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One in four people are worried about money this January

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If you are concerned about debt, the first step is to take positive action and seek independent advice
One in four people are worried about money this January

More than a quarter of us (27%) started the New Year feeling uneasy about our finances, according to StepChange Debt Charity.

Among people who have financial concerns, two thirds (65%) have felt this way for more than a year, and a fifth (22%) for over five years.

This January, StepChange is urging anyone with debt problems to seek free advice from a debt charity. Three months after advice, four out of five StepChange clients report that their wellbeing has improved on at least one measure such as sleeping better or feeling more able to cope.

Help at hand

Among the general population, 13% of people (equivalent to an estimated 6.5 million people) say that at some point they have sought advice from a debt advice charity. Among those who have been feeling uneasy for more than a year, 24% have sought advice – but 73% have not.

Among all adults who are currently feeling uneasy financially, 37% nevertheless say they do not need advice. Over one in 10 (13%) say they don’t know where to find advice, 13% are embarrassed about getting advice, 8% haven’t had time to get advice, and 13% don’t want their friends or family to find out.

StepChange Debt Charity urges people not to let embarrassment act as a barrier to getting advice. Most people who have sought advice from a debt advice agency or charity in the past say it helped. Three fifths (59%) say it made a positive difference to their financial situation.

StepChange Director of External Affairs Richard Lane says: “Financial unease is common, affecting more than a quarter of us. Don’t suffer in silence – get advice. And if someone you know has debt problems, the best thing you can do is encourage them to contact a reputable, free debt advice charity for help, rather than trying to sort out their problems without expert support.”

A financial mistake doesn’t have to prevent you from getting a mortgage. Read the Your Mortgage Guide to Credit Repair Mortgages, in association with Pepper Money to find out more.

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