Debt and Danger - Ballymena Guardian

Two hundred people from the Borough, owing £2.5 million, have sought help from Debt Action Northern Ireland within the past year, the Guardian can reveal.

Credit card debt tops the local list at £689,000, with personal loans next at £309,000 and then Rent Arrears at £225,000.
Bank loans follow with £201,000 and then Mortgages at £191,000.
Debt Action NI Money and Debt Adviser, Ellen McKernan, confirmed that there is a problem - but made it clear to those in trouble - "Please contact us for help".
“Yes there are money problems," Ms. McKernan, who is based at 5a Greenvale Street in the town, told the Guardian.
“But the more we know about your problems the more we can do to help. There is a stigma about talking about debt, but it is across the board. I want to make it clear that Debt Action NI is here to help. We offer free advice."
Ms. McKernan said people are trying to live on ever tighter budgets.
“The cost of everything has gone up, but wages are not always keeping pace with inflation. Jobs have been lost and the loss of regular income can cause all sorts of problems," said Ms. McKernan.
And she said that along with other trained professionals it is their job to help people get through.
“The most important thing is to do something about your debt problem. Do not bury your head. The longer you delay seeking help the more difficult things can become," said Ms. McKernan, whose office telephone number is 2564 4960.
Ms. McKernan was full of praise for the 'food bank' operating at Green Pastures Church and the work of St. Vincent De Paul - both of whom help out when needed. Ballymena Debt Action NI office is located at 5A Greenvale Street, Ballymena. You can also contact the service via a Freephone Helpine 0800 917 4607, text 'Action' to 81025 or find all venues on the website www.debtaction-ni.net