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Following possible moves by Edinburgh City Council to limit some of the damaging consequences that can result from payday lending (your report, 6 June), data from StepChange Debt Charity mirrors that of the council and shows a significant increase in the number of people seeking help.

In 2011, ten per cent of our clients in the Edinburgh City Council area had payday loans. This increased to 18 per cent in 2012, and 25 per cent in first three months of this year. Between 2011 and 2012 the average amount owed increased by £242 to reach £1,436. Credit unions are an increasingly attractive and available alternative to payday loans, something illustrated by the success of the Glasgow-based NHS Credit Union reported this week. Other alternatives and information about payday loans can be found on a new 
section on our website.

Sharon Bell

StepChange Debt Charity Scotland

Bothwell Street