For Scots who are struggling to repay debts, then seeking debt advice may help them and one experiment by a Scottish council highlights why.
That’s because the council helped a group of residents to understand how to budget and they ended up saving £1,000 per year, on average.
All it took was some simple steps to get out of debt and save money.
The council signed up 1,000 residents who wanted to make the most of their income and they receive financial advice on how to do so.
The council has some of Scotland’s worst levels of social and economic deprivation and high levels of poverty.
Help with debts she was struggling to repay
The scheme began in 2017 offering help to manage budgets and a single mum of five signed up and received help with debts she was struggling to repay.
After learning budgetary skills and help in dealing with her debts, the mum is £90 a week better off and feeling less stress and more positivity about the future for herself and her family.
Among the tips for anyone in debt and who would like to do better financially, the council team offered:
You’ll need to write down how much money is coming in and how much you spend every month. Then work out where reductions can be made to help take back control of your financial circumstances. One person in the scheme saved £360 a year by not buying takeaways.
For most of us, our energy bills take up a large slice of our income but you could save hundreds of pounds by switching energy suppliers. Also, consider installing a smart meter to monitor whether you are using too much energy.
Some of those in the scheme were directed to a credit union for accessing low-cost loans, which enabled them to build up savings.
It’s important that anybody on benefits receives what they are entitled to and a benefits adviser may be able to help.
The scheme offered practical debt advice for those who signed up and showed how they can clear debts and to stop creditors from chasing them. Among the options are an informal agreement, debt management plans, the debt arrangement scheme and also the Scottish trust deed.
Help for Scots struggling to repay debts
While many people who signed up to the council’s scheme, which was one of four created in Scotland, have dealt with their debts and can budget effectively, there is help and advice available for everyone living in Scotland who may be struggling to repay debts and the advice is confidential and there’s no obligation to follow what may be recommended.
This means speaking with the Scotland’s Trust Deed team who have lots of experience in helping Scots deal with debt and they can offer advice on a trust deed, the debt arrangement scheme and also sequestration or bankruptcy. Call them today to find out more.