About StepChange Debt Charity

We're the UK's leading debt advice charity, and we've been helping people break free from problem debt for 20 years.

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How you helped us get Breathing Space back on the agenda

posted by in Debt news Leave a comment

This article was originally published on 10 March and updated on 24 May 2017.

In February, over 1,000 of our clients emailed their MPs asking them to support a Breathing Space scheme for people in debt in England, Wales and Northern Ireland*. If you helped, thank you.

A scheme like this would mean that when people in debt get advice they’d have fees, charges and interest on their debts frozen, along with a break from enforcement action. It would allow them time to sort out their finances without seeing their debts spiralling upwards. Continue reading »

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

posted by in Debt news 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?

Continue reading »

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DebtDay Live: our updates from across the charity this #DebtDay

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#DebtDay 2016 latest updates

Find out what we’re posting during our #DebtDay social media event, on what we forecast to be our busiest day of the year.
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Nuisance calls: 5 things other countries do that should happen here

posted by in Living with debt 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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Rent-to-own stores “rip people off” say MPs. We highlight the alternatives

posted by in Living with debt Leave a comment

Rent-to-own

Rent to own now, keep paying much, much later?

Have you ever bought a TV from BrightHouse or a sofa from PerfectHome? Then you might be interested by news that MPs have called for a crackdown on these kinds of stores. This comes after feedback you provided to us last year.

A cross-party group of MPs says the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), needs to take urgent action to stop people from being “ripped off”.

Firms like BrightHouse charge APRs of 94.7% and make customers fork out for expensive cover that can treble the price of household goods.

For example, a washing machine sold for £295 at Co-Op Electricals will cost a whopping £1,092 at BrightHouse once insurance and interest payments are added in.

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Ofcom talks about unwanted calls and messages

posted by in Archive 1 Comment

Ofcom has their say on nuisance calls and texts

Ofcom has their say on nuisance calls and texts

Ofcom recently published its guide on protecting yourself from nuisance calls and messages and they asked us for a guest blog to help promote it.

 

As we’re running a campaign on the harm caused by this menace we were more than happy to oblige.

Want to know more? You can get involved in our campaign here.

We’ve all been there – up to our eyes in work, in the middle of making dinner or trying to stop World War III breaking out between the kids, when the phone starts ringing.

But while you might not begrudge rushing to pick up for friends or family, it’s a different story if it turns out to be someone offering you something you don’t want or need.

Unwanted calls and messages come in different shapes and sizes – from telesales to automated messages, spam texts and even silence.

These calls can be a real nuisance, but there are steps you can take to cut down the number you receive.

Continue reading »

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Payday loans – help us keep up the pressure

posted by in Archive 2 Comments

UPDATE: 1 July 2014 – new rules from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) means that payday loan companies:

  • cannot rollover an outstanding payday loan balance more than twice
  • must send the debtor an information sheet with contact details for various debt advice organisations. A copy of this information sheet can be seen here
  • cannot make more than two attempts to deduct money from a debtor’s bank account by means of Continuous Payment Authority (CPA) unless a rollover has been agreed.
  • Must now include a prominent risk warning on all financial promotions.
Your voice is needed on payday loans

Our work is far from done

All across the country people are taking action to end the downward spiral of payday loans.

Over the last two weeks, thousands of people have flocked to our website to add their voice to the campaign and ask MPs to vote for change.

Together, our efforts are making a real difference. The Government is finally clamping down on the dangers posed by payday lenders – this is action that will change things for good.

But new controls won’t come in until April 2014 and there’s no sign that problems are about to go away. So it was frustrating to see progress on the High Cost Credit Bill postponed last week – despite strong support from MPs attending the debate.

We’re all too aware of the dangers of payday loans and are continuing to campaign for change. But we need your help to keep the momentum going. Here are four things you can do right now to help…

Continue reading »

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