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Christian charity says four out of five people borrowing money to pay for food

Four out of five people are struggling to make ends meet they are having to take out payday loans to pay for food. That's according to research from Christians Against Poverty which asked over 1000 clients, the charity is currently helping to recover from financial problems.

The debt counsellors found that 16% admitted they'd also "lost count" of how many payday loans they'd used. The charity is calling for tighter regulations to protect people from what they're descibing as 'rogue' payday lenders. The findings also found one in five people weren't asked by a payday lender if they had a job. More than 1,500 of CAP's clients were asked if they had taken out a payday loan and if so, how many. More than half had taken out between two and five loans before they called CAP for free debt help. CAP has said it will now present the report's details to individual companies and the Consumer Finance Association

John Kirkby from CAP told Premier's Des Busteed on the News Hour why he would like to see regulations improved to stop people taking out multiple loans on the same day:

A further breakdown of the report's findings shows:

Number of payday loans taken out by individuals:
1 - 19%
2-5 - 51%
6-9 - 13%
10-29 - 1.38%
"Lost count" - 16%

When applying for a payday loan here's what participants were asked by their lenders:

Income - 86% Yes 15% No
Outgoings - 32% Yes 68% No
Work Status - 81% Yes 19%
No Household Budget - 22% Yes 78% No

When asked about what people were using the money for, here's what respondents indicated:

Home improvements - 10%
Car repairs/purchase - 15%
Cost of Christmas - 27%
Electricity/gas bills - 52%
Food shopping - 78%
Rent/mortgage - 36%
Emergency - 5%

On Thursday, the Government's financial watchdog is due to unveil strict new rules for payday lenders. Meanwhile, Tory Minister Lord Freud told a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party's annual conference that he had grown increasingly concerned by the way in which high interest lenders used continuous payment authorities to access borrowers' accounts. As a result, the Tory peer has asked civil servants to come up with ways of restricting lenders' access to accounts of benefit claimants until utility bills and rent have been accounted for.

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