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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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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With debt in mind: the link between mental health and debt

posted by in Living with debt 3 Comments

Debt and stress go hand in hand

Debt and stress can go hand-in-hand

How in tune are you with your mental health? Think about how you feel right now; are you relaxed? Are you happy? Do you feel a sense of calm and clarity?

There might be little things that are annoying you, but for the most part you hopefully feel you have a degree of control and direction in your life.

Compare this to the last time you felt immensely stressed over the things taking place around you. For many people, this was the feeling they had when they realised they needed help with debt.

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