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 »
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.
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 »
Debt and mental health are linked
They say from small acorns can spring mighty oaks. Well, from our acorn sprung something seriously mighty indeed!
Our work alongside our friends at the Mental Health Foundation for Mental Health Awareness Week began as a simple belief that debt and mental health are intrinsically linked and that we should make more people aware of the connection between the two.
But not only have thousands of people been made aware of our Debt in Mind campaign, but it’s also attracted attention from those who can make real changes to better the lives of so many.
This morning we learned that the following statement was made in a motion tabled by Christina McKelvie at the Scottish Parliament yesterday:
“The Parliament recognises 13 to 19 May 2013 as Mental Health Awareness Week (and) congratulates StepChange Debt Charity on the launch of its new website, which examines the impact that debt and mental health problems can have on a person’s wellbeing…(and) commends the work being done by StepChange Debt Charity in aiding and guiding people with depression who are experiencing debt”.
So far the motion has been supported by 25 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). We’re very proud to receive such recognition and will continue to work alongside mental health charities to ensure that no one needs to deal with debt or mental health problems alone.