SOME people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis in North Ayrshire are considering taking their own lives because of the scale of their debts, according to a new report.

The Irvine and Three Towns Debt Centre, run by Christians Against Poverty and based in Fullarton Connexions, Irvine, say the cost of living crisis is crushing those on low incomes.

Debt coach  Alan McLaren said: “We know that everyone’s feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis right now, but if you’re already on a low income, the strain is relentless – plus there’s the added anxiety over future rises in living costs.”

CAP has been offering free debt-help, along with emotional and practical support, to people across Irvine, Kilwinning and the Three Towns since September 2020.

 “People fall into debt for a variety of reasons,” Mr McLaren said.

“They may have been made redundant, left a job to care for a family member, suffered from a long term illness themselves, or experienced a relationship breakdown – which cuts many household’s income in half.”

A CAP report released this month exposes the growing impact that the cost of living crisis is having on low income households in Irvine, trapping them into debt. 

CAP’s To The Edge report reveals that new CAP clients in Scotland have a peak debt of over £17,360.

Without free debt help, on average it would take a staggering 50 years for a Scottish household to repay their debts.

“This report shows the reality of the situation for many people,” added Alan.

 “The cost of living crisis is leaving many families on unsustainable budgets, with little or nothing leftover after covering their basic living costs. 

“People are aware that they could suddenly be plunged into large amounts of debt, and they’re scared,” Mr McLaren continued.

“The detrimental impact that these kinds of debts have are significant. CAP’s report shows that, unsurprisingly, more people are suffering from depression compared to last year, and more are also experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. 

“Most concerningly, the percentage of our clients who tell us they’ve attempted or considered suicide, as a way out of their debt, has risen as well from last year, from 28 per cent to 36 per cent. 

“This is heartbreaking, and doesn’t have to be the case – help is available.”

If you need help to break free from debt, contact CAP on freephone 0800 328 0006 or visit today to find out more information.