Pressing debt worries are weighing down upon more than a third of the region’s families with children - according to new research.
The Children’s Society has revealed that 36 per cent of families with dependant children in the East Midlands have been failing to keep up with household bills and loan repayments in the past year - the highest proportion of any region in England and Wales.
More than 350,000 children in the East Midlands are living in 205,000 families trapped in problem debt. In Nottinghamshire alone there are 38,700 families struggling with debt with 67,000 dependant children.
A survey commissioned by the charity shows families with children are more than twice as likely to have been trapped in problem debt as childless households.
Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “With unfair and unsustainable repayment plans, hidden charges, soaring interest, visits from intimidating bailiffs and the fear of eviction, the odds are stacked against parents who are desperate to find a way out of their debt. Meanwhile mums and dads are being forced to make impossible decisions between feeding and clothing their children, and paying the bills.”
As part of its Debt Trap campaign, the charity is calling for changes to how creditors treat families with children who fall behind on bills and repayments. It is urging the Government to introduce a 12-month ‘breathing space’ scheme to give struggling families a period of protection from additional charges, mounting interest and enforcement action.