The numbers of Scots who are struggling with their debts and wanting help to resolve them is rocketing, one charity warns.
They say that the numbers looking for debt help have increased by nearly 50% over the last four years.
Worryingly, the charity says that dealing with serious debt is now part of day-to-day living for many people in Scotland.
They say that last year, more than 19,000 Scots were struggling with money problems – it has grown by 47% compared with 2013’s figure.
Indeed, the charity says that across the UK they dealt with the highest number of people seeking debt help in their 25 year history and helped nearly 620,000 people.
Average amount of unsecured debt for Scots
Their figures highlight that the average amount of unsecured debt for Scots last year was £12,488; that’s a fall of 1.5% from 2016 but still higher than the previous two years.
Also, when monthly incomes are taken into account, the charity says that the Scots who get in touch with them are 10% more in debt than others in the UK.
Reasons for the growing need for debt and advice in Scotland include rising prices and falling incomes.
The charity says that the average monthly income for Scots contacting them is £1,253, a rise of just £60 from the figure five years ago. The say incomes are not keeping pace with inflation.
This means that Scots are left with £15 a month after paying for heating, housing, food and other essentials.
In a report, the charity says that while the amount of unsecured debt is smaller, on average, it is widespread and entrenched for many people living in Scotland.
The charity also highlights that the rollout of universal credit is leading to a drop in benefit income leading to more people heading into debt.
Number of Scots looking for debt help
There’s no doubt that the number of Scots looking for debt help is on the increase and it’s important to seek impartial help and advice about the potential solutions to resolve your financial situation.
One of the best ways is to speak with the team of debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed who can review your situation and recommend a course of action; this will be impartial advice so you don’t have to follow what they say.
It will be an interesting and helpful way to find what can be done and the team is available to speak with every day.
Among the choices available will be a trust deed, a debt arrangement scheme and bankruptcy or sequestration.
This last one is a serious course of action to take in resolving your debts in Scotland and you need to think carefully before proceeding.
The debt arrangement scheme
Alternatively, there’s the debt arrangement scheme (DAS) which was created by the Scottish government as a way to help people repay everything they owe.
The DAS works by agreeing an amount to repay your lenders which will be affordable and your debt repayment period will be extended so all of the debt you owe will be repaid in full.
There’s also the opportunity of a trust deed which works in a similar way to a debt arrangement scheme except when the agreed period, it’s usually four years, comes to an end any debt that remains will be written off as unaffordable.
Obviously, this makes it an attractive way to repay debt and it’s important for those who have at least £5,000 in unsecured debt to agree to the terms of the trust deed.
Advice about repaying debt in Scotland
For more help and advice about all aspects of repaying debt in Scotland, then you should contact Scotland’s Trust Deed who have the experience to help you resolve your current financial situation.