7-11 November 2022 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 of 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.
Talk Money Week’s focus for 2022 is around credit, something that many people are currently resorting to use to pay household bills. A recent Ipsos survey carried on behalf of Sky News found that 25% of its respondents said they have already used credit cards for essentials or skipped meals in response to the cost of living.
The same survey highlighted that 90% are worried about cost of living for the country as a whole while around 8 in 10 are concerned for themselves and people in the area they live. An additional 33% are finding it difficult to pay their energy bills and a similar proportion of mortgage holders and renters report rises in their housing payments.
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 2022 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 and Talk Money Week’s intention is for you to kickstart a conversation in any walk of life, including:
- In your workplace
- At home with friends and family
- In educational establishments, or with debt charities
- With the people to who you owe money to
However, it isn’t easy talking about money and debt. Many people fear being judged, embarrassed or ashamed of their debt when the truth is problem debt can happen to anyone.
How long do people wait before getting help with their debt?
In a 2022 study of existing Trust Deed Scotland® & Harper McDermott customers.
- 17% got help with their unaffordable debt straight away
- 25% waited up to 1 year before asking for help
- 30% waited between 1-2 years before asking for help
- 14% waited between 3-4 years before asking for help
- 14% waited over 4 years before asking for help with debt
57.4% waited over a year before finally asking for help with their unaffordable debt.
What type of debts worried our customers most?
Credit card debts are the most troublesome type of debt that our customers encounter.
- 33.84% were worried about credit card debts in Scotland
- 24.33% were concerned about a personal loan
- 11.60% thought that their overdraft was a worrying debt
- 7.20% were worried about council tax arrears debt
- 6.68% are worried about payday loan debt
- 4.04% are worried about a buy now pay later agreement
- 3.31% were worried about their gas & electric bills*
- 2.98% were worried about rent arrears debt
- 2.95% were worried about HMRC debts
- Lastly, 3.07% were worried about another type of unaffordable debt
*It’s important to stress that these answers were taken before the cost of living crisis really started to bite. If this same survey were to take place today, the results would be vastly different. For example, a survey from Smart Energy GB in October 2022 found that almost half of its respondents said they were worried about rising energy costs.
What impact did debt have on our customers’ mental health?
We asked our customers if their mental or physical health was impacted by their debt problem and overall 91.36% of our respondents’ mental health was impacted by their debt problem.
- 57.61% – Yes – My mental health was affected
- 1.33% – Yes – My physical health was affected
- 33.75% – Yes – Both my mental and physical health were affected
- 7.30% – No – My mental or physical health was not impacted by my debt problem
In the same survey, 84% of existing Trust Deed Scotland® & Harper McDermott customers said that their mental health had improved, with 30.39% of our customers also saying that their physical health improved also.
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. In addition to this statistic, our survey shows that:
97.7% of our customers said they were satisfied or better with the Debt Arrangement Scheme as their chosen debt solution.
98.8% of our customers said they were satisfied or better with a Trust Deed as their chosen debt solution.
Our survey asked all active customers for their feedback and also those who had recently been discharged from a debt solution.
Our Trust Deed Scotland reviews are just as 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 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, they are always written completely in 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 take action on any feedback that 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 advisers received reviews in the run-up to Talk Money Week 2022 which perfectly described many of the feelings that individuals have when they’re looking for help with their unaffordable debt.
Reviewing one of our experienced debt advisers Sharon, Sheila wrote: “Thank you to Sharon this process was a lot less painful for me.
She put me totally at ease with my situation, was helpful, explained things well, was kind, friendly, and had a bit of humour.
I felt like I was talking to a friend rather than a debt advisor.
The whole experience took only 24hrs after struggling for the last 6 months to find the courage to call.”
Shaun, speaking about his experience with our debt adviser Michael, said “Great experience from start to finish.
I had been trying to avoid a trust deed for a long time.
Micheal, who I initially spoke with, was brilliant and made me feel at ease right away. He was very understanding and reassuring.
The fact you only speak with the same person throughout the whole process is great. I felt I could contact Micheal at any point for advice, always available or would respond ASAP.
Obviously, a highly experienced company that are calming during what can be an uneasy time.”
Another customer wrote about the beginning of her debt free journey with Valerie by saying: “After burying my head in the sand with stress and worry for over a year, due to being laid off through covid and a looming court case, I just gave up on all debt and direct debits!
But after getting back to work and the court case not having as bad an effect as first feared it would.
There was still the weight and pressure of thinking I had messed up my life, by not paying debts and thinking I’d never get back on my feet, Then I heard of Trust Dead Scotland, and there was a lovely lady called Val that took on my case and from start to finish she was an absolute star, making me feel at ease with a solution that best suited. To even finding out who I owed the money to, as I had no idea what each creditor was due and what for.
I really just had given up before and so had no clue, but after getting in touch with Trust Dead Scotland and Val, I can finally look to the future and il be back on my feet in no time.”
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.