Citizens Advice Bassetlaw has seen over 100 debt clients from the end of December 2019 to the end of January 2020, who needed to seek advice for their debt concerns in January, including council tax arrears, credit card debt, rent arrears and unsecured loans.
Analysis of national data over a 12-month period reveals that on a single day — 29th January 2019 — Citizens Advice offices helped 2,776 people. This is 24% above the daily average.
In 2017 and 2018, the busiest day for debt advice fell on 31st January, with 2,762 and 2,775 clients seeking help respectively. This means over the past three years one person sought help from Citizens Advice every 10 seconds on their busiest days for debt advice.
Karen Whitlam, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Bassetlaw, said: “Citizens Advice can offer free and independent advice and support to help you deal with your debts and get back on your feet.”
To help people kick off 2020 on a stronger financial footing, Citizens Advice Bassetlaw is sharing its six top tips to help people get their finances in order for the new year:
- Work out how much you owe — Make a list of whom you owe money to and add up how much you need to pay each month.
- Prioritise your debts — Your rent or mortgage, energy and council tax are called priority debts as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay them. These should always be paid first. Separate these and work out how much you owe.
- Work out how much you can pay — Create a budget by adding up your essential living costs, such as food and housing, and taking these away from your income. Any money you have spare can be put towards your debts. Citizens Advice’s budgeting tool can help.
- Paying urgent debts — You might have to contact priority creditors quickly in urgent situations, like if you are about to be evicted. Tell them you’re seeking debt advice so you can find a way forward. You could try to pay them something if you can afford to.
- Paying non-urgent debts — If you have any money left after paying priority debts, consider getting a free debt-management plan. You’ll make one monthly payment to the plan provider, who will handle paying your creditors. Or contact your creditors and offer them what you can afford to pay.
- If you can’t pay your debts — If you’ve got little or no money spare to pay your priority debts seek advice straight away.
For information and advice, contact Citizens Advice Bassetlaw on 07808 770288 for debt enquiries only. For other enquiries call the Adviceline on 03444 111 444, available Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 4.00pm.
Drop in service
The Annexe, Queens Building, Potter Street, Worksop (next to the Savoy Cinema) available:
- Monday — 9.30am to 3.00pm
- Wednesday — 9.30am to 3.00pm
- Friday — 9.30am to 1.00pm
17b The Square, Retford, available:
- Tuesday — 10.00am to 2.00pm
- Thursday — 10.00am to 2.00pm