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Are lenders to blame for the UK’s debt problems?

Last year total secured lending on homes exceeded 1trillion while total personal debt exceeded 1.25trillion. Pundits have predicted slowing house prices coupled with interest rate rises in 2007, but as net lending continues to rise concern is mounting that borrowers are getting more and more into debt … So this week Mortgage Strategy asks: Are lenders to blame for the UK’s debt problems?

Jamie Mullen, 28, editor’s assistant

Consumers and lenders are responsible for the debt problem in this country. Advertising breeds temptation and I don’t think there is a great deal of support from banks to help people get out of debt. But there are organisations that help people with their debt problems so people can seek advice before they get into trouble.

Rob Joslin, 27, recruitment consultant

Loans seem to be a good deal but too many people do not realise that three years down the line they could lose their house. People can have problems getting a mortgage but can walk into a bank and get several credit cards worth 10,000 each. It is not the companies’ fault. They are only businesses that are taking advantage of the situation this country is in. If I were a lender I would try and make as much money as I could too.

Alex Sturdy, 28, recruitment consultant

People should be helped when they take out loans. Every part of a deal should be talked over with an independent third party to make sure nobody gets any nasty surprises. It should be considered whether people can afford these loans before they take them out.

Liam Fisher, 28, consultant

It’s down to people’s attitudes towards debt. If there was no demand for products there wouldn’t be a debt issue. People who get into debt should know what is involved, but they use debt to clear debt and this is where the problems start. It becomes a cycle that can be difficult to get out of.

Ian Delaney, 23, student

This problem is down to individuals. People just spend, spend, spend without thinking about the consequences. Banks should be more careful about who they give loans too. Store cards are a big problem too because anybody can get one and their rates can often be higher than other credit cards or loans.

Zak McNally, 22, actor

I have a lot of experience of loans and at times lenders have tried to take advantage of my situation, but on the whole it was my decision to take out the deals. Companies tried to sell me all sorts of extras but they were only trying to make as much money as possible, like most businesses. It’s down to consumers to do some research and understand what they are getting into and whether they can afford loans.

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