Third of NI Parents Relying on Debt to Cover ‘Back to School’ Costs
July 25, 2019
More than one in three parents living in Northern Ireland find themselves relying on debt to cover the costs of sending their children back to school for the new year.
That’s according to research carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), which says that its headline figures on the subject have barely changed since last year.
As many as 73 per cent of the parents asked about how sending their children back to school affects their finances said that they consider it to be a notable burden.
That proportion is down slightly on the same figure for 12 months ago but there is clearly a widespread feeling that schools are not doing all that they could be to keep costs down for parents.
On a positive note, although roughly the same number of parents are using debt to cover their back to school cots, the scale of debt being entered into for those reasons has reduced over the past 12 months, according to the ILCU.
Nevertheless, for 48 per cent of parents in Northern Ireland, the costs involved in making back to school purchases is the foremost concern they have as their children start a new school year.
Among the most burdensome costs to be covered in these contexts are those involved in buying new school uniforms, with clothes for secondary school attendees particularly expensive.
Other concerning costs for parents include those required to cover school meals and the payments involved in financing school trips.
Among the main concerns highlighted by the ILCU as an organisation is that a growing number of parents across Northern Ireland are resorting to credit cards to cover school-related costs for their children.
“We are very concerned to see that the numbers using credit cards has risen from 14 per cent last year to 22 per cent this year,” said Paul Bailey, the ILCU’s head of communications.
“We would encourage all parents in need of financial assistance to contact their local credit union and forego credit cards completely.”
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