Debt awareness week 20-26 March: customer success stories
Problem debt is on the rise in the UK. Figures from the Money and Pensions Service show that in 2022 over 9 million people (18% of the adult population) were in a position that meant they would have needed professional help to get their finances back on track. This was up 800,000 on the previous year. And a further 11.8 million (22% of the adult population) were at risk of their debts becoming unmanageable.
Debt is sometimes regarded as something of a dirty word and people are often reluctant to talk about money worries. But if debt problems go unaddressed, they can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and their mental health. No situation is beyond help though. To highlight this point and to mark debt awareness week, we thought we’d share some of our customers’ success stories.
Jason’s previous experience with debt advice companies was not good. He’d been set up with an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) in the past, but a lack of support meant his IVA failed because he couldn’t afford the payments. By the time he turned to us, he was being bombarded with contact from lenders, bailiffs and the courts.
We were able to reassure Jason that he wasn't beyond help and we’d be by his side for as long as he needed us. After recommending a debt relief order (DRO), we submitted his application on the same day. Jason now feels like he’s got his life back.
‘From the very first contact I had with Money Wellness, I was made to feel more at ease with my financial situation… It’s now 24 hours on, and 20 years of debt is now just all sorted – nothing to worry about anymore… and it didn’t cost me a thing. Thank you so much… You were amazing – and really helped me to feel on top of the world again – so thanks a lot for everything.’
Money worries were affecting Katie’s mental health. She didn’t have a guaranteed income as she was on a zero-hours’ contract and she never had any money left at the of the month to put towards her growing debts.
Katie turned to us when she was threatened with bailiff action. She was terrified. We were able to stop the bailiffs and recommended a DRO. Katie feels like a weight has been lifted from her shoulders.
‘Absolute godsend! I thought I was in trouble after a letter I received saying that the bailiffs were going to be coming. But the adviser I spoke to put me at ease straight away saying that they are there to help and will look at making sure that wouldn’t happen… and he did! I am so thankful to the staff at Money Wellness. I am now looking at getting a DRO and a break from it affecting my mental health. Thank you again!’
Times have been tough for a lot of small businesses recently. Things got so bad for entrepreneur Beverley that she reluctantly had to shut up shop for good. To make matters worse, her husband lost his job soon afterwards. The couple started relying on loans and credit cards to get by. By the time Beverley came to us, they owed £32,000.
We listened to Beverley’s story and went through her finances with a fine-tooth comb. After in-depth advice on budgeting and her consumer rights, Beverley felt empowered to approach her lenders to negotiate lower payments. And she knows we’re here for her if she ever needs our help again.
‘I came away from my telephone conversation feeling as though I had been heard and understood with genuine empathy… I would recommend without hesitation.’
Struggling with debts?
If your debts are causing you concern, it’s always better to seek help sooner rather than later. And no one is beyond help. Taking that first step and picking up the phone can be nerve wracking but what have you got to lose?
A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.
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