MacDonald MSP Welcomes Launch of Debt Awareness Week
Monday, 20 January 2014 11:49
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed the launch of the first ever Debt Awareness Week today (Monday) by the StepChange Debt Charity who want people to know they’re not alone when it comes to debt problems and that free expert help is available.
In a related move Angus MacDonald has also welcomed a cash boost from the Fairer Falkirk Fund to Falkirk & District Credit Union, based in Grangemoth, which will allow the organisation to set up
A new survey commissioned by StepChange Debt Charity reveals over a third of Scots surveyed are worried about debt problems.
The survey, conducted for the charity by YouGov, asked participants questions about the kinds of debt issues they faced and – crucially – how worried they are about them. Thirty nine percent of Scots in the sample, equivalent to 1.6 million adults, are worried about their household finances.
Thirty seven percent of Scots are showing at least one of the five key danger signs of problem debt. Worryingly, six percent are using credit to pay other credit commitments, suggesting that their income does not meet their living costs.
Seven percent of Scots meanwhile are showing three or more signs of financial distress, suggesting they may be in deep financial difficulty.
Commenting on the findings, Sharon Bell, head of StepChange Debt Charity Scotland said:
“This new survey reveals a large proportion of people in Scotland are worrying about money. Many are showing signs of struggling with problem debt, such as falling behind with paying essential household bills.
“Debt Awareness Week, which we are launching today, is about getting people to recognise the early warning signs of problem debt and encouraging them to get help. Unfortunately many of our clients still worry for up to a year before seeking such help, compounding their debt problem instead of reducing it.”
Angus MacDonald MSP, said:
“This is a timely campaign from StepChange – the new year is the ideal opportunity to take charge and get help in sorting out your finances.
“Free debt advice is available in Scotland for anyone who needs it, so nobody should feel they have to struggle on alone.”
“Those seeking advice can contact the StepChange Debt Charity free phone helpline 0800 138 1111 which is open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm Saturday and online help is available any time from StepChange Debt Charity Debt Remedy at www.stepchange.org
Five key danger signs of problem debt
StepChange Debt Charity is urging people to recognise that they may have a debt problem if they are doing any of the following:
• juggling or falling behind on essential household bills
• borrowing to make it through to payday
• making just the minimum repayments on your debts
• borrowing more to pay off existing debts
• getting hit by late payments or overdraft charges