Earlier this week, the APPG on debt & personal finance, and the APPG on single parent families, joined together in a meeting to launch 'The single parent debt trap', a new report published jointly by Gingerbread and StepChange.
The report was published earlier this month and found that single parents disproportionately live with problem debt - prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, severe problem debt affected 13% of single parents, compared to 5% of couple parents and 4% of single adults. Sadly, the pandemic has exposed more single parent families to poverty.
The research highlighted some of the main causes of problem debt in single parents:
The report makes these recommendations for the Government:
The full report is available to read here
As vice-chair of the APPG on single parent families, I was shocked and moved by what I heard during the meeting, like Lisa's story. Lisa was a victim of economic abuse, with £23K of debt in her name that was built up by her partner. He had taken out more than 60 payday loans in her name without her consent. Sadly this isn't a unique experience - 48% of respondents in the report said they had experienced some form of economic abuse.
I sincerely hope that the Government takes notice of this report and takes action, so that single parent families are able to take back control of their finances and avoid falling into severe problem debt in the future.
Help and advice:
If you are experiencing any of the issues in this post, there is help available.