A couple of days ago, I met up with a few prisoners family members for a coffee. It's something I do occasionally for a catch-up and chat. The afternoon was a pleasant one but I was alarmed at something that was brought to my attention. I would like the charities that represent prisoners families to also take note.
Two young women in particular told me they were entitled to little help with cost of travel to prison visit their loved-ones. When asked how they managed to afford it, they simply told me that they turned to pay-day loans leaving them in a circle of debt that they are struggling to pay back. In order to keep themselves afloat, they pay their loan back at an extortionate rate and roll-over their existing loan having to do the same next week and the week after. Most pay-day loan companies lend customers money against their benefits which are paid by the Government weekly. As an example, for every £100.00 borrowed, you pay £25.00 meaning that you pay the loan company a total of £125.00 when you receive your benefit/wage payment. With the cost of living, bills, and household needs, this often means that the customer has to re-borrow the money back from the lender. To add to the headache, most pay-day loan companies add charges to late payments thrusting people in to more debt. These money lenders have recently come under attack by the Government and MP's who are concerned about the impact pay-day loan lenders are having on vulnerable people.
I find it shocking that some prisoners families have resorted to lending money this way in order to visit their loved-ones in prison. I would like this topic to be brought up, especially by those who work hard to raise awareness of the plight of prisoners families.
By Prison Widow UK