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Single mum paying $25,000 to debt collectors for $8000 car that she no longer owns

A survey of budgeting services has found more than a quarter of their clients have crippling high-interest loans with most of the unmanageable debt originally taken to pay for everyday living costs.

Single mum Moana is paying big time to keep the debt collectors at bay, paying $25,000 for an $8,000 car, which she lost after defaulting on payments.

That's not the only loan Moana has got either.

"I had five children to feed I had to make a choice whether it was my power to be cut keep the rent flowing or have food on the table," she told 1 NEWS.

"The number of loans was a shock even to us, our survey indicates most people default and get into that debt spiral," FINCAP chief executive Tim Barnett told 1 NEWS.

The study by Community Law Canterbury and budgeting support group FINCAP shows most high cost loans are used for daily living expenses like rent or car repairs.

On average clients borrow about $600 to $1000 in high interest loans for mostly essential goods and that is why food banks like this one are becoming increasingly under pressure.

Those on the frontline like Mangere budgeting trust say high interest loans are crippling families already struggling with the spiralling cost of living.

"We're raising a new generation of two-minute noodle kids and this is New Zealand - we are a country, we are resource rich - nobody should be homeless, nobody should be hungry, we need to do so much more and we need to do so much better," Darryl Evans of Mangere Budgeting Trust told 1 NEWS.

The survey of 76 budgeting services comes as the government prepares to make changes to consumer credit laws.

While loan interest rates are going to be capped at 100 per cent, the study’s authors believe it is not enough.

"One thing we would want is a control in interest rates the other area is debt collection," Mr Barnett said.

The survey found half of those who take high interest loans are referred to debt collectors

"We want some basic controls over the behaviours of those companies," Mr Barnett said.

For those who struggle to put food on the table, controls can't come soon enough.

More than a quarter of clients had high interest loans, mostly for everyday living costs. Source: 1 NEWS