Data from over 160,000 payday loan applications, taken since January 2015, shows that a shocking number of people in the health and social care sectors are turning to payday loans to bridge financial shortfalls. Nurses, health care assistants and professional carers were found particularly likely to feel the need to apply for a payday loan. These statistics are the most accurate figures released to date on the numbers of people applying for payday loans.
People who work in the health and social care sectors accounted for just over 10% of all those who were in employment and who made applications for payday loans.
Of those working in health and social care who have applied for loans, a dismaying 19% were nurses, 18% were professional carers and 11% were health care assistants.
35,000 nurses have applied for payday loans since January 2015
When projected across the sector, this data indicates that up to 35,000 nurses have applied for payday loans since January 2015. This figure, though staggering, is in line with a survey carried out in 2013 by the Nursing Standard magazine, which suggested that 6% of nurses had taken out a payday loan. It is perhaps unsurprising that such a high number of nurses are applying for payday loans, when you consider that nurses have suffered a 14% real term wage cut since 2010.
Should the 1% pay cap stay in place, it is hard to see how the number of nurses applying for payday loans could decrease. It is this sort of financial hardship that has led to Danielle Tipaldy starting an online petition to demand an above-inflation pay rise for nurses.
One Theatre Nurse and mother of two from Dorset, who has received a payday loan, commented:
‘As a mother of two, being a theatre nurse is a great sacrifice. On top of that, I really don’t feel that there is enough financial support for nurses in my position. I think that special loan rates could be introduced for NHS nurses to help nurses like me tackle our predicament’.This nurse is not alone in having children and needing a payday loan, as almost half of those who applied for a payday loan, (44%) are parents.
There are, of course, some other options available to nurses. For example, The Queen’s Nursing Institute has awarded over £135,000 in grants to Community Nurses.
Jeremy Lloyd , from Cashfloat, said
“It is deeply worrying that so many nurses and other caregivers would require our services. We hope that by releasing this data it will draw attention to the hardships being faced by these undervalued and yet essential caregivers in our communities.”