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It comes with Scottish government funding and the new Financial Health Check service could benefit lots of low-income families in Scotland.

The idea for the service is to engage these families and pensioners so they can access financial advice that suits them.

The Scottish government says that more than 15,000 households every year will need help and advice on issues including how to reduce their household energy costs and also for accessing various grants.

The service will also help Scots to avoid the poverty premium of paying more for essential services and goods because they don’t earn enough.

The new scheme is available using a freephone number or it can be accessed via one of Scotland’s Citizens Advice offices.

‘The new financial health check service is open’

Eileen Campbell, the communities’ secretary, said: “The new financial health check service is open for business and is a key part for our work in tackling child poverty.

“We want to make sure that the family on a low income has the support they need for making the most of their financial situation and avoid paying more for basic services and goods that low-income families often face.”

The health check will cover things like benefit uptake, accessing free school meals, enjoying cheaper energy deals and the potential of a council tax reduction.

A spokesman for Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “Research shows that around half a million people in Scotland do not claim the support they are entitled to. This means families struggle to put food on the table and heat their homes and also miss out on financial assistance that could make a big difference.”

Access free and impartial debt advice

While the financial health check service is a great idea, it’s also possible to access free and impartial debt advice from experienced advisers for those who are in debt.

Their advice does not have to be followed, but most people will find what the adviser has to say interesting and helpful.

There will be a number of routes available to those who are living in Scotland and who are wanting to resolve their debts and these include a trust deed and the debt arrangement scheme.

Both of these provide an opportunity for a Scot to repay what they owe at a much lower rate to their creditors – that is the people and organisations they owe money to.

While both have similar criteria, there are important differences to appreciate.

The debt arrangement scheme

While the debt arrangement scheme can see people apply with a debt of various amounts, the trust deed is only available to those who owe more than £5,000.

Also, the trust deed is set up to run for an agreed period of time, this can be up to four years, and at the end of this, the debt is written off.

For those who agree to the scheme, all of the money they owe will be repaid.

If you would like to know more about repaying debts effectively using a protected trust deed or a debt arrangement scheme, then it’s time to speak with the friendly team of debt advisers at Scotland’s Trust Deed.