Christians Against Poverty Scotland have released a new report that shows that 25% of the people that they helped in Scotland waited between one and two years before seeking help with their debts, and a further 25% waited three years or more before seeking help. Worryingly, 45% said that they did not know where to get help.
CAP Scotland is a national charity that works with 715 affiliate churches, looking to help the vulnerable people out of poverty, UK-wide.
- 12% Didn’t wait to seek help.
- 27% Waited less than one year.
- 25% Waited 1-2 years.
- 25% Waited 3 years or more.
- 11% Unknown
A rise in non-priority debt e.g. credit cards, personal loans and catalogue debts, saw the average debt level in Scotland increase to £17,917, of which £12,065 was identified as being non-priority debt. On average, CAP Scotland clients have 9 non-priority debts and the most common types of non-priority debts their clients reported were personal loan (69%), credit card debts (63%), mobile phone debt (46%), overdraft debt (38%) and catalogue debt (34%).
In terms of priority debts, council tax arrears (40%), rent arrears (10%), energy arrears (9%) and mortgage arrears were the common types of debt that their clients sought help for.
Low income, mental ill-health, relationship breakdown, long-term illness and unemployment were identified as the most common reasons that caused a debt crisis for their clients.
71% said that debt impacted their relationship, with 19% citing debt stress as the reason for a relationship breakdown.
44% are unable to afford adequate clothing
37% sacrificed meals
37% went without heating
31% are unable to afford basic toiletries
28% said they had considered or attempted suicide as a way out of debt.
20% were unable to afford to light their home.
Speaking on the finding of the CAP Scotland report, Gareth McNab, Director of External Affairs said:
“The full effects of the global pandemic will not be felt for some time; we know that one in four (25%) CAP clients wait
over three years before seeking debt help.
The debt advice industry is anticipating rising numbers in need of debt advice. More must be done to reach and help households struggling.
Joined-up working is needed more than ever, forming partnerships to combat the financial fallout of the pandemic.
Yet we cannot forget that even before COVID-19, households were struggling and, without change, people will still struggle in the future. Unless we do something about it”
You can read the CAP Scotland 2021 client report.
As a leading Scottish debt advice company, having helped thousands of people with their unaffordable debt, Trust Deed Scotland® have received over 5,000 reviews on Trustpilot where many people tell us things like “I wish I got help sooner” or “I can sleep again at night, now that my debt is under control again.”
The fear of being judged, or feeling ashamed or embarrassed about having debts are often spoken about by our clients in regards to reasons why they put off seeking debt help.
In April 2021, Lauren said: “After being hesitant for a while to contact Trust Deed Scotland, I am so glad I did, as Pamela was so friendly, understanding and non-judgemental during the process.
I would 100% recommend anyone struggling with financial difficulties to get in touch. I wish I had sooner.”
Also speaking in April 2021, Louise said: “Called Trust Deed Scotland eventually after months of worrying about mounting debt and just wish I’d have done it sooner.
Soreena dealt with my case and couldn’t have asked for anyone better than her. She listened and totally understood everything I said and never judged me at all. I can now look forward to receiving my wages every month, knowing that everything is going to be paid in one payment and might even have some left now.”
Earlier in the year, in January 2021, Jamie said: “I couldn’t have been made to feel more comfortable, I was always quite ashamed to talk about my debt. Vicky made me feel completely at ease and made the whole process seem so simple.”
Help with unaffordable debt in Scotland
If you live in Scotland and you are struggling with your finances, you can find out more about your options by calling Trust Deed Scotland® on 0141 221 0999. Alternatively, you can also download our Scottish debt solutions guide.
Our experienced team can give you confidential advice, that with help you understand the pros and cons of all formal debt solutions in Scotland such as Trust Deeds, the Debt Arrangement Scheme and other Scottish Debt Solutions.
Once we know more about your situation, we are then able to give you tailored debt advice that fits your individual requirements.