Today (Monday 20 January 2014) sees the start of the first national Debt Awareness Week.
Leeds based debt charity StepChange has launched its first ever national Debt Awareness Week to get people talking about the money worries that keep them awake at night.
The aim of this year’s campaign is to help people avoid debt problems by recognising the danger signs, so they get help sooner.
The campaign is built around the charity’s clients and their experiences, after it found that 41% of clients in debt wait a year before getting help. As one client put it:
“I wish I’d faced up to my debt problem sooner and not ignored it hoping it would go away. By dealing with it you’re saving yourself a lot of unnecessary worry. Hiding it will not make it go away. Only facing up to it will.”
To coincide with the campaign a new StepChange Debt Danger Signs tool will be launched to highlight them and give advice on what to do next. The online tool asks you five questions to see how serious your problem is, then helps you create a budget and gives you an action plan of practical steps to take control of your debts.
Alternatively you can ring StepChange to speak to someone about your situation on 0800 138 1111. This number is a Freephone from landlines and mobiles and the lines are open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat 8am-4pm.
StepChange Debt Charity chief executive, Mike O’Connor said: “People in debt struggle for months, sometimes years, before getting help.
“Once they get help our clients tell us they wish they’d come to us for help sooner.
“Through Debt Awareness Week, and with the support of our partners, we hope more people in debt will recognise the danger signs and know that truly free, impartial debt advice is available.”
During this week South Leeds Life will be highlighting the experiences of people in South Leeds who have faced debt problems and the agencies who can support them.