Friday 23 February 2018

Third of unemployed can't pay off their debts

Charlie Weston

ALMOST a third of those who are unemployed have fallen behind on repayments on credit cards, overdrafts, car loans and credit union loans, a research report commissioned by a debt advisory company has found. And half of those who have missed payments have been unable to pay anything for three months or more, the research by iReach shows.

Half of the unemployed have a single debt, but many have three or more debts, revealed the survey of 1,000 adults conducted for the Debt Advisory Centre. The research also shows that some unemployed people are also struggling with their priority bills. More than one in 10 say they are behind with electricity bills, 6pc are behind with gas bills and 5pc with mortgage payments.

Unsurprisingly, most unemployed people say they are a little or very worried about paying their bills over the next few months.

Elaine Whelan, head of the Debt Advisory Centre, said: "Debt problems are often triggered by a change in circumstances, such as a permanent or temporary loss of work.

"A sudden loss of income means that repayments that had been manageable suddenly become a struggle. The sooner people seek help the better, in the first instance by speaking directly to their lenders.

"For those worried about arrears there is plenty of advice available from services such as MABS [the Money Advice and Budgeting Service] or from firms such as Debt Advisory Centre."

Irish Independent

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