Scot Government Supports Citizens in Financial Difficulty With New Debt Advice Guide
StepChange Debt Charity Organization Scotland and the Scottish Government have collaborated to create a guide to increase access to free debt counselling for Scots when needed.
The Scottish Debt Guide comes at a time when many people are in financial hardship.
Recent polling shows that thousands of Scots are in debt and behind on basic expenses like Council Tax and rent, with more than one-fifth relying on credit to cover necessary expenditure and make ends meet.
With the assistance measures like furlough coming to an end and Universal Credit being reduced by £20 per week this month, the debt counselling industry anticipates increasing demand for its services.
The new handbook contains information on the many options accessible to persons seeking guidance, such as the Debt Arrangement Scheme, debt management plans, bankruptcy, the Minimal Asset Process, and trust deeds.
It also provides a step-by-step approach to creating a budget and explaining what to expect when calling a debt counsellor to prepare anybody thinking about seeking help.
The new handbook also includes contact information for several Scottish organisations that offer debt counselling, such as:
Besides the above Scottish organisations, many Scottish debt-relief organisations are also listed, including StepChange Scotland, Citizens’ Advice Scotland (CAS), Christians Against Poverty (CAP), Macmillan and Shelter.
Organisations and groups interested in receiving a free printed copy of the guide can contact StepChange via their website for more information. Furthermore, other languages such as Urdu and Punjabi are also available for free download in digital form on the website.
According to Sharon Bell, director of StepChange Scotland, as many people as possible must be aware of the free, impartial services available to help them with their financial issues.
As reported earlier, an estimated one-fifth of Scots are using credit to make ends meet, and the end of coronavirus support measures, along with Universal Credit’s 20-pound cut, only means that the situation will worsen over time.
It is also believed that the number of Scots who need free debt advice has increased over time. There’s no need to worry, though, because the Scotland Debt Guide will provide them with a clear starting point.
Even though taking the first step to call or go online to seek help can be difficult, the alternative of remaining silent can make things worse. Anyone in financial trouble should, as always, should seek help as soon as possible now that the Scottish government has outlined solutions.
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