Thousands of students at Scottish universities seek financial help
Scotland’s universities have revealed that more than 50,000 students have been seeking financial help as they struggle with their finances.
The universities say growing numbers of students have been seeking financial help over the last five years.
The findings from the Liberal Democrats reveal that more than 53,000 applications have been received by university authorities for financial assistance since 2012.
The research also highlights that the Students Awards Agency for Scotland show that the value of a student loan has risen by 175% since 2007 but over the same period of time, the value of grants and bursaries has dropped by a third.
A spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: “The figures show that over the last five years, there are tens of thousands of Scottish university students who’ve had to reach out to authorities to say they are struggling to keep their heads above water.”
Fewer poorer students receiving financial help
He added that there are fewer poorer students receiving financial help and those that are doing so are receiving less despite their accommodation and inflation costs rising.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said that a record amount of been invested into student support with increased bursary funding.
She highlighted that Scotland remained committed to free tuition and students in Scotland do not rack up extra debt of up to £27,000 plus the average student loan that students elsewhere in the UK are doing.
The problem for Scotland’s university students highlights that those who’re struggling financially are from all walks of life and of all ages.
While the students are struggling now, they are likely to leave university with a hefty debt which many will be looking to resolve as quickly as possible once they begin working.
Need to seek impartial debt advice
However, it may be that they will still need to seek impartial debt advice about how to deal with their financial situation and repay the money they owe.
One way of doing this is to speak with the friendly team of debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed.
The advice they give is impartial so you don’t have to follow it and the team is available to speak with every day.
There are a wide range of ways to resolve debts for people living in Scotland, and these include a debt arrangement scheme and a trust deed.
It’s also possible to discuss the potential of alternative debt remedies including debt consolidation and having debts written off by creditors.
The debt advisers may also discuss how to go about a full and final settlement with creditors and even organising a debt management plan.
Scotland’s Trust Deed team can discuss things like a debt arrangement scheme
The Scotland’s Trust Deed team can also discuss things like a debt arrangement scheme, which is run by the Scottish government, as well as a trust deed.
The big attractions for these two debt solution plans is that the debts are repaid at a lower rate over a longer period of time. With a Scottish trust deed there may be an amount remaining at the end which is written off whereas with a debt arrangement scheme, the full amount will be repaid.
Essentially, for students at Scottish universities looking for financial help or wanting to know more about how to deal with their debts, then it may be worthwhile speaking with the debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed and this advice is also suitable for non-students as well, regardless of your age and how much you owe.
Struggling Scots are missing out on vital tax credits
It has been estimated that Scots who are struggling financially may be missing out on more than £545 million of unclaimed tax credits.
The revelation from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre highlights the need to raise awareness of the potential payments for those who are in debt or are struggling financially.
The money is going unclaimed by Scots who are entitled to the money.
The Information Centre highlights that child tax and working credits are two of the six benefits currently being rolled into the new universal credit payment.
New welfare system has faced a number of issues
However, the new welfare system has faced a number of issues since it was expanded last year.
The aim of universal credit is to reduce the number of individual benefits so Scots on low incomes will find it easier when making a claim for welfare.
Now Scottish Labour is calling on the UK and Scottish government to do more in raising awareness of the benefits people are entitled to claim.
A spokesman said: “Making sure the cash is going to people who are entitled to it could make a big difference.”
The Scottish government says that they are already taking steps to help encourage Scots to make claims.
A spokeswoman said: “There are still many people in Scotland on low-incomes today who aren’t claiming the financial support they are entitled to.”
Scots who are struggling financially
With growing numbers of Scots who are struggling financially, there is other help available and that is to deal with their debt situation.
Indeed, the Scottish government runs the debt arrangement scheme which enables someone living in Scotland to repay all the money they owe at a lower rate and over a longer period of time.
The aim of the debt arrangement scheme is to help make things easier so someone can pay their everyday bills as well as their debts.
There’s also the option for people living in Scotland of a Scottish trust deed which is similar to a debt arrangement scheme. Essentially, someone in debt repays what they can afford over a longer period of time.
However, the big difference is that when this agreed repayment period ends, the amount that remains will be written off as unaffordable.
For homeowners, they should be able to keep their home but that are various conditions to comply with.
For those who are interested in trust deed alternatives
For those who are interested in trust deed alternatives, then there are a range of other solutions including undertaking a debt management plan, speaking with creditors to negotiate a full and final settlement or coming to an informal arrangement with your creditors.
It’s also possible to investigate the potential of debt consolidation and debt write-off.
If you live in Scotland and are struggling with your debts, then it will pay to spend some time speaking with experienced and friendly debt advisers who understand your situation and what might be the best route to financial stability.
This means speaking with the team of debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed who will be able to help with their impartial advice. This means you do not have to follow it and they can also arrange the next step to resolving your debts.
Scotland’s Trust Deed website has an online debt test
The Scotland’s Trust Deed website also has an online debt test so you will see very quickly what potential debt solutions are available.
The team of debt advisers are available to speak with every day and can be contacted on 0141 297 1178.
This is how long it will take Scots to pay off Christmas debts
While every parent will be wanting to splash out every Christmas for their family, research reveals that it may take an average of five months to pay off their debts when doing so.
Even worse, one in 10 will take at least 12 months to repay the debt they rack up, so those who have just enjoyed Christmas in 2017 will probably still be paying their debts from Christmas 2016.
Also, the findings from Nationwide reveal that one in three people were looking to do some online shopping on Christmas Day.
Their findings also reveal that the average spend per family last Christmas was £687 with half of those in employment looking to spend in December more than they will earn in the month.
Paying off Christmas debts
Their figures also reveal that while the average time is five months for paying off Christmas debts, 34% will take six months to do so.
And, despite the cost of Christmas mounting every year, around 70% of people said they refused to cut back on their spending plans and were prepared to face the financial consequences.
A spokesman for Nationwide said: “Our research reveals that many are spending beyond their means to have a great day and many will take months to repay the cost.
“We always advise that it’s best sticking to a budget and, where possible, to spend cash savings to help cover the extra costs.”
If you have been left with a financial headache after spending too much over Christmas and the New Year, then it’s best to act promptly rather than ignore a growing debt problem.
Living in Scotland there are a range of debt solutions available
For people living in Scotland, there are a range of debt solutions available including a trust deed, sequestration, and the debt arrangement scheme.
- A trust deed
With a trust deed, someone in Scotland who is in debt can repay what they owe over an agreed period of time, this can be up to 48 months. The big attraction is that the amount that remains will be written off as unaffordable.
- A debt arrangement scheme
The debt arrangement scheme works in a similar way to a trust deed and is run by the Scottish government. Again, it’s only available to those living in Scotland and are struggling financially. The big difference between a debt arrangement scheme and a trust deed is that all of the debts are repaid over a longer period but at an amount you can afford.
Sequestration is better known as bankruptcy and for people living in Scotland there are some pros and cons for undertaking this course of action. However, very careful thought needs to be given before embarking on sequestration and it’s always advisable to seek professional debt advice from experts before doing so.
Team of debt advisers is available to speak with at Scotland’s Trust Deed
Indeed, there is a friendly team of debt advisers available to speak with at Scotland’s Trust Deed and their advice is impartial so you do not have to act on it.
However, it is always worthwhile to listen to what can be done to help someone struggling with their debts to get onto an even financial keel as soon as possible.
If you live in Scotland and are struggling with money, then speak with the Scotland’s Trust Deed debt advisers to find out what you can do to improve things.
Event held to help Scots struggling with debt
The growing problems of Scots who are struggling with debt has been the focus of a major summit held in Scotland.
The event saw social financial bodies as well as politicians and academics meeting to discuss what the potential solutions might be.
The event heard that Scots who are living in poverty are struggling to access bank accounts as well as affordable lending and overdrafts.
With around 940,000 households in the country now experiencing relative poverty, their debt levels are also rising and the growing issue of growing inflation and interest rate rises will force many people into serious financial problems.
The event was being held to help the Scottish Parliament decide on the action that needs to be taken to tackle financial exclusion in local areas.
More Scots are struggling to make ends meet
A spokeswoman for one political party said that people in Scotland are seeing wages fall in real terms and with inflation rising means more Scots are struggling to make ends meet.
Also, there is a growing problem of Scots facing a ‘poverty premium’ which is a situation where they are forced to pay more for financial services. This then leads them into deeper debt levels.
A spokesman for the Scottish government said that politicians are working with the financial sector including community development finance initiatives and credit unions to help promote accessible banking and offer access to credit for those who are disadvantaged.
However, for those who are living in Scotland and struggling with debt, there is help available.
Team of debt advisers available to speak with confidentially
For example, there’s a friendly team of debt advisers available to speak with confidentially at Scotland’s Trust Deed.
They will be able to explain the potential routes back to financial stability including a trust deed.
A trust deed is an agreement that will see someone in debt repaying what they can afford over a longer period of time, and this could be up to 48 months.
The big attraction for a trust deed for homeowners is that they should be able to keep their home and when the term comes to an end, the unaffordable debt will then be written off.
It’s also possible to discuss the potential of a debt arrangement scheme.
This works along similar lines to a trust deed with someone repaying what they can afford over an agreed period of time. Unlike a trust deed, the full amount of the debt is repaid.
Speaking with Scotland’s Trust Deed’s debt advisers
There’s a lot to recommend speaking with Scotland’s Trust Deed’s debt advisers since their advice is impartial so you are under no obligation to follow it and it may help talking over what your current financial problems are and what the potential solutions might be with someone who will understand.
The helpful team at Scotland’s Trust Deed is available every day to speak with by phone and there’s also a helpful online debt test that takes a few minutes to complete and will reveal if you are eligible for any potential debt solution help.
Why Scots in debt need to look at their credit card bills
It was hardly unexpected but the doubling of the Bank of England interest rate from 0.25% to .5% will have a big impact on Scots’ debt.
Particularly for those who use credit cards since they will be paying much more, says one money expert.
Martin Lewis says that credit card providers are already beginning to reduce the 0% balance transfer periods and borrowing costs also look set to increase.
This will bring to an end to the record length for balance transfers between cards that could see some consumers not incurring interest on an outstanding balance for three years – or more.
Indeed, for anyone living in Scotland and are financially stretched should act now to reduce their credit card debts, he warns.
Banks worry about the amount of debt that is being built-up
One reason for the interest rate hike is the banks’ worry about the amount of debt that is being built-up within the UK as well as increasing inflation.
In a newsletter to followers, Mr Lewis warns that several credit card providers are already increasing their APRs following the bank’s interest rate rise.
They include Halifax, Lloyds and Barclaycard so the amount borrowers will need to repay could rise.
However, another money expert warns in a national newspaper that some providers may be waiting until the New Year before increasing the length of the 0% deals being offered.
That’s because this is when most balance transfers between credit cards take place and it is when most people decide to sort their finances.
Scots wanting to improve their finances
One charitable organisation offers this advice for Scots wanting to improve their finances:
- Check your bank balance regularly
The first step to managing money is to know your spending patterns
- Calculate your budget
Write down your income and then take away things like transport and food, along with other important bills such as rent or mortgage, and this is what you have to spend.
- Pay more off your credit card balance
Anyone with a credit card debt should pay more than the minimum amount required to help bring down their bill.
- Pay an expensive credit card first
For those with more than one credit card debt, then work out which is the most expensive, it’s probably the one with the highest rate of interest, and repay that one first and focus on paying the next most expensive.
- Prioritise debts
Scots in debt may have several creditors but if they cannot afford to repay them all then they need to prioritise their debts. Pay the important ones first including council tax, rent and energy bills, as they have consequences for non-payment.
- Get debt advice
If you struggle to repay debts then you should seek debt advice before these debts get out of hand.
Friendly team of debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed
If you live in Scotland then you can contact the friendly team of debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed to discuss your situation and receive impartial advice, this means you do not have to follow the advice that is given.
The conversations will be confidential and there’s also an online debt test to see what potential solutions are available and in Scotland this may include a trust deed, sequestration or a debt arrangement scheme.
Contact Scotland’s Trust Deed today to find out what help is available and the steps you can take to becoming debt-free.