3,200 people helped by Debt Action in its first few months

Since it began in April, Debt Action, has helped 3,200 people deal with more than £32 million in debt.
For the people who have used the service, the main concern has been credit card debt, closely followed by mortgage shortfall and then personal loan debt.

Delivered through Northern Ireland’s largest advice charity, Advice NI, and funded by the Department for Communities, the debt advice service is available for anyone concerned with their financial situation and debt.

Deputy Secretary for Engaged Communities, Moira Doherty, said:

 “The Department is pleased to be involved in this partnership with Advice NI, to ensure that good quality debt advice is made available to everyone who needs it. The evidence demonstrates that there is a real need and that the need is increasing. It also shows that unmet need can often impact on the quality of life of those affected, particularly in terms of mental health. I would encourage anyone who finds themselves struggling with debt or other financial problems to avail of this free and independent service.”

Sinead Campbell, Advice NI’s Head of Debt, Money & Quality, said:

“The Debt Action Service has made a real difference in helping people to cope with their debt situation. Our figures show credit card debt is our clients’ largest concern. Our advisers are finding that with rising living costs, people are more and more turning to credit to make ends meet. This can be an expensive option in the long term and people find their debts can easily spiral out of control.

We anticipate that any increase in interest rates will undoubtedly lead to a greater demand for the Debt Action service.”

 Advice NI’s professionally trained debt advisers operate across Northern Ireland and provide advice on and support to clients who are struggling with money issues. The advisers are able to provide options for dealing with all kinds of debt and can negotiate on clients’ behalf with creditors, allowing them some breathing room while they decide on their best options. Debt Action is a completely free service available to anyone living in Northern Ireland.

The service can be accessed through a number of channels including a Freephone helpline, email, webchat, text and through face-to-face appointments with advisers located across Northern Ireland.

If you are struggling with debt or feel that your finances might be out of control, you can contact Debt Action by calling the Freephone helpline on 0800 028 1881 to speak directly to an adviser Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. You can also email advisers at debt@adviceni.net or text ACTION to 81025 and an adviser will call you back.
 
For more information and to find out the location of advisers in your area for face-to-face advice visit www.adviceni.net/debt
 
Notes to Editors:
  1. For further information contact  Kerry McKittrick, Communications Officer, Advice NI, 1 Rushfield Avenue, Belfast BT7 3FP  Tel: (028) 9064 5919 
  2. Advice NI is the umbrella body for the independent advice network in Northern Ireland and has 70 members across NI who provide advice on debt, benefits, housing to name a few. Advice NI members deal with almost 250,000 enquiries per year, with the majority being social security benefits and debt related.
  3. If you would like to find out more visit our website www.adviceni.net