Seeking early advice key to financial stability during Covidwritten by Bella Palmer
People with financial concerns are advised to seek help before things get worse as this will help them prepare for leaner months later this year
With many households still reliant on financial support such as the furlough scheme and other business funding, the full impact of the debt crisis due to the pandemic will become clearer in the coming months.
Experts fear there will be approximately 15 million people in the UK struggling with problem debt by March this year, with things only likely to get worse over the year.
With potential for significant job losses across sectors, together with other factors such as reduced income or changes in personal circumstances, many people may face unaffordable debt for the first time in their lives.
People with financial concerns are advised to seek help before things get worse. This will provide them with financial support and help them prepare for leaner months later this year.
Many may not even know where to go for help or realise there are solutions for debt crises.
Kerry Holmes, debt centre manager for Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Glasgow south, says: Our clients have found the pandemic especially hard. Many live off a very tight budget and jobs have been lost and benefits have been stretched. Also we have clients that don’t have wi-fi and run everything through phone data, and this has left them more isolated.
Getting help as early as possible can make a big difference and you won’t be judged, she says.
According to the Money and Pension Service (MaPS), the number of UK households in need of debt advice may rise by 60 per cent by the end of 2021.
In Scotland, Council Tax remains the most common type of debt, with many still unaware that they may be paying too much. On top of that many are struggling to meet their essential expenses such as rent, gas and electricity.
Money advisers can work with you to review your financial position, find out if you are eligible for exemptions and provide overall help and support to find the right solution for you. Free help is available regardless of your financial situation.
Myles Fitt, spokesman for Citizens Advice Scotland, says: Our network is braced for a big increase in debt cases in the coming months. The important thing we want people to know is that you don’t need to suffer debt on your own.
He says, the CAB network has been helping people deal with their debt problems for more than 80 years, so we know how to help you, and our advice is completely free, independent and confidential. So whether you are in debt today or fear you may be later, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau and we will be ready to help you manage your debt. It’s what we do, so let us help you.
This article is for information purposes only.
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