A recent YouGov survey has revealed that more than a quarter of us began 2019 feeling uneasy about our financial situation. But how many people are seeking much-needed advice?
Two-thirds of respondents to the survey have felt this way for more than a year. And a fifth say they have felt uneasy for more than five years, or have never felt comfortable financially.
Debt charities call the third Monday in January ‘Blue Monday.’ So-called because it is meant to be the most depressing day of the year for people who are struggling to cope with financial difficulties. It is also a day when debt advice companies and charities receive lots of enquiries.
This is due to a combination of factors. But one of these factors is post-Christmas debt levels, they tend to be higher than at other times of the year.
One Debt Charity urges people not to let embarrassment act as a barrier to getting advice.
Most people who have sought advice from a specialist debt advisor or charity in the past say it helped. Three fifths (59%) say it made a positive difference to their financial situation. And four out of five said their general wellbeing had also improved.
Among the general population, 13% of people, or an estimated 6.5 million people, say that at some point they have sought debt advice. Among those who have been struggling for more than a year, 24% have sought advice, but 73% have not.
One financial specialist shared how friends and family can help people to take that first step towards seeking advice.
“Debt can go from manageable to unmanageable quickly and it can happen to anyone. If someone close has had a hard time lately, perhaps a job loss, drop in income or sudden increase in outgoings, they might find it hard to open up. They might struggle with feeling ashamed of their debt, or of not knowing what to do. You can help by making them feel comfortable enough to talk. This is often the first step to climbing out of debt.”
Experts say if someone you know has debt problems, the best thing you can do is encourage them to contact a reputable, free debt advice company for help, rather than trying to sort out their problems without expert support.
“People struggling with debt should seek help as early as possible.”
This is good advice from a leading debt charity. Taking the first step is always difficult but it is vital. There is help out there and solutions that can help, but you need to take the first step towards getting good debt advice. We have listened to the stories of 1000s of people and are constantly striving to help them. It is our mission to explore all their options and find a solution to help them become debt free. And what’s more, we have helped 1000s to achieve their goals since 2007, over 11 years of dedicated advice.