8-12 November 2021 marks a week known as Talk Money Week in the UK. It’s an annual event run by Money and Pensions Service and it usually falls on the second week of November on any year. It’s a time for debt charities and companies such as Trust Deed Scotland® to come together and encourage people to open up about their money and debt worries.
The Money and Pensions Service are funded by levies on both the financial services industry and pension schemes and their vision is “Everyone making the most of their money and pensions.”
They are an ‘arm’s-length body’ sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, with a joint commitment to ensuring that people throughout the UK have guidance and access to the information they need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. They deliver those across five core functions. 1. Pension guidance. 2. Debt advice. 3. Money guidance. 4. Consumer protection. and 5. Strategy.
Why does talking about money and debt matter?
One of the key focuses of Talk Money Week 2021 is to encourage conversations about unaffordable debt. By having a conversation, you can improve your physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
Money and Pensions research shows that talking about money can help you to:
- Make better and less risky financial decisions
- Have stronger personal relationships
- Help your children form good lifetime money habits
- Feel less stressed or anxious and more in control.
Building money conversations into our everyday lives also helps us build financial confidence and resilience to face whatever the future throws at us.
However, it isn’t easy talking about money and debt. Many people fear being judged, or embarrassed or ashamed of their debt when the truth is problem debt can happen to anyone. Previous research from Christians Against Poverty Scotland also show that as many as 25% of Scots wait 3 years before seeking debt help.
What do people who have previously started a conversation with Trust Deed Scotland say about their experience?
At Trust Deed Scotland® we currently have over 5,000 reviews from our customers, with a rating of 5/5 rating on Trustpilot.
When broken down, from the total number of 4,556 reviews received, 4,452 people rated us excellent. A further 95 people rated our service as good.
- 97.7% said our service was excellent.
- 99.8% said our service was excellent/good.
Our Trust Deed Scotland reviews are important to us, not only as a signal that our customers are happy with the service that they have received from us but also because they allow for people with problem debt in Scotland to find other individuals who were once in the same position that they too find themselves in.
Some of those reviews are anonymised by our customers to protect their own identities.
Many of the reviews go into great detail, and some contain just a few words.
Either way, it’s always completely our customers’ own words describing their experience in their reviews and we’re always grateful to receive them; both good and bad.
We’re always keen to action any feedback we receive to make improvements to our processes wherever we can and continuously improve our own learning and development as a leading Scottish debt solutions provider.
Our experienced debt adviser Sharon received a review in the run-up to Talk Money Week 2021 which perfectly described many of the feelings that individuals have when they’re looking for help with their unaffordable debt and we appreciate the courage that it takes each and every one of our customers to leave a review.
Our customer wrote:
“Getting into financial despair, was a long and winding road.
Sometimes I was able to make some headway towards reducing my debts, but in the end, the robbing ‘Peter to pay Paul’ finally caught up with me and I found myself unable to afford basics.
At this point, however, I must stress, my accrued debt was not money that I spent on fancy clothes, holidays or recreational, it was an accumulation of factors; being in a controlling, manipulative and selfish relationship; keeping my family afloat, lending money when they had none and giving to them when I had none.
I felt I could not let anyone down and to keep kept face, I would do my own creative accounting and weather all of their storms, trying to be all of the strengths a perfect parent, albeit a single parent, could be.
Then I hit rock bottom – every letter through the door was dreaded. Calls to my mobile were screened, calls started to arrive at my work. I started hiding from it all.
Then, I had a health scare and I thought…great, I have a way out!
The health scare came and went…As I said, I had robbed ‘Peter to pay Paul’ and because of this, nobody realised that I actually was crippled in debt. But then, there was no ‘Peter’.
I could not get credit and this meant that I could not lend anybody money, pay off any of the ‘smaller’ debts or even afford basic day to day living costs. I found myself selling my own belongings and making it look like I was having a therapeutic clear out, just to save face again.
I am not sure exactly when my ultimate rock bottom hit… probably when I sold something which was sentimentally valuable to me.
I realised that my family had not asked me for money for a while and that I had not seen them for months. I realised that I was working a full time job with a good remuneration package but just days after payday, I had nothing left.
I was an accredited and respected employee of a company that delivers an excellent service of care. I felt a fraud and I hated myself for what I had become.
The despair, desolation and loneliness began to affect everything. I stopped being in contact with all my friends and family, scared that someone would find out and I couldn’t hide the fact that I could not afford to do anything social.
Lockdown was a blessed relief for me. Even now, the only person that knows about my ‘mess’ is the person I made contact with the day I picked up the phone to Trust Deed Scotland.
Calling the Trust Deed Scotland telephone number was not easy. I attempted it many times before building up the courage to stay on the phone.
It has not been an easy task, but this is not a reflection of their exceptional service. It has been devastating to have my debts laid out in front of me. I had buried it and my head, so the accumulated amount was such a shock…truly soul-wrenching and I have never felt like such a failure in all my life. My advisor literally was a lifesaver.
Without prejudice, she guided me through collating the information needed. She took me through the process, step by step, at a pace where I could take in all of the information without being overloaded, whilst all of the time making sure that I was ok.
She gave me options and guidance; however, the ultimate decision to enter into the agreement I did, was my own. She gave me back the reigns of my own financial control. I still have a way to go yet. I am waiting to hear if all my paperwork will be accepted.
All being well, in 4 years I will be debt free.
I still have not told anyone close to me about my situation, but this is because I feel ashamed and this loneliness is my cross to bear.
However, there is a light at the end of this very dark and long tunnel and I now have a torch to help.
I will emerge a stronger and more financially independent person, all thanks to having the courage to make that call to Trust Deed Scotland.”
Start a conversation about your unaffordable debt
Our experienced, friendly debt advisers offer tailored debt advice and explain the advantages and disadvantages of any formal debt solutions that you may be eligible for.