Call to seek help over debt

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Local debt advisers have encouraged anyone in financial difficulties to see help before their problems become too great.

Maureen Collins from Dove House made the call amid an increase in demand for advice in recent weeks.

In order to meet the demand, Dove House has had to extend its opening hours to 9.30pm, she said.

Hillcrest House community centre in the Top of the Hill area also hosts a debt adviser from Dove House two days a week in order to provide advice to people in the Waterside area. An outreach debt advice service is also offered in the Caw community centre.

Debt advisor Na Li, who works at Dove House and Hillcrest House, said increasing numbers of people are getting into financial difficulties as a result of payday loans.

The advisor said; “What people need to know when they take out a payday loan is that they don’t always know exactly how much they will be paying back.”

Ms Li encouraged anyone in financial difficulty to seek advice. “People should consider all of their options before taking out a payday loan. If someone has already taken one out and they are experiencing difficulties they should get in contact with an advisor to see what can be done,” she said.

Ms Collins said help is available for people who are struggling with money. “Don’t bury your head in the sand. There is help out there.

“Even people who are struggling but getting by should seek advice because perhaps they might not be getting their full benefit entitlements,” she said.

Debt advisors are available at Dove House on 71269327 and Hillcrest House on 71347515 or Na Li can be contacted on 71277143.