Benefits Street star Dot Taylor has hit out at ‘doorstep loans’ – warning others from falling into the same trap as her.
Dot, 49, says young people are most vulnerable to the door-to-door money lenders as cash in hand is easier than working.
Doorstep loans are known for their sky-high interest rates, with some racking in at as much as 1,500 per cent for a loan of £100.
Speaking from her home on Kingston Street in Stockton, Teeside, Dot warned: “These people will rip you off.
“It’s a really bad problem. Especially for people who haven’t got the circumstances to pay it back.
“You take out a £100 loan and you can’t pay it back straight away, then you get interest of #60 or #80.
“I’ve been caught out a few times in the past. The problem is it’s easy cash so it’s hard to say no.
“It’s hardest for young people, they get a job but when someone comes knocking and offering money you take it without thinking about the consequences.
“It’s just easy money at the end of the day. Young people are definitely the most vulnerable.
“My friends and family have had problems with these loans as well, it’s a real problem.
“They usually come round at Christmas time when people need money for presents and food.
“They go door to door saying there’s a loan man coming round, and you’re able to borrow some money.
“The interest is sky high. At the time you don’t think about the consequences.
“When you haven’t got any money, it’s a horrible situation. If you’re sat there feeling poor and someone comes to your home offering cash in hand, you’re not going to say no, really.
“That’s how people get into these situations. Then you try and take out more money, it’s a downward spiral.
“It affects your credit check history too and you can get blacklisted. It’ll make simple things like getting a new phone contract difficult.
“But people really do rely on doorstep loans, especially if they’re on low income.
“Sometimes they offer you vouchers for food instead, then you have to pay it back in cash with interest.”
Dot, who lives with husband Kevin, 49, appeared in the new series of the Channel 4 documentary on Monday night.
The controversial programme follows the lives of people in Britain’s poorest estates, and has been dubbed by some as “poverty porn”.
Dot added: “Our area is vulnerable because there are people who need the money.
“Doorstep loan people should at least be bringing the interest down. If I could say anything to these people is why?
“Why are you ripping people off getting money off people who can’t afford it?”
Dot also warned others from falling into the trap of easy loans.
“Just don’t go for it. No matter how bad your situation is.
“I got myself into debt years ago and was struggling because of the interest on these loans, but I got through it and I’m okay now.
“These people will rip you off. People should do their best to avoid getting caught in the trap in the first place.”
The average interest rate is 200 per cent, and the loans are normally paid back in six to nine weeks.
APR is normally less than payday loans such as with Wonga, but are paid back over a longer time so the total can often amount to the same.
The average loan taken out for small, payday loans is #100, and those taking one out will typically payback #150 to #180.
Doorstep loan companies operate across the country.