"We are increasingly seeing residents struggling with their finances because of the number of BNPL payments they are having to pay out each month."
Angela Fishwick, Chief Executive
Angela Fishwick of Unify Credit Union said, "people can get themselves into a spiral of debt when turning to buy now, pay later services which are currently not adequately regulated meaning they are not carrying out affordability checks and credit checks.
She said: “We are increasingly seeing residents struggling with their finances because of the number of BNPL payments they are having to pay out each month. A few pounds many not seem much but when someone chooses this option for a dozen or so purchases, it very soon mounts up to a large monthly commitment with people losing track of how many accounts they have opened.
“One local resident who came to see us had three children and a total income of £816 from universal credit and child benefit, yet she had more than 60 payments coming out of her account to buy now, pay later companies, totalling £963.58.”
Buy now, pay later enables customers to defer the payment of goods for an agreed period of time, allowing them to spread the cost, without paying interest.
Angela added: “I would like to get the message out to people that they should think very carefully before using this method to pay for goods as otherwise they could potentially be left with a post-Christmas debt which is out of control.”
For more information about applying for a loan with Unify visit their website www.unifycu.org