Dealing with Debt Problems ‘Often a Marathon Not a Sprint’

February 14, 2019

The process of making your debt problems a thing of the past is often a marathon rather than a sprint.

That’s according to the debt help charity StepChange, which has conducted a new piece of research focussed on finding out how long it takes people with debt problems to overcome them after they’ve reached out for third party advice.

Around 12 per cent of people told the charity that their debt issues were completely resolved within three months of getting advice but a large majority were not able to say the same.

Almost two-thirds of respondents said that within three months of getting advice on dealing with their debts they’d made either ‘a lot’ of or at least ‘some’ progress in the right direction with regard to their finances.

However, 17 per cent said they’d made little progress within that timeframe and 9 per cent said that they’d effectively made no progress at all.

Reflecting on its own research, StepChange has said that negative budgets are usually the greatest barrier facing people trying to overcome their debts problems.

Although, the charity has also said that working towards becoming debt free is considerably more challenging for people who have “additional vulnerabilities”, such as physical or mental health issues.

StepChange’s research also suggests that people with below average levels of wellbeing are more likely than others to find it difficult to overcome their debts and struggle to make positive progress towards becoming debt free.

The charity hopes that its research will help its teams across the country and other providers of debt advice to tailor their services to the specific needs of individuals with problem debts.

“From the early findings of our tracking, we can see that progress in resolving debt doesn’t follow a smooth, linear trajectory – reflecting the complex and shifting circumstances in people’s lives,” commented John Griffiths-Jones, chair of StepChange.

“The more insight we have into why this is so, and who is particularly at risk, the more we will be able to help build services that work around the challenges that people face that may impair their progress,” he said.

If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are finding it tough to cope with your debts then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Call us any time to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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