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In whose interest? the dynamics of debt in poor households

Flaherty, J.; Banks, S.

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J. Flaherty


This article examines the dynamics of credit and debt in low income households, drawing on an action research project with 24 households in the Teesside area of North East England. Despite crippling interest rates, high-cost credit sources (for example, doorstep lending, catalogue, rent-to-own and payday loan companies) are increasingly used by households that are excluded from mainstream financial services. The article discusses the range of credit sources used, reasons for reliance on high-cost credit and the exploitative practices of loan companies. It explores possible actions at household level through financial mentoring; the potential for developing alternative low-cost sources of credit; and campaigns for regulation of loan companies.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2013
Deposit Date Nov 7, 2013
Publicly Available Date Nov 21, 2014
Journal Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
Print ISSN 1759-8273
Electronic ISSN 1759-8281
Publisher Bristol University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Pages 219-232
Keywords High-cost credit, Household debt, Low income households, Poverty.
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (853 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Flaherty, J. and Banks, S. (2013) 'In whose interest? the dynamics of debt in poor households.', Journal of poverty and social justice., 21 (3). pp. 219-232 is available online at:

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