Money Wellness
Close up of man holding open empty wallet over calculator, bank cards and screwed up bills
category icondebts
category iconMoney Wellness
calendar icon19 May 2023

Mental Health Awareness Week: Paul’s story

Money worries can have a huge impact on our mental health. When we spoke to our customers, 76% said stressing about money stopped them sleeping properly. More than one in five (22%) said financial pressures caused problems in their relationships and the same number said money worries affected their performance at work. More than half (55%) said the stress caused by money worries impacted all aspects of their lives.

 

On a more positive note, there is help available if you’re struggling with money worries and 80% of our customers said getting free advice from us helped to reduce their stress levels. It can be difficult taking that first step and asking for help. But we constantly hear that, once you’ve tackled that initial hurdle, it feels like a weight’s been lifted off your shoulders – as Paul’s story illustrates.

 

Paul’s situation

 

When Paul suffered a spinal injury, he had to give up work and he saw his income drop significantly. This seriously affected his mental health. On top of all that, he soon found he was unable to keep up with his rent and bills, and that’s when the letters from his creditors started to arrive.

 

By the time he rang us, Paul owed £13,000 and was seriously stressed.

 

What Paul said

 

“I was dreading using the service as my anxiety is through the roof at the moment. Everyone I have spoken to has made me feel at ease and helped me through each process. Very helpful and polite. First class”

 

What we did for Paul

 

After listening to Paul’s story and looking at how much money he had left at the end of every month, we recommended a debt relief order (DRO). This means his debts will be frozen for a year and his creditors will stop contacting him for payment. After 12 months, if his situation hasn’t improved, all debts included in his DRO will be written off.

About DROs

 

The fee for a DRO is just £90, compared with £680 for bankruptcy. But not everyone will be eligible for a DRO, as they’re aimed at people with debts of under £30,000, few assets and very little disposable income. If you’re considering a DRO, we can let you know if you meet the requirements and, if you do and want to go ahead, make an application on your behalf.

It’s important to bear in mind that a DRO will stay on your credit file for six years, making it harder to borrow during that time. Having said that, if you’re already missing debt repayments, the chances are your credit rating will already have been affected.

We can run through the pros and cons of a DRO and help you decide if it’s the best way forward for you or if there are more suitable alternatives.

Money worries stressing you out?

If you’re feeling stressed as a result of money worries or a mental health problem is making it hard for you to manage your finances, our guide on money and mental health provides information on what steps you can take to improve your situation and where you can go for support. And if you want to take back control of your money, like Paul’s doing, we’ll be happy to help you with free debt advice.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

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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