The number of complaints about high-cost credit has reached its highest level on record, according to new figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The number of new complaints about payday†loans†soared 64% from 10,529 to 17,200, with the ombudsman service upholding 60% of these complaints.

In 2017-18, the total number of complaints about consumer credit - which includes products ranging from credit cards to payday loans - rose by 40% to just over 36,300.

And excluding Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) products, which make up more than half (55%) of the complaints, consumer credit worries represent almost a quarter of the complaints received by the watchdog.

The new figures come just months after Hollywood actor Michael Sheen launched a new campaign to tackle high-cost credit and provide "fairer" alternatives for those who use payday lenders and rent-to-own firms.

MoneySavingExpert doesn't like payday loans and most people who get them shouldn't - for more info, and a rundown of the least worst options, see our†Payday Loans†guide. If you're struggling with debt, the†Debt Problems†guide has full help.

Martin Lewis
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What does the Financial Ombudsman Service say?

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman at the FOS, said: "People buy a whole range of things on credit - from everyday household appliances to a car - and in many cases it's manageable and affordable.

"But for some people, borrowing may be a necessity rather than a choice. There can be a very fine line between getting by and going under. Even people who seem to be on top of their finances can quickly become vulnerable."

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