Money Wellness
A woman holds a tiny umbrella over a wooden figure
category icondebts
category iconMoney Wellness
calendar icon10 Oct 2023

World Mental Health Day: John’s story

The link between mental health problems and money worries is well documented. Living with a mental health condition can make it harder to earn and manage money, and constantly worrying about paying the bills can damage your mental health.

In a survey we carried out earlier this year, 80% of our customers said mental health issues had negatively affected their financial situation. We also found 83% of our customers feel stressed most of the time, with 78% saying money was their biggest source of stress.

On a brighter note, our survey also highlighted the positive impact getting help with your money worries can have on your sense of wellbeing, with 80% of customers saying speaking to us had reduced their stress levels.

To mark World Mental Health Day, we’re sharing some of our customers’ stories to highlight the fact that even when all seems hopeless, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

John’s story

John is retired and struggling to cope with the rising cost of living. Aside from his money worries, he faces a daily battle against anxiety and depression.

By the time he’s covered his essential living costs, John doesn’t have enough money to pay his debts.

After struggling on alone for some time, he eventually turned to us for help.

Our recommendation

Following a detailed assessment of his situation, we recommended a debt relief order (DRO). This means John’s unsecured debts of about £4,500 will be frozen for a year. If his situation doesn’t improve in that time, those debts will be written off.

John’s verdict

“Absolutely brilliant. Megan took her time to explain and help me understand. I suffer from depression and anxiety plus [I have] a stammer. I am 68 years old and [had] been anxious waiting for the call all day. I felt so much better after the call. Thank you so much.”

He added:

“[It’s a] wonderful service. Wish I’d have contacted [them] for help earlier.”

Could a DRO help you?

A DRO is just one of a range of solutions we offer customers struggling with problem debt.

When you contact us for help, we’ll look at your finances in detail and let you know which, if any, debt solutions are suitable for your situation.

DROs are available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A DRO may be suitable for you if:

  • you owe £30,000 or less
  • you’re not a homeowner
  • you don’t own anything of much value
  • you have very little spare money at the end of the month

A DRO lasts 12 months. After that time, if your situation hasn’t improved, the debts included in your DRO are written off.

During your DRO, lenders aren’t allowed to chase you to pay.

The Insolvency Service charge a £90 fee for a DRO. This is a lot cheaper than the cost of going bankrupt.

Before applying for a DRO, it’s important to bear in mind that it will stay on your credit file for six years. You’re likely to find it difficult to borrow from mainstream lenders during that time.

You also need to be aware that if your financial situation improves during the 12 months, your DRO will end and you’ll need to arrange to repay your debts.

Want to find out how we can help you?

To get help with your debts, you can either complete our online advice journey at a time and place to suit you. Or you can ring us on 0161 518 8285. We’re here Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and over the weekend between 10am and 4pm.

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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