Category Archives: Debt Awareness Week

Experian take over MoneyAware Twitter

posted by in Credit Files, Debt Awareness Week, Special events 1 Comment

Get your credit report questions answered by the experts!

Get your credit report questions answered by the experts!

As you can imagine, we’re asked a host of questions around debt and money. One of the main concerns that’s raised by people in debt is how those debt problems can affect their credit file, and what they can do to improve it once they’ve taken control of their debts.

Our friends at Experian have long provided expertise in this area (alongside the two other credit report agencies, Equifax and Call Credit), as well as giving guidance on other things such as identity fraud and applying for the right mortgage.

That’s why this Friday (30th January), Experian Experts will be taking over the MoneyAware Twitter account for an hour from 12:30pm to answer you burning questions on credit reports. It’s a perfect opportunity to ask anything you’re not sure about and get any worries cleared up once and for all!

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Dear caller… our advisors write to Helpline callers

posted by in Debt, Debt Awareness Week, Inside StepChange Leave a comment

“The greatest lesson I’ve learned from working for StepChange is that the sooner you seek help and speak to someone about your debt, the sooner you’ll start to feel better about the situation.” Helpline advisor

advisor on phone in office

Our advisors are always here to help

We asked our advisors to write to callers they’d just spoken with, or previous clients that had stuck in their mind for one reason or another.

Asking for help can be one of the hardest things to do. So it’s not surprising that they had a few words of encouragement to share with callers old and new.

Our advisors speak to thousands of people each week and are trained to give expert, impartial debt advice. That doesn’t mean they’re not human though, sometimes a caller’s clientstory can hit a nerve or they experience the frustration of knowing someone won’t follow up on the advice offered.

What do you say to someone that’s reached out to you for help?

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Debt Awareness Week 2015: let’s take control of debt!

posted by in Debt Awareness Week, Inside StepChange, Money maximising 1 Comment

Debt Awareness Week logo

Lets help more people take control of debt than ever

Personal debt is an issue for millions, but in no month is the stress of debt more acutely felt than in January. Many people are feeling broke after the festive season, and may have opted to put off seeking debt advice until now.

It’s estimated that some 2.9 million people urgently need debt advice*. The trouble is that many don’t know where to start.

On Monday we launch our second annual Debt Awareness Week, where we highlight the issue and encourage people to get free debt advice. We want to help more people take control of their debt than ever before.

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3 final reasons why we’re Running Debt Awareness Week

posted by in Debt, Debt Awareness Week 1 Comment

The final curtain is about to descend on Debt Awareness Week for 2014, and what have we learned?

For one thing, we’ve learned that so many people in debt are ready and willing to get the help they desperately need – all it takes is that nudge in the right direction.

The debt we’ve dealt with so far this week clocks in at over £200m, and it’s all down to people just like you deciding that enough is enough.

Reason #13

“Our lightbulb moment came via a conversation with our bank who told me to take a loan out to pay off my overdraft and credit card. It didn’t sound right so I contacted StepChange Debt Charity. It was at that point I realised what a mess we were in.”

Reason #14

going into court to fight two companies at the same time was a reality check and one of the lowest points of my life.

Reason #15

I always knew I had a debt problem and had tried to sort it out but was really putting a bandaid over a gaping wound.

When I met my fiance` and fell in love, I realised that my debt problem had massive consequences for our future. I began to see I had to pay back a lot of money and should start really trying to do that. I don’t think it had struck me before what debt really meant.

The relief of having someone to talk to and someone to negotiate with my creditors was immense. thank you.

If you relate to any of the stories above, or any of the others we’ll add during this week, use our Debt Danger Signs test to see if you need debt advice.

Client quotes obtained in debt danger signs survey, Dec 2013. Total debt reported obtained from our Helpline and Debt Remedy service, up to Thursday 23 January 2014 at midnight.

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Borrowing to cover job loss or ill health (debt danger sign #5)

posted by in Debt Awareness Week, Income shocks 1 Comment

Mini Graphic 5As part of Debt Awareness Week we’re discussing the five danger signs to help you avoid them, or if you’ve tried to deal with your finances in this way, how to get help sooner.

One of the more unfortunate danger signs is using a debt to cover living costs following unemployment or ill health. Having a sudden drop in income will always be a huge blow but for some it can be worse than others.

Relying on credit to survive can seem like a lifeline but it can actually make things much worse.

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3 more reasons why we’re running Debt Awareness Week

posted by in Debt, Debt Awareness Week Leave a comment

We’re coming towards the end of Debt Awareness Week, and what a week it’s been. The amount of debt we’ve dealt with this week now weighs in at over £203 million.

The support we’ve received for Debt Awareness Week has been nothing short of amazing. There’s still more work to be done, as these three client stories attest.

Client quotes obtained in debt danger signs survey, Dec 2013.

Reason #10

“I’d move debt around between deals offering interest free periods, but all the time the debt amount was steadily rising.  When the interest free period was running, I wouldn’t reduce the principal, so when the incentive period was over, I’d just have a higher debt to repay.

I wish I’d asked for help sooner. If I did, I wouldn’t of been in as much debt as we ended up in and would have been debt free by now.”

Reason #11

My advice? Deal with the problem objectively and don’t put it off.  The longer you leave it the more debt you will get yourself into.  Realise that there are people that can help and it doesn’t matter how much debt you are in – there are ways round it.

In hindsight, I should have taken care of my household budget more than I did. Entering data on a spreadsheet or finance application is not enough if you don’t take ownership of the information and take steps based on it.

Reason #12

We used a secured personal loan with a company that raised the offered interest rate just before we signed.  we were so desperate that we still signed for the loan anyway.

Consolidating our debts seemed like a sensible way out.  It gives you breathing space to kid yourself that the problem is under control when it isn’t. I wish I had made every effort to budget properly.  I also wish that when we had a better income we had put something away for ‘a rainy day’.”

If you relate to any of the stories above, or any of the others we’ll add during this week, use our Debt Danger Signs test to see if you need debt advice.

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Not paying your priority household bills (debt danger sign #4)

posted by in Debt, Debt Awareness Week Leave a comment

Mini Graphic 4Much like an illness, you can tell if you have a debt problem based on the symptoms that can arise. We call these symptoms ‘debt danger signs’.

As part of our first national Debt Awareness Week we’re discussing the five danger signs to help you avoid them, or if you’ve tried to deal with your finances in this way, how to get help sooner.

One thing we come across time and time again is people with credit problems who prioritise the wrong type of bill.

The main bills you need to pay each month are household bills that keep a roof over your head, keep you warm, feed you and allow you to get to work. These are your priority debts – your rent, your mortgage, your utility bills such as your gas and electric. Continue reading »

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