Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue has urged people struggling with debt to seek advice rather than going to loan sharks.
She said: “January is a particularly difficult time of year for many in Derry due to financial pressures. More and more people are finding themselves in debt that they have no realistic chance of repaying, due to the current economic downtown, and therefore finding it hard to pay basic household bills.
“I would advise anyone who finds themselves in such situations to seek help with debt advisers straight away no matter how big or small their problem, and to contact their local Credit Union. Sadly there are those out there who will see it as fertile ground for loan sharks and illegal money lenders to set up in communities.”