Problem Debt at ‘Epidemic Levels’, Says Archbishop of Canterbury

March 22, 2018

The issue of problem debt has reached epidemic levels in communities and households across the UK, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, as he’s otherwise known, described the UK’s debt problems in these stark terms in the foreword to a new report on the issue compiled by the debt help charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP).

“In the third year as CAP’s patron, I am all too aware of the vital work CAP does,” he wrote. Adding, “the scale of problem debt in our country is at epidemic levels”.

The CAP’s report sheds light on the work of its members and the people they provide support to throughout the country, who are said to have numbered more than 16,600 over the course of 2017.

Figures within the report suggest that as many as 37 per cent of people who turned to the CAP for debt help last year were afraid to leave their homes because of the financial struggles they were facing.

Roughly 60 per cent said that they were afraid to answer the door for the same reasons, while just less than three-quarters were fearful of answering their phones because they were worried about receiving debt-related calls.

Many people are at crisis point when they reach out to CAP representatives for help and 35 per cent are understood to have considered suicide due to their debts.

Meanwhile, significant proportions of the people to have contacted the charity for help last year were struggling with mental health issues or were coping with a bereavement while also grappling with their debt problems.

“The path to becoming debt free needs to be easier and we need to help people build resilience to avoid debt in the future,” commented Dawn Stobart, director of external affairs at the CAP.

In Scotland, the average outstanding debt of someone who contacted the CAP for help last year was £12,610, with 40 per cent of those amounts typically owed to priority creditors.

If you live anywhere in Scotland and you’re struggling to cope with your debt problems Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us any time to arrange a FREE and confidential consultation.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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