Conquering debt for Debt Awareness Week

By Michelle Stannard

Many of us are affected by debt each year, our staff and trainees included, and that's why we're supporting UK debt charity Step Change and their latest 7 days, 7 ways email programme to mark Debt Awareness Week.

Starting today, their free 7 days, 7 ways email programme will provide you with a week of bite-sized support and advice, encouraging you to take steps to deal with your debt sooner rather than later.  

To contribute to promoting Debt Awareness Week, we've asked our team at Poached Creative for their top tips for managing debt. Here are our top 5.

1. Firstly don't panic if you're in debt because there are lots of solutions to help you get out of that situation including debt counselling and free debt advisory services. Your local Citizen's Advice Bureau will work with you to find the best solution to fit your situation and to help you set up a repayment plan that you can afford. You can also talk to free advisory services such as The Money Advice Service who will be able to provide you with advice and guidance to help you improve your finances. 

If you are currently on or are considering taking on a Debt Management Plan, this shouldn't be costing you any extra money to run. There are plenty of free support services that will be able to set you one up for free, if they feel that it's the best option for you. That way every single penny of what you pay towards your debts is going towards paying them off, and not paying unnecessary fees.

2. If you decide that you want to take out a loan then avoid loan companies such as Wonga who have high interest rates. We'd recommend finding your local Credit Union as they're a community savings and loans provider who have low interest rates, offer affordable repayments and they encourage you to save money.    

3. Avoid taking out store credit or store credit cards. The repayments add up and the interest rates are ridiculously high.

4. If you've got any old games that you no longer play, clothes you no longer wear and/or DVDs you no longer watch then why not give them a new home by selling them on websites such as Music Magpie, local Facebook buy and sell groups or to you local CeX. This is a good way to de-clutter and to make some extra money to help pay for necessities. 

5. Keep a record of your incomings and outgoings. A spreadsheet is the easiest way to do this. It's a really helpful for you to keep on top of your spending, and to help you to work out what you could be saving money on and what excess cash you have each month.

This will also be very helpful if you talk to a debt advisory organisation, and will help them to work out what you can afford to pay back towards your debts each month.

Links to useful organisations:

Step Change

The UK's leading debt charity who offer free tailored advice and practical solutions to help you manage debt and make a fresh start.

Website: Telephone: 0800 138 1111 

The Money Advice Service

Offering free and impartial money advice to help improve your finances. Support is available in person, over the telephone and online.

Website: Telephone: 0300 500 5000

Citizen's Advice Bureau

Providing advice on debt, housing and other areas where support and advice is needed. You can drop-in to your local centre at available drop-in times or book an appointment to speak to somebody face to face. To find your nearest centre visit their website 

Credit Union

Community savings and loans provider with low interest rates. They also offer bank accounts. Find your nearest Credit Union on the website below.

Show your support for Debt Awareness Week by sharing our blog and signing up for the Step Change 7 days, 7 ways email programme. It's one week, make it count!


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