Scotland has the highest payday loan debts and level of council tax arrears throughout the UK
According to StepChange, the average Scottish debt as a result of using payday lenders was £1,438 - £129 more than the rest of Britain. From January to June 2014 this charity gave advice to 4,369 Scottish residents who were worried about their financial situation.
StepChange also revealed that 39 per cent of Scottish residents asking for financial support in this period were in debt because of council tax bills. The average figure owed by Scots was double that of other UK citizens with the former owing £1,534 compared to £798 across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The head of Stepchange, Sharon Bell spoke about Scottish debt problems. She said: “Even where families are not in debt, many live on a financial knife-edge with small setbacks enough to tip them over the edge into problem debt. Toxic high cost credit is being used as an emergency safety net and we need to find more sustainable ways to help people cope."
Energy bills have been another problematic area for Scottish residents, who had the largest average electricity arrears (£616) of any British country. People who sought help in Scotland also had an average debt of £665 in rent alone.
A spokesperson for Trust Deed Scotland, providers of debt advice and solutions, responded to StepChange’s figures. They said: “These figures demonstrate how thousands of Scottish residents are seeking debt advice because of the pretty bleak current economic climate. However, there are plenty of people who require help with their finances who have not asked.
“At Trust Deed Scotland we are committed to arranging repayment plans for those in financial hardship which means people can pay affordable rates payday lenders do not offer. With offices and in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow we are here to help in person or by phone."
Trust Deed Scotland Ltd is a leading debt advisory service for Scottish residents. They are 100% owned and operated in Scotland, with a 98% TrustPilot rating owing to their free, qualified debt advice. They are able to advise on the suitability of Trust Deeds and a number of alternatives, including The Debt Arrangement Scheme, Debt consolidation and Sequestration.