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Skyrocketing BNPL Debt Sparks Emergency Aid Calls

Skyrocketing BNPL Debt Sparks Emergency Aid Calls

Citizens Advice warns that the use of 'buy now, pay later' (BNPL) schemes has led to a significant number of consumers accumulating unmanageable debts, necessitating emergency support. The value of BNPL transactions has reached a staggering £1.7bn, with the market expanding fourfold since 2020 to a total of £30bn this year. Consumers are increasingly relying on BNPL options for essential purchases, such as groceries, leading to a tripling in the number of people needing help with debt repayment. Over £16.7bn was spent online using BNPL in the first quarter of 2024, with an additional estimated £9bn in physical stores. Notably, older generations are also turning to BNPL for products like baby carriers and prams, indicating a broader demographic shift in BNPL usage. The government's delay in regulating the sector has been criticized amidst growing concerns over debt accumulation.

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