A Scottish Citizens Advice Bureau is to use the beautiful game as a way of helping people beat the misery of payday loan debts.
Payday lenders told Parliament yesterday that their services do not lead people into financial problems. The CAB service begs to differ, pointing out that over 100 Scots a week contact their CAB because they are in crisis debt to a payday lender – that’s a third higher than the number this time last year.
Now one Scottish CAB is kicking off a new initiative to reach even more of those people. Nairn CAB is teaming up with Nairn County FC in a campaign aimed at helping football fans and others who are struggling with payday loan debts. Local MSP and Government Minister Fergus Ewing is backing the campaign, and will join CAB and Nairn County officials at the official campaign launch on Friday.
Citizens Advice Scotland is urging other football teams to follow Nairn’s example and work with their CABs to spread the word to their fans. CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch will be at the campaign launch on Friday. She says:
“People across Scotland who find themselves saddled with payday loan debt need to know that help is at hand. We can show them how to fight back and take control of their debt, as this campaign says. It’s a terrific campaign, and I think it will make a real difference to people’s lives – especially those who are experiencing the misery of crisis debt. I hope other football clubs across Scotland will follow Nairn County’s example, and work with us to spread the word to their fans.
“We want anyone who has been treated badly by a payday lender to tell us about it. We need as much information as we can get about how these lenders operate, so we can confront them and press for change. Please help us do that by completing our short survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ScotlandPDLs.” (The survey is open till 22 Nov)
Nairn CAB manager Gill MacLean says:
“We all know that payday lenders have sponsored football clubs in the higher reaches of the game, but Nairn County have shown that clubs lower down the ladder are all about helping their communities, just like their local CAB. We hope we can say to football fans, and others, ‘You can take control of your loan. There are steps you can take, and we at the CAB can help you take them.’”
Fergus Ewing MSP, who will also be at the campaign launch on Friday, says,
“The Scottish Government is concerned about the negative impact some pay day and other high interest lending can have on some individuals and is committed to working with partners to raise awareness of the range of alternatives available. Initiatives like this should go some way to encouraging individuals to take control of their loan and to seek help and advice when facing financial difficulties. It’s great to see a wee Scottish team like Nairn County on the side of the good guys. The Scottish Government will continue to engage with stakeholders from the money advice sector, credit unions, trading standards and the pay day lending sector to discuss specific concerns relating to pay day lending and identify how we can tackle these issues.”
The campaign launch is on Friday 8 November at 11.30am at Nairn County Football Ground, Station Park, Nairn. IV12 5NQ. This event is open to photographers and reporters. We can also give interviews in advance.