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High numbers using credit to buy basic household appliances

  • 03/01/2018

One in five people on a low income are using the most expensive form of credit to buy essential household appliances such as a fridge or washing machine, according to national poverty charity Turn2us.

Research found almost 60% of people on a low income turn to more expensive forms of credit to purchase home appliances because they do not have the means to pay up front or access to affordable credit. 17% say they used a credit card to make the purchase, 10% used an overdraft and 10% used a store card. More worryingly, significant numbers said that they used high cost credit to buy home appliances, with 13% relying on hire-purchase and 8% saying that they used a payday loan.

The research also revealed 81% of people were unaware that money or goods are available through charitable grants to help people purchase household appliances.

Turn2us is urging those really struggling to purchase basic household appliances to check first if they are eligible for free help through a grant before turning to costly forms of credit. There is a wide range of charities in the UK that can provide money or vouchers to help people struggling to make ends meet purchase basic and essential appliances.

Turn2us awards several million in grants each year, mainly through its Response Fund and Elizabeth Finn Fund, with much of the money going to help people buy household appliances.

Highlighting the importance of increased awareness of grants to help people purchase household appliances, Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, said:

“Household appliances are not a luxury – people who are struggling should not have to go without a cooker or washing machine. It’s genuinely worrying that so many people coming to us are getting into debt to purchase them when there are numerous grants available for these exact circumstances.

“With £300m in charitable grants available in the UK, it’s vital that people in a financial crisis are aware of this help so that they don’t miss out on support that they could be receiving and end up living without a cooker or fridge, or using credit to purchase them.”

Turn2us is urging anyone who is struggling to purchase household appliances to seek its help at Turn2us.org.uk. The charity can help people understand and access the support that they may be eligible for, particularly through hardship grants that can help with the purchase of household appliances.