NHS staff are among those most likely to rely on payday loans, suggests a study.
The payday loans study, which was commissioned by short-term credit broker CashLady, found that NHS staff were significantly more likely to apply for payday loans than workers at any other organisation.
After NHS workers, supermarket workers at Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, followed by staff at McDonald’s, Morrisons, Royal Mail and finally the British Army.
StepChange, the debt charity, says that the loans, which charge interest of up to 1,325% per year, are not a debt solution and can make your financial situation worse – the charity advises the majority of people to avoid using such services.
Nursing unions say years of cuts to NHS funding and pay restraint for NHS workers is to blame.
Gerry O’Dywer, Employment Relations Advisor at the Royal College of Nursing, said: “These figures reveal the financial pressure nursing staff are under. Years of pay cuts left them struggling to make ends meet.
“The health service cannot keep losing valuable highly-trained staff because they can’t afford to pay the bills each month. The proposed NHS Pay Deal would give NHS staff the largest pay rise in ten years – it will go some way in helping nursing staff and preventing nurses from leaving the profession.
“The RCN’s own Lamplight Support Service also provides tailored financial advice and support for nursing staff.”
Sara Gorton, Unisons Head of Health, said; “No-one should be so desperate for money that they have no option but to go cap in hand to unscrupulous lenders, who offer quick and easy money at sky-high rates of interest that can take a lifetime to pay back.
“It’s a terrible state of affairs that NHS workers are so strapped for cash they don’t have enough money to get through the month, and have to go deep into debt trying. It shows how much harm years of government pay restraint has caused.”
NHS employers suffering with debt can contact their union or a national debt charity for advice and assistance.