Families who are already struggling to make ends meet are being warned not to fall foul of unscrupulous loan sharks to finance Christmas.
To help residents avoid being landed with extortionate interest rates, a special event is being held at Kingswood Community Centre, Corby, tomorrow, from 3pm until 6pm.
The centre has joined forces with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau to organise the afternoon in response to concerns raised by people living on the estate.
Catherine Welsh, manager of Kingswood Children’s Centre, in Alberta Close, said: “Families are facing a lot of challenges and there are increasing levels of debt.
“The aim of the event tomorrow is to give people information on fair and equitable lending arrangements and warn them about the dangers of quick fix solutions. People want to give their children a nice Christmas, and why shouldn’t they?
“Unfortunately the poorest members of the community often don’t have access to bank accounts and end up being penalised because they look for financial help elsewhere.
“During January and February we see a marked increase in anxiety and this is linked to the financial problems people find themselves coping with.”
The Citizens’ Advice Bureau holds advice sessions at the centre twice a week and at tomorrow’s event people will be able to get financial guidance.
There will also be a football match between Kingswood estate dads and PCSOs, face-painting and games, and hot food will be served.
Cllr Maureen Forshaw, who represents Kingswood estate, said: “High interest loans cause people misery and anxiety. It’s tough for most people now, and it’s worse at this time of the year. If loan offers come through the letterbox I hope people rip them up.”