Families in Crewe have debt levels almost more than £16,000 the national average, according to the Credit Consumer Counselling Service.
Crewe households may also be taking up short term loans as a way of coping with debt in an irresponsible manner, as these short term loans are not a sustainable way to deal with long term debt levels that now stand at an average of £23,177 per family. This sum is much higher than other areas in the south, such as Reading, Tonbridge, and Oxford, and research indicates that the high cost of living is the source of the debt, not the cost of luxuries.
Critics of the no credit check short term loans industry have wasted no time in blaming lenders for increased debt levels in Crewe by stating that these payday advance providers are targeting the area. The Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union’s chief executive, Julie Williams, accused lenders of increasing the amount of advertising they do at peak television watching time, which draws people into a spiral of debt repayments they cannot afford to make.
Ms Williams said that the most alarming thing about the Crewe area is that there is not a lot of spending occurring, as the number of large screen televisions and driveways with two cars is decidedly low, leading her to believe that people are simply ‘borrowing to live.’ However, a number of debt advice agencies located in South Cheshire have come forward to help those in need by offering help, such as Christians Against Poverty charity which recently opened a debt centre at the West Street Christian Fellowship in Crewe.
CAP spokesperson, Tim Oakley, reported that demand for aid in the area has already been high, even though it has just been two months since the debt centre opened its doors.