More seeking help on pay-day debts across South Yorkshire

Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com...COPYRIGHT PICTURE>>SHAUN FLANNERY>01302-570814>>07778315553>>..8th February 2013..Sheffield City Region.Conference For Growth..Doncaster Racecourse..John Healey MP.
Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com...COPYRIGHT PICTURE>>SHAUN FLANNERY>01302-570814>>07778315553>>..8th February 2013..Sheffield City Region.Conference For Growth..Doncaster Racecourse..John Healey MP.
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The number of people seeking debt help with ‘extortionate’ pay-day loans has tripled in one South Yorkshire constituency.

Figures for Wentworth and Dearne show the number of people with loans, and who sought advice from a debt charity, rose from 11 to 39 in just one year.

Charity Step Change saw 68 local people with debt problems in 2005 - but this had almost tripled to 198 by last year.

The average unsecured debt in the constituency last year was nearly £13,000 and the amount owed to payday lenders £1,295.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey is one of several cross party MPs supporting a new bill that aims to regulate pay-day lenders.

The Star is also backing the High Cost Credit Bill from Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield.

Mr Healey said: “These payday lenders are making millions from extortionate loans to some of the most vulnerable people in Rotherham and Barnsley.

“It is understandable that, in hard economic times, people feel they have no choice but to turn to them.

“But unexpected costs quickly mount up, and people are pushed further into debt because of the massive interest rates, rip-off charges and misleading advertising.

“This bill aims to stop the worst practices which badly exploit those who can afford it least.”

The High Cost Credit Bill suggests a raft of measures for pay-day lenders including pointing people to impartial debt advice, requiring firms to clearly state all fees and charges and banning texts or phone calls promoting high cost credit.

It will have its second reading in Parliament on Friday, July 12.