‘We’re high-risk borrowers now’

Mother of one, Claire Holdstock and her husband were involved in a motorcycle accident in 2003 leaving her with a long-term disability. At the time of the accident both were working full time, had a mortgage and additional debts of around £10,000. Following the accident, however, Claire was unable to return to work and her husband eventually had to give up his job to care for her and their new baby. Their income dropped massively and the debts began to pile up.

“Our lives were turned upside down at that moment,” says Claire. “We both had to give up work; Adrian had to become my carer. Like most young couples, prior to the accident we had a small amount of debt, a mortgage and a couple of loans, but it was manageable.”

The Holdstocks sought help from their bank which agreed to reduce their monthly payments. But at a price. “We met with the bank and agreed a longer repayment term on our loan, but they hiked up the APR on our loan repayments by 12 per cent – to over 19 per cent – because they now considered us high-risk borrowers.”

The family is now living off benefits and seeking compensation for the accident.

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