Never has debt help in Scotland been needed more. The Scottish Citizen’s Advice Bureau has seen the number of enquiries relating to debt double during the last year. Debt issues now account for nearly 30% of its workload.
The market research firm CACI recently reported that Anderston and Calston in Glasgow top a ‘league table of debt’, with one in five residents having personal debt exceeding £15,000. Drops in income, redundancy threats, divorce, spiralling personal debt, lack of credit and a lack of affordable housing have combined to cause tremendous hardship, but the residents of Anderston and Calston are not the only ones having problems and needing debt help in Scotland. Scottish residents far and wide are feeling the pressure too.
However, despite all of the available debt help in Scotland, residents are suffering in silence and coping with depression, illness and relationship breakdowns. Some even go without food and fuel to keep up with their payments, or borrow money from friends and family to keep their heads above water. Many simply have no idea that they can access substantial money advice and debt help in Scotland that would make their lives easier.
So what can you do if you need money advice and debt help in Scotland?
The first step is to call us as soon as possible. Our friendly advisors are trained to give you the best possible money advice and debt help in Scotland, no matter what your circumstances.
Some people put off seeking information because they are confused by the difference between the available debt help in Scotland and England. Take Trust Deeds for example. These are the Scottish equivalent of the English Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) and are a legal agreement between you and your creditors to pay back only what you can afford over a certain period of time. Any remaining debt is written off at the end of this term. In the UK you have to spend 60 months or five years paying into an IVA, which can seem like a never-ending debt slog rather than debt help. In Scotland, a Trust Deed is only 36 months or three years, meaning you can be debt-free much quicker.
Then there is the amount of unsecured debt you must have before qualifying for an IVA or Trust Deed. England residents must owe £15,000 of unsecured debt before considering an IVA as debt help. In Scotland, you only need have £10,000 before being considered for a Trust Deed, so you can get debt help in Scotland at a much earlier point.
What can you do to get the ball rolling?
- Gather together all the information you have about your debts. If you haven’t yet opened up all the letters relating to your debt, take a deep breath and do so as quickly as possible. Get all the figures down on paper. Your advisor can only talk through the debt help in Scotland that’s right for your circumstances if they have all the facts in front of them.
- Write down all of your income (salary, overtime, pension, benefits, tax credits etc) and household expenses, but do not include your debt repayments. This will give you a clearer picture of how much disposable income you have left over once food and bills are covered. Be absolutely honest with yourself at this point. If you spend £10 on eating out every day, don’t leave it out of your budget because you think it looks bad, otherwise it could result in a solution being suggested that is unworkable in reality.
- Sometimes the hardest step to getting debt help in Scotland is admitting things haven’t worked out the way you planned and plucking up the courage to tell someone. Pick up the phone and talk to one of our advisors about debt help in Scotland and the options available to you. They’re a friendly bunch that will do their utmost to help. They won’t judge you and you’ll feel an immediate sense of relief once you’ve told them what’s happening. Based on the figures you give them for your disposable income and level of debt, our advisor will be able to suggest a debt solution that fits your life, be that refinancing, a debt management plan, arranging a Trust Deed or sequestration. Then they’ll help you set the wheels in motion to becoming debt-free once and for all.
If you need debt help in Scotland visit our free debt information website. You can also speak to one of our advisors who can provide a wealth of money advice in Scotland to help you get back your feet with your finances.