We’re halfway through Debt Awareness Week, and we’re far from running out of steam. Our work will never stop while there are people in need of free debt advice.
Debt Awareness Week has opened a lot of people’s eyes to just how serious the problem of personal debt is. Since the Week started, we’ve helped people from all over the country deal with over £130m of debt, and the running total shows no sign of slowing down.
We believe that, for many people, realising that debt problems can happen to anyone played a major factor in them finally seeking debt advice.
“I tried to ignore the fact that we were getting into debt. I would have sought advice much sooner but was afraid and I didn’t really know who to approach or contact for advice.
I didn’t want to go to the local C.A.B. in case it was run by someone I knew. Also, I didn’t know if i was going to be treated like a criminal or whether I would end up being ‘publicly shamed’.
In the end I had to go to the bank and say I couldn’t pay the mortgage that month.”
“I allowed myself to be lulled into a false sense of security by taking out consolidated loans, and ran up more debt as a result. The other really bad thing I did was accept unsolicited increases in my credit card limits.
“I should have contacted the credit card companies and asked them to restore my previous limit or even reduce it. I didn’t exceed my credit limits, so it would have helped. I told my bank not to increase my credit limit and I won’t ever allow them to do this even once my debts are cleared.”
“I wish I’d gone to StepChange Debt Charity much sooner. As soon as I did, I felt so much better; the relief at being able to talk the whole sorry mess through with someone who was sympathetic and non-judgmental was enormous.
I felt I was taking back control of my life and getting back on top of things. I became calm again. StepChange made me put everything back into perspective and realize that, yes, I had a problem, but it was a problem that could be dealt with and overcome.
To know there was someone out there who not only understood my problem and offered a solution but believed in me and believed that I could sort the problem out myself was wonderful and so reassuring. It was a problem that COULD be sorted out, and StepChange guided me through every step of the way.
The relief I felt when they dealt with my creditors on my behalf was ENORMOUS. I was finally able to sleep at night again. Thank you StepChange. I was on the verge of a total breakdown (I did have a mini-one, and had to be off work for five weeks – and I never have time off work AT ALL, normally – and I’ve worked full time for over 30 years).
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I tell everyone struggling with debt to use 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 Tuesday 21 January 2014 at midnight.