POLITICIANS have joined a protest in Rhyl against high cost credit and rent-to-own providers.

About 20 people gathered on the High Street ,outside the Rhyl Brighthouse store at the White Rose Centre, to demonstrate against high cost rent-to-own shops and encourage shoppers to avoid unmanageable debt.

The protest, led by Vale of Clywd AM Ann Jones and MP Chris Ruane, was timed to urge better financial sense and encourage people to shop around for more affordable alternatives in the run up to Christmas.

Mr Ruane said: “Sadly some people go to high cost credit providers such as these because they are unaware of other, cheaper options, if they need to purchase household or white goods.

“They then end up massively overpaying for items as the details of how much they will really cost in total are buried deep among the small print.

“High cost credit can cause a huge amount of problems for people, especially the more vulnerable in our society, as the impact this can have on people’s health and well-being is very well documented.

“I would urge people to look at what financial services are available at their local credit union.”

Brighthouse is the UK's largest rent-to-own company, with 270 stores nationwide.

According to statistics from the Money Advice Service, people in Wales are more susceptible to over-indebtedness than any other country in the UK, with one in six at risk of unmanageable debt. Demonstrators told passing shoppers that not only were many items cheaper elsewhere, but offered information on more affordable loan.

Mrs Jones, who represents the Vale of Clwyd, added that spiralling debt can have consequences on all aspects of life.

“Unmanageable debt is not just a finance issue,” she said. “It impacts all elements of our lives, including relationships, work, health, mental health and, of course, the ability to look after our families.”

Her words were echoed by Lesley Powell, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Denbighshire, who said that the problem was a significant issue in the county.

“We find that many of our clients in the area turn to these companies for goods and cash which only provides a temporary solution and results in further long-term problems,” she said.

“We encourage and deter clients from using these companies and refer them to Cambrian Credit Union who can offer them an affordable loan based on their potential for repayment and affordability.”

Brighthouse were unable to comment at this time.