Debt Awareness Week is an annual campaign run by one of our partners, StepChange: the UK’s most comprehensive debt advice service. The week aims to open up the conversation around debt.
StepChange estimates that the average person waits 12 months between realising they’re in financial trouble and getting debt advice for the first time. During this time the situation can often get worse. So this year, Debt Awareness Week is focused on helping people overcome barriers to getting debt advice so they can resolve their money worries by taking #TheFirstStep.
Helping you to deal with debt
Dealing with debt can be confusing and scary. There are many reasons why people put off getting debt advice. Some fear they’ll be judged, others bury their head in the sand and hope things will improve… Many people simply aren’t aware that free, impartial debt advice is available.
StepChange helps more than 630,000 every year to take back control of their finances, and their lives. Their support is free, impartial and confidential and every client receives expert personalised advice. You can phone StepChange free on 0800 138 1111 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm. You can find out more about how StepChange could help you, or someone you know, on their website where you’ll find a range of guides, including:
- paying off persistent debt
- dealing with debt stress and mental health
- how to get emergency funding in a cash crisis.
There’s also a coronavirus and debt information hub with step-by-step guidance for people on reduced incomes due to coronavirus.
You can also contact our own Guideline team and they’ll help you find specialist guidance.
In 2020, we referred more than 3,300 residents for free, expert debt advice. This led to £11.3m of debt being written off for these people.
Debt advice guides
For Debt Awareness Week we’ve created a series of guides and articles to help you manage your money, including information about the government’s new Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space).
How to improve your money skills
Discover how to develop the skills and knowledge needed to improve your financial wellbeing today and for the future.
Why it’s good to talk about money worries
40% of people keep secrets from their loved ones about money. Find out why it makes sense to be open about your money worries and discover how you can find help.
How to deal with debt and mental health
Money worries can have a serious impact on mental and physical wellbeing. Find out how you can get help with financial problems, including through the new Debt Respite Scheme.
Debt Awareness Week survey
Coronavirus has caused debt and money worries for many people. Share your experiences in our quick, anonymous survey – whether you’re struggling with money or not.
This will help us understand how residents are coping at this difficult time and enable us to shape our services to better meet your needs.