20 March 2023
3 min read
This Debt Awareness Week we’re supporting StepChange by raising awareness of the services they offer that can help people who are experiencing financial difficulty and who need support to get their finances back on track.
Debt is an issue that anyone can face, and if the debt starts to feel unmanageable looking for free support and advice is the right first step to take to try and regain control of your finances.
Making your bank aware that you are under financial pressure and that you may need some help is important and there are measures that Banks can put in place to offer immediate help to those who are struggling, and there are no charges or fees involved when asking your bank for help or making them aware of your circumstances.
However, sometimes the next option is to seek additional and impartial debt advice and we, like many other banks, work with StepChange Debt Charity as the UK’s largest debt advice charity, who help hundreds of thousands of people every year to deal with their debts. In January, the charity experienced its three busiest days for providing free debt advice since before the pandemic.
Highlighting the help and support of StepChange is perhaps more important now than ever, as cost of living pressures are leading people who haven’t previously had any money worries before, to seek advice on how they can keep up with their financial commitments. This is a challenging time for many individuals, households and families whose living expenses continue to rise across the board and Step Change want to help people understand that; debt advice exists, what getting debt advice means, and how the process of getting debt advice works.
Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange says:
“The cost of living crisis is hitting us all. So this Debt Awareness Week, we want to make it clear that support is available for people dealing with unmanageable debt. Our research shows that ‘debt advice’ can be a confusing term – many don’t know what it involves, who it’s for, or how to access it. At the same time, with the cost of living impacting people who may have never previously struggled with their finances, there are likely to be many more people who need help but aren’t aware that free and impartial debt advice is available.
“We want to start a national conversation to challenge assumptions about debt advice and bust the myths so that everyone who needs our help is clear on the range of support that’s available, and how to access it.
“One of the most common misconceptions about debt is that it only affects people on a low income, but we know this isn’t the case – debt can happen to anyone, and this is only amplified by the effects of the cost of living crisis.”
For more information on the help, support and services offered by Step Change visit: https://www.stepchange.org/debt-awareness-week.aspx
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