It is a stark warning to society and creditors of the devastating effects of debt on children.

The study shows 132,922 families across Yorkshire and the Humber are failing to keep up with household bills and loan repayments.

Subsequently, an estimated 231,000 children are living in families with debt problems.

Each struggling family is behind on payments by an average of £4,229. And across the region, families owe a total of £562m in bills and loans.

The report also reveals, across the county, that debt is affecting children’s lives in many ways.

More than half of the children in families with debt problems say they worry about their family’s financial situation.

Almost 50 per cent of the affected children say it causes arguments in the family.

John Smith, chief executive of Hull and East Yorkshire Credit Union, said: “We would urge people to think very carefully before turning to payday lenders because the high interest charges and other fees often make it impossible to repay the loan in full by the next payday.

“As a result, it is almost inevitable that the loan has to be rolled over with the danger that the borrower becomes sucked into a spiral of uncontrollable debt.”

The research also indicates nine out of ten families affected by financial woes across the region say they have had to cut back on essentials like food, clothes or heating in order to keep up with repayments.

And more than half of children aged ten to 17 said they saw advertising for loans “often” or “all of the time.”

But only one in five said their school had taught them about money management.