Sharon McDougall - 24th March 2021 - 2 minutes to read
The numbers of people looking for advice on how to handle issues including debt management has increased sharply during the coronavirus lockdown.
According to Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), more than 2.5 million people checked its website for information on how to deal with personal challenges in their lives between March 23 2020 and the same point in 2021.
Those figures represent a huge increase from the comparable numbers on the year before which suggests around 1.8 million people visited the Scottish charity’s website in search of advice.
For the most part, people visiting the CAS website were looking for help in coping with financial pressures or debt problems, as well as issues with benefits or in relation to employment.
Many thousands of Scots are known to have seen their incomes reduced over the course of the virus crisis and for a significant proportion that has meant being forced into circumstances in which their personal debts have become a major problem.
CAS has been working to provide direct support particularly to people who have found themselves becoming financially vulnerable over the course of the pandemic.
Measures including the government’s furlough scheme and the evictions ban have been crucial in giving people in Scotland and across the UK breathing space financially in recent months but it’s clear that huge numbers of households nationwide are nonetheless struggling with the financial pressures they’re currently under.
“In the year since the first lockdown of March 2020, we have seen soaring numbers of people turn to our online advice for help,” said CAS’ deputy chief executive Anne Lavery.
“This shows the scale of the crisis, and the economic and financial impact Covid-19 has had on people across the country.”
The debt help charity StepChange is currently running a Debt Awareness Week from March 22nd with the aim being in part to encourage anyone struggling with problem debt to seek help from experts when they need it.
“We’re focusing on breaking down the stigma that surrounds debt, opening up the conversation and encouraging people to take #TheFirstStep towards resolving their money worries,” explained Richard Lane from StepChange in a statement.
If you live anywhere in Scotland and you are worried about your personal debts then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us directly to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.
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