Money and debt (thanks to HowardLake)
We’ve come to the end of another #debtday tweetathon. 12 hours after we started we’ve listened to 17 full debt counselling sessions and heard about a range of financial issues from a wide variety of UK citizens.
Each person had a different story – as we said in the introduction last week – and there was a range of solutions to their difficulties.
But what unites each one, and in fact all of the 657-odd people we spoke to through our nine debt advice centres across the UK today, is that “they’re the human face of the economic downturn“.
None of the callers we listened to today were overspending (“going wild in the aisles”) or living it up. They weren’t chucking £££s on plasma TVs or putting holidays to the Caribbean on the never-never. They were just trying to get by, in trying circumstances. Some had lost their jobs, others were suffering from health problems, and some were simply overtaken by the situation.
We only listened to 17 callers, or around 2.5% of the total counselling sessions held by us today. So there could still be a reckless and feckless culture that we didn’t get to hear about.
But not one of the counselling sessions highlighted a spendthrift culture, or credit-hungry Britain. Instead there were counselling sessions where we told them to spend more, or were surprised how little they were getting by on, or that they were embarrassed to be admitting to debt problems. Despite what you might read elsewhere, Britain doesn’t seem a feckless and money-frittering society just yet.
StepChange Debt Advisors
It also highlights what a good a job the debt advisors at StepChange Debt Charity do, in trying circumstances. They listen to hundreds of very upset individuals every day, and they deal with the situation calmly and professionally, without prejudice. Our thanks to them for hosting us today.
We’ll leave #debtday with a quote from Lisa, who wrote earlier about her own experiences when dealing with her debt, and how we helped her. We hope we’ve helped 657 others today.
“It did take me several years to repay my debt, but I couldn’t have done it without that first bit of support from StepChange Debt Charity.
“I know that if they’d been judgemental or unkind when I’d rung them then I wouldn’t have had the courage or belief to tackle the debt problem. You make yourself feel bad enough when you are in debt, having someone else heap the shame on top really doesn’t help.
“I offer a huge thank you to StepChange Debt Charity for their kindness and support during that time.”