“It completely destroyed my life”: James’ story

posted by StepChange MoneyAware in Client stories, Credit cards, Income shocks, Payday Loans Leave a comment

Lots of people use credit in their day-to-day lives, and because they’re keeping up with the payments, trouble never seems like it’s round the corner. But that’s the thing about credit – it’s not a problem, until one day it is.

James* from Bristol had always stayed on top of his debts. He had a credit card with a small credit limit, and a car loan, which he regularly made payments towards. But things changed quickly when James developed a back problem which meant he was signed off work for months at a time. When his period of sick pay ran out, he started to receive Statutory Sick Pay.

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“I was running out of money, so was relying on credit cards”: Rosie’s story

posted by StepChange MoneyAware in Client stories, Statistics Yearbook Leave a comment

With 10% of our clients stating separation or divorce as the reason for getting into debt, it’s the fifth most common cause of financial problems that we see.

This is the situation Rosie* from Leicestershire found herself in when she separated from her partner three years ago.

Already struggling to meet payments to credit cards, she had to rent a property for herself and her daughter to live in. Rosie found it difficult to pay the letting agent’s fees and furnish the home, and soon found her financial situation spiralling further out of control.

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“If I didn’t pay then the bailiffs would be sent”: Faye and Nick’s story

posted by StepChange MoneyAware in Bailiffs, Client stories, Council tax, Income shocks Leave a comment

Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t get into debt because they overspend or live beyond their means.

According to our recently released Statistics Yearbook 2014, the biggest cause of problem debt among our clients is unemployment. Just under a quarter of clients tell us it as the main reason for their debt, with a further 12.8% saying they got into debt after experiencing a drop in income.

These income shocks could happen to anyone. In May 2014, it happened to Nick and Faye* from Birmingham.

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Debt statistics 2014: what do we know about personal debt in the UK?

posted by StepChange MoneyAware in Client stories, Statistics Yearbook Leave a comment

We’ve recently released our Statistics Yearbook 2014, packed full of the latest insights into personal debt in the UK.

We’ve delved deep into the millions of records in our data warehouse, to put together this year’s Yearbook. There’s no wonder it’s almost 50 pages long!

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Nuisance calls: 5 things other countries do that should happen here

posted by StepChange Debt Charity in Bad advice, Dodgy practice 1 Comment

The telephone rings. You pick it up, and at the other end of the line is somebody trying to sell you a payday loan, or help you reclaim PPI, or telling you how to get money for an accident that wasn’t your fault (and, amazingly, one you didn’t know you’d had).

Annoying isn’t it?

But it’s not just annoying. It’s also harmful. These calls can leave those in financial difficulty vulnerable to making decisions that will make their situation worse. That’s why in October 2013 we launched our Got Their Number campaign; to increase the level of protection offered to hard-pressed families.

So how have things progressed over the past 18 months? And what do other countries do to stop the scourge of nuisance calls that we should do here?

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20 more weird and wonderful ways to make money

posted by Rachel in Budgeting, Money maximising 1 Comment

Just when you thought it was safe to make money like a boring person, we come at you with 20 more creative, compelling and crazy ways to generate some extra dosh. Ain’t we swell?

Our first round-up of weird money-making methods last year proved so popular that it would’ve been criminal not to follow it up with a second list, and here it is! From selling your story to setting up Twitter for your local chippy, there are lots of unusual ways to get an extra bit of cash flowing.

It’s time to shake your money-maker once more…

(Fancy seeing some nice photos? You can also check out 10 of these weird and wonderful tips on SlideShare.)

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Don’t leave home without these 5 money-saving apps

posted by Rory in Budgeting, Money saving Leave a comment

Among your games, messaging and social media apps there should always be a dedicated money-saving section to fire up whenever you’re looking for a bargain.

However with so many apps out there, which ones offer you genuinely quick, easy ways to save money?

We set out to do the hard work for you by testing a heap of different apps to see which offered the best value, discounts and ease-of-use.

Here’s our round-up of 5 free apps you shouldn’t leave home without.

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