Many in Scotland are facing financial hardship this winter, but with Christmas around the corner, dealing with debt is often the last thing people want to think about. At StepChange Debt Charity, we expect many people to start to seek debt advice in 2022, and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to get help when they’re ready.
This is why we created our 24-page Scottish Debt Guide, You’re Not Alone, to support conversations about debt and show the help available for those who need it. Order free copies for your organisation and the people you support on the StepChange website.
You’re Not Alone signposts to free advice and breaks down the advice journey into simple steps, explaining the purpose of each step and providing a jargon-busting glossary explaining key terms people struggling with debt may encounter.
The guide also explains how to find free advice safely. Sadly, there are many unregulated firms and lead generators that mimic free advice providers and encourage people to take up potentially unsuitable solutions. It’s vitally important we all play a part in making sure people in debt have to the correct details for other FCA regulated providers. So as well as information on how to contact StepChange, the guide also includes contact details for Citizen Advice Scotland, Shelter Scotland, Macmillan and Christians Against Poverty.
You’re Not Alone talks through the process of building a budget, maximising incomes from benefits and other sources, and covers the importance of priority debts, such as housing costs, council tax and utilities. The guide then moves on to talk through the crucial solutions a money adviser might recommend, including the Debt Arrangement Scheme, Minimal Asset Process bankruptcy and Sequestration, and how, depending on the circumstances, these can help.
We want to share You’re Not Alone across as many organisations, locations, and individuals as possible to get it into the hands of those who may need support with problem debt. The guide can be accessed online, and free, printed copies are available to order from our website. We’ve also produced translated digital versions of You’re Not Alone in Urdu, Punjabi and Polish.
We called the guide You’re Not Alone because it’s one of the key messages we want those in problem debt to hear: many people are in a similar situation, and help and support is out there. We hope this Talk Money Week we can all focus on helping alleviate the problem debt burden that weighs heavily on too many households.
To find out more about the guide, download the PDF, or order your free printed copies, visit our website.