Scotland’s four biggest debt advice charities are today (Wednesday) urging people across the country to seek free advice on money and debt. The call comes during Talk Money week (8-12 November).
Christians Against Poverty, Citizens Advice Scotland, Money Advice Scotland and Stepchange have united in response to the unprecedented financial challenges that are set to hit many families over the coming months.
Each of the charities offer free advice to anyone who is struggling with debt, who may be in problem debt, or who is generally worried about their finances.
In a statement on behalf of all four charities, Citizens Advice Scotland’s Financial Health spokesperson Myles Fitt said:
“This winter is set to be really challenging for so many families across Scotland. The combination of rising energy bills, the impact on incomes from the end of furlough and the £20 weekly reduction in Universal Credit has created a perfect financial storm for the thousands of households who were already experiencing money problems or who were just manging to get by.
“Together our four charities want to use this week as an opportunity to remind people that they are not alone and that support is available. All they have to do is contact any one of us.
“Debt is a horrible situation to be in. It can have significant impacts on your mental health and relationships as well as your finances. We understand that it can be hard to seek help, and recognise there can be shame and stigma attached, but we also know there are many advantages to asking for advice sooner.
“So if you contact any one of us, we will offer you expert advice, which is non-judgemental, sympathetic, confidential, independent and effective. We can talk to your creditors to give you more time, to reduce repayments or even write off some of your debt. We also provide help on ways to boost your income, make savings and cut the costs of daily living.
“Our advice is completely free and our message to people is you should never have to pay to receive debt advice. Charities like ours are here to help with debt or money worries and will never charge you for that help.
“So, if you have financial concerns, contacting one of our charities is the first step in alleviating debt and money worries. Talk to us. We stand ready to help.”
Notes to Editors
About Christians Against Poverty (CAP)
CAP is a UK charity determined to reduce UK poverty by delivering debt help, money management education, job clubs and life skills groups. CAP Scotland provides free, FCA Accredited debt help through their network of 26 Debt Centres across Scotland. To access their help call 0800 328 0006 or visit capscotland.org. CAP is committed to its services being available to all individuals regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
About Citizens Advice Scotland
Citizens Advice Scotland, the Extra Help Unit and our 59 member bureaux together form Scotland’s largest independent advice network. In 2020-21 the Citizens Advice Service network helped over 171,000 clients in Scotland and dealt with over 647,000 advice issues. With support from the network clients gained almost £147 million and our self-help website Advice in Scotland received approximately 5.4 million page views. Advice provided by our service is free, independent, confidential, impartial and available to everyone. We look at the problems people bring to our advice services and campaign for change where it’s needed most. We work for a fairer Scotland where people are empowered and their rights respected. Website: www.cas.org.uk Helpline: 0800 028 1456 for free, one-to-one and impartial general advice on employment, housing, debt, benefits and consumer issues like energy bills as well as many other topics
About Money Advice Scotland
Money Advice Scotland is Scotland’s money charity. We exist to support advisers, improve financial wellbeing, and influence fairer policy. We support advisers by providing resources, training, and wellbeing initiatives to help them deliver the best quality advice to those who need it. We want to ensure that people can access the advice and support they need, whether at the point of crisis or at any point in their lives. We offer financial guidance to empower people to make informed decisions about their money and provide a digital advice service to help those in the initial stages of seeking help with debt. Anyone can experience problem debt, so everyone benefits from fairer policy. We identify causes of consumer detriment through evidence and engagement with the sector and use our voice to advocate for people in debt. Website: www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk; Webchat: www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk/webchat
About StepChange Debt Charity
StepChange Debt Charity is the UK’s largest debt advice charity, our Scottish advice team, based in Glasgow city centre, supports our clients in Scotland. We work with over a hundred partner organisations, so we can refer clients for other sources of help while we help get finances back on track. Our services are impartial and free. We help thousands of Scots each year, and together we can help Scots in problem debt recover and become debt-free. Founded in 1993, StepChange supports people experiencing debt problems through telephone and online services, and campaigns for change to reduce the harm and stigma associated with debt. We provide the UK’s most comprehensive debt advice service, from budgeting tips through to managing debt solutions that enable to people to pay off or clear debts. All our free debt advice is available by phone or on our website. www.stepchange.org; Helpline: 0800 138 1111
StepChange Debt Charity Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, has produced a debt advice guide designed to help improve access to free debt advice services for struggling Scots. The printed copy of the guide can be distributed free of charge to any interested organisations or groups, who can get in contact via the StepChange website. The digital edition of the guide, available in English and also Urdu, Polish and Punjabi, can be accessed via the website”