Focus groups with money advisers about illegal and informal money lending.
Problem debt ruins lives. The CSJ is reminded regularly by our Alliance of small charities of the way it tears families apart, the strain it puts on employment, and its cruel encouragement towards alcohol and substance dependency. Yet some debts remain more hidden than others. Money owed to friends and family members, or indeed to more pernicious illegal lenders, is inherently more sensitive than consumer debt or arrears – meaning that we know little of its scale, nature or impact on personal finances and relationships. Marking the beginning of a new CSJ investigation into the impact of this type of borrowing, this paper presents the findings of focus groups with hundreds of grassroots money advisers on the subject of informal and illegal money lending.