Debt Action NI Impact Report 2012-2013

Debt Action NI helps 6,300 People in Northern Ireland deal With over £103.5 Million Debt.

Debt Action NI, the money and debt service of leading Northern Ireland charity, Advice NI, launched its first year Impact Report today. The report highlights how it has helped 6,300 people in Northern Ireland deal with over £103.5 million debt during its first year in operation. The service is funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Mortgage debt of £26 million accounted for most of this debt, followed by mortgage shortfall debt of over £17 million and credit card debt of nearly £17 million.

Debt Action NI is a regional free, confidential and impartial service open to everyone. It is aimed at helping those most financially vulnerable in Northern Ireland. The purpose of the project is to empower people to become more financially capable by taking control of their own finances and to help those who are struggling with finances due to maybe illness or redundancy. Our service is integrated with a number of access options including internet, helpline and face to face and is supported by Payplan.

Bob Stronge, Chief Executive of Advice NI, says “We are delighted to launch the Debt Action NI Impact Report today. The report illustrates the vital role we play in helping people who are facing financial difficulties. Advice NI has recognised the diverse needs of the people of Northern Ireland and has tried to ensure people have a number of ways to access the service.”

“The figures reveal the on-going impact of the recession felt by the people of Northern Ireland. Families are being hit hard because of the higher cost of living and lower wages. Many are struggling to make ends meet. We are seeing an increased number of people depending on credit cards and payday loans to pay for essentials. People are not spending money on luxuries.”

“From the feedback we have received nearly 100% of those who have used our service would recommend it to their family and friends. We want to let people know to seek advice as early as possible and we are here to help. All are advisers are professionally trained and will offer appropriate options to deal with debt.”

Stephen*, a Debt Action NI service user, says “I had no confidence in my situation to sort it out myself. The adviser was an absolute God send. Other than losing our son with meningitis our money situation was the next worse thing - it nearly destroyed us. Thank you so much.”

*name was changed.

Further Information: Advice NI is the umbrella body for the independent advice network in Northern Ireland and has approximately 70 members across NI providing advice on a range of issues including benefits, debt and housing. Advice NI and its members helped 150,000 people deal with over 272,000 enquiries per year.

To download the report click here