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Debt Awareness Week: Don't feel you should deal with debt on your own

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Falling into debt can happen to anyone, but don't feel you have to deal with the situation on your own. There's a common misconception that debt is caused by being irresponsible with money; however, research by debt charity, StepChange, has found that debt problems more often arise from circumstances beyond one's control, such as redundancy, ill health or rising living costs.

Debt Awareness Week is an annual campaign run by StepChange to spread the word about free debt advice and to get people talking about money problems.

At Clarion Futures, our partners provided face-to-face and telephone debt guidance to over 3,200 Clarion Housing customers in 2017-2018, writing off in the region of £10.5 million - but there’s still more that can be done. So, if you’re worried about money, find out more about how we can help.

Budgeting advice:

Managing your money means first working out what money you have coming in and what your expenses are. To help you with this, we have two budget planners available to download to help you stay in control of your spending. These show you what you can afford to do and if cutbacks can be made in certain areas.

We also offer advice on planning your budget, and calculating your weekly and monthly expenses.

Debt advice:

All of our residents can access free support through one of our specialist partner agencies. Depending on your needs, we will either refer you to our partner, PennySmart CIC, or to one of the following:

  • StepChange Debt Charity - StepChange offers a free debt helpline, which is open Monday - Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm. Call 0800 980 8270 (calls free from landline and mobile).
  • Debt Remedy - A self-help option that provides you with a personal action plan.
  • Citizens Advice - If you want to speak to someone face to face, your local Citizens Advice offers free, impartial, confidential advice on a wide range of issues including debt.

Rent arrears advice:

Missing a rent payment can happen for a number of reasons; maybe you were faced with an unexpected bill or an illness in the family meaning you were unable to work, or maybe were experiencing problems with your benefit payments. Whatever the reason, if you're struggling to make ends meet, you can contact us so we can help you find a solution.

Guideline:

Teams at Clarion Futures Money support residents with a wide range of money issues including: managing and challenging bills, budgeting, grants for household goods and checking benefit entitlements. In the main, support is provided via an expert telephone service, backed up by in-home support for residents in more vulnerable situations – particularly those affected by fuel poverty.

Contact Guideline


Adam's story

Adam was 46 years old when he spoke to the Clarion Futures Money team. After suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety, he was forced to give up work. Unfortunately, this had led to rising rent arrears and increasing debt.

Having spoken to us about his situation, we referred Adam to our partner, PennySmart - a debt advice company - who were able to work with him to write off some of his debts. He also received a washing machine and fridge through the Clarion Futures Money Support Fund, and advice on cutting his energy bills.

Adam said: “So much worry has been taken away … it’s unbelievable. I have now got direct debits in place for all my bills. This has been a life changer... I can’t thank you enough as I can now look ahead and not keep worrying about who is at the door. People need to access this support… I can start a new life with some spare money in my pocket. I may even return to studying.”

*Adam's name has been changed to protect his identity.


Falling into debt doesn’t mean you have acted irresponsibly with money. It can happen to anyone. And with the right advice, a solution can often be found. So, if you’re struggling to make ends meet, speak to the Clarion Futures Money team.