Welsh households are experiencing huge levels of debt, much like the rest of the United Kingdom. A report by the Senedd found that the worst is yet to come when considering the impact of household debt as a further 10% of households found themselves behind on at least one bill. As the country heads into Christmas and the costs it entails, families are looking forward to seeing how they’ll ride out the situation and start to see real improvements in the New Year.
Short term solutions
Short-term credit solutions are becoming increasingly popular with families. While it remains necessary to be cautious around short-term, no obligation credit, it’s also true that the exploitative APR charges of old have largely been reigned in. When well controlled, a quick £200 loan can help families to stay afloat over a period of high-spending as a short term solution. However, as the BBC highlights, poorly managed short-term credit can spiral; Credit Unions Wales are in particular keen to protect young people.
An ethical and affordable solution to household cash flow problems is making headway, however. Credit unions were common and widespread for many years in the UK, but saw a fall in interest. Now, however, Wales Online have highlighted the new rise of credit unions across the country; the unions have £48 million on deposit and are now calling on interested parties to start using that cash. As the cash is collected and invested in an ethical manner, this will be an attractive proposition to many families.
A debt bonfire?
In the history of human civilization there have been many countries that have, at times, written off debt, seeing it as an economic virtue. Rights Net have highlighted one report to the Senedd that raises the possibility of such a measure. By undertaking ‘debt bonfires’, in which certain debt types such as council tax are written off, more money can be put back into the economy and default rates can be vastly reduced. This could help families to spend over the Christmas period and enjoy a happy holiday, knowing there would be a chance to stabilise and rebuild in future months.
Debt is a big problem for Welsh households. The good news is that there are options. Through typical credit lines, ethical investments and the potential for debt write-off, there’s reason to feel secure moving into 2021s Christmas season.