A young couple stressed about debt in their livingroom.

Stressed about debt?

Are you having to use your credit card more and more in order to pay essential bills? If so, you are not alone. Thousands of Scottish people, and those in and around East Dunbartonshire, are using their credit cards to pay for everyday bills such as food shopping, as well as their energy and housing bills. It is thought that the increase in the cost of living is behind this, and is resulting in increased mental health issues such as anxiety in the population. This is why the Citizens Advice network has launched a new service to help those with financial worries. It’s called ‘Stressed about Debt’. 

Struggling to pay bills

A recent survey has shown that throughout Scotland, hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to pay their bills. Many have needed to resort to credit cards to make ends meet. For example:

  • 736,498 (16%) people have used commercial credit to pay for food this year
  • 276,186 (6%) people have used commercial credit to pay energy bills this year
  • 138,093 (3%) people have used commercial credit to cover council tax payments this year

With so many people struggling to pay for essential goods and services, further assistance has been made available at East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau. The ‘Stressed about Debt’ campaign encourages people who are worried about their bills to seek advice from us.

An elderley couple stressed about debt on a sofa.

We have plenty of self-help tools available which can help local residents to find the best route forward. These include online guidance and one-to-one advice from experts here at the Citizens Advice in East Dunbartonshire. This service is designed to help improve people’s financial situation. This includes writing off debt. Since last spring, over £11 million worth of debt has been written off with help from the national Citizens Advice network. This works out to around £12,600 per client. 

CAS Financial Health spokesperson Sarah-Jayne Dunn said, “Our network gets real results for people – last year people who saw a gain having sought advice were more than £3,700 better off. Our advice is impartial, confidential and crucially free – we don’t charge for our advice, and we never will.”

Money map tool

One of the key tools available for individuals to help manage their finances is the money map tool. This is a quick and easy way to look into ways to increase income, reduce bills and ease the costs of daily living. 

It does this by going through various areas of your financial life, for example benefits, council tax reductions and any grants you may receive. This helps the tool work out where you may be entitled to money, but are not claiming it. 

It’s certainly worth a look, and you can start using the money map tool today by clicking here. 

Speak to us for help

If you are in financial difficulties, or are heading into stressful times, then please do get in touch with us. East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau is here to help all residents, and we may be able to direct you to sources of funding you were not aware of. Book an appointment today by clicking below. 

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