Cost of living plunges disabled into debt crisis

Steady increases in the cost of living have resulted in disabled people sliding into heavy debt, according to a new report by disabled charity Leonard Cheshire.

The report estimates that nine out of ten disabled people with debt problems regularly run out of money and the majority earn under £10,000 a year.

This situation drives two out of five disabled people to seek loans and other forms of credit to meet the demands of higher living costs on a below-average income.

John Knight, head of policy at Leonard Cheshire, said: “Whilst easy access to credit is part of the problem, for disabled people a significant amount of debt comes from essential purchasesÖthis leaves disabled people particularly vulnerable to spiralling debt which they have little prospect of clearing.”

The charity also criticised the credit industry for lack of understanding of the impact that a disability can have on a person’s life, citing the inflexible attitude taken by lenders when tackling the issue of debt repayment.

The report called for government and industry action to help to alleviate the debt burden of the disabled, including responsible lending and clear credit documentation.

© Adfero Ltd

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