There are a variety of reasons you can find yourself struggling with debt, many of which can be beyond your control. According to the debt charity Stepchange, the top 3 reasons for calls to their helpline are:

  1. Reduced income
  2. Unemployment or redundancy
  3. Injury or illness

Most debt problems arise from personal loans or credit cards, however there is also a reported rise in people struggling with short term high-cost debts such as payday loans.

At Scotwest, we help members who are struggling with their Scotwest loans. If you are experiencing debt problems, make sure that you get help straight away by speaking to your lender in the first instance before it spirals out of control.

The organisations below are also sources of free help and advice when it comes to debt problems.*

www.stepchange.org
A free confidential service to help achieve realistic solutions to debt problems.

www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Citizens Advice Bureau – providing free, confidential and impartial advice on debt.

www.adviceuk.org.uk
The largest UK network of advice-providing organisations.

www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
Helpline that provides free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems.

What Are You Entitled To?

There are also a number of websites you can check to make sure you are claiming all of the benefits and tax credits you are entitled to:

www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
These money advice services offer free and impartial money advice.

www.scotlandsfinancialhealthservice.gov.uk
A one stop shop for those who have money problems or are seeking general help with their financial worries

www.hmrc.gov.uk
HM Revenue and Customs – information on tax credits and most child-related benefits.

www.gov.uk/browse/working
Supporting people of working age during the process of welfare into work.

www.gov.uk/plan-retirement-income
Providing information for pensioners or people planning their retirement.

www.opfs.org.uk
Information and advice for lone parents in Scotland.

www.ageuk.org.uk
Provides support for older people.

www.litrg.org.uk
Tax help for those on low incomes.

Inverclyde Money Advice Service
If you live or work in the Inverclyde area the Money Advice Service offers help and advice for those struggling with debt either over the phone on 01475 715 299 or via online chat on their website.

Your local authority website can also be a source of advice specific to your area.

*Please note these are links to external sites. Scotwest is not responsible for the content or views expressed on them