Financial difficulties

People experience financial difficulties for many reasons, including unemployment, illness, separation and bereavement.

It can be difficult for people experiencing financial difficulties to fund everyday essentials and pay for bills and rent. As a result people may take out loans and accumulate debts, and may face eviction, house repossession or legal action to recover their debts. This can leave them in worse financial, personal and social difficulties.

Vulnerability to Exploitation

Searching for alternative means to support themselves and their dependents, people may be drawn towards riskier ways of making money. This could include taking out risky loans, or involvement in drug dealing, sex work or gambling. Those in financial difficulties may be targeted by loan sharks and fraudsters promising them the means to gain financial security.

Financial difficulties can be extremely stressful and may lead to mental health issues or reliance on drugs and alcohol. This can further impact people’s ability to manage their financial situation.

If people have borrowed from others these relationships may become exploitative, with the lender threatening violence if debts fail to be repaid, or demanding work or sexual favours as repayment. Increasing debts (and the need for greater funds to repay them) and fears for their own or others’ safety can make it increasingly difficult for people to remove themselves from an exploitative situation.