People of StepChange: who works behind the scenes?

posted by Laura in Debt, Inside StepChange, Social Media Leave a comment

If you’ve been in touch with us for free debt advice, chances are you’ve come into contact with some of our debt advisors and other frontline colleagues before. But what about all the other people working behind the scenes?

Over 1,400 people work here at StepChange Debt Charity but not all of them are debt advisors. Here’s a closer look at some of the people who make sure the charity keeps to its own high standards, engages with the media and continues to deliver offer free, expert advice to the people that need it.

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April’s debt and money news

posted by Jenny in benefits, Debt Leave a comment

April’s debt and money news has an ongoing theme of change. With changes to benefits, the way you apply for bankruptcy and the National Living Wage being introduced for those over 25, it’s all happening.

We’ve also got highlights from two of our recently released reports that give us an insight into problem debt in the UK.

That’s not all, it also turns out that we’re still confused by our energy bills and find out why 50 Cent is in trouble yet again with the judge dealing with his bankruptcy…

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1m people are missing out on tax credits – are you?

posted by Rachel in Welfare Benefits Leave a comment

It’s estimated that one million people in the UK are missing out on an average of £50 a week by not claiming the tax credits they’re entitled to. This is by no means small change. This is especially true if they’re struggling with debt problems.

Due to recent government changes, once Universal Credit gets rolled out to your local Jobcentre Plus, you’ll no longer be able to start claiming tax credits.

As of April 2016, the amount that you can claim in Universal Credit is less than the equivalent claim in tax credits. Therefore, it’s important for you to start claiming tax credits before your Jobcentre Plus moves to Universal Credit.

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Get fit for free – the MoneyAware challenge!

posted by Laura in Free things to do, Money saving, Wellbeing Leave a comment

This month our challenge has been to get fit for free. Well, to find ways to get fit for free and give them a good go. God loves a trier, as they say. 

We all know that exercise is good for us. But gym subscriptions can be expensive, and then there’s all the fancy lycra-wear that isn’t strictly necessary but makes you feel the part. And it can be hard to find the time to exercise and, if you’re anything like me, when you do have time exercise is the last thing you feel like doing!

If you do decide you want to get a bit fitter though, at least it needn’t cost you a fortune. Actually, it doesn’t need to cost you anything.

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Is procrastination costing you money?

posted by Jenny in Budgeting, Money saving Leave a comment

Right now I’m putting off doing three things. Two drawings that people have offered to pay me for and a meter reading. I like drawing, so there’s no reason for me to not be doing that. And the meter reading is a two second job.

I should be ashamed of myself – and I am. Can someone teach me how to be an adult please?

It doesn’t stop there. Only yesterday I cancelled my Sky TV contract. That seems thrifty but my TV broke in December (I fell on it) and I haven’t replaced it. That reminds me I should cancel my TV licence too.

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In debt? Here are 5 reasons why you should open a new bank account

posted by Laura in Debt, Inside StepChange Leave a comment

If you get in touch with us for debt advice, it’s likely we’ll recommend you open a new basic bank account. It might sound like a chore to put off for another day, but this is one of (if not THE) most important pieces of advice we’ll give you.

A basic bank account does what it says on the tin. It’s essentially a no-frills place to keep your money. Basic bank accounts are free to set up and you can get a debit card to spend your money in shops and take out cash at an ATM, just like any other current account.

However, the main reason we recommend basic bank accounts is because of the extra protection they offer to people in debt, such as not charging any fees or offering extra facilities like an overdraft.

If you feel a bit hesitant about opening a basic bank account, you’re not alone.

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Debt statistics 2015: what we know about personal debt in the UK

posted by StepChange Debt Charity in Debt, Statistics Yearbook, StepChange 2 Comments

Today we released our Statistics Yearbook 2015, which is full of information about personal debt in the UK.

How much do people owe on average? What types of debt do they have? Are there some people who are more at risk of debt than others?

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