There is a general unwillingness to get debt advice it seems, even though those that do generally find such advice positive. In fact over 40% of those who have taken advice wish they had done so sooner.
According to R3’s (Association of Business Recovery Professionals – Rescue, Recovery, Renewal) latest Personal Debt Snapshot, nearly 40% of GB adults have debt concerns and yet only 3% intend to get advice in the next 6 months.
There were a record number of personal insolvencies in 2011 and more people think their financial situation will worsen rather improve.
As R3 President Frances Coulson said: “This snapshot uncovers the huge unwillingness to take debt advice – while at the other end of the balance sheet, if you had a sum of money to invest, you wouldn’t think twice about taking advice first – and what is more, in that event, the advice would be regulated and with an obligation to give “best advice”.
Some who might benefit from debt help feel it’s not clear where they need to go for good, impartial help.
Over 2 million GB adults are currently in a Debt Management Plan, much higher than estimates from previous years.
As Frances Coulson further comments: “We simply don’t know how many individuals are in a Debt Management Plan – no-one is counting them. To have some idea of the levels of debt in this country we should know.
“My concern is that people are clearly unwilling to take debt advice anyway, so are far more likely to be pushed into a ‘product’ by those with a vested interest.
“Over a third of those who did take debt advice were not aware of the range of options they had beforehand. I would recommend taking a deep breath before choosing a debt solution and make sure you know what all the options are.”
MoneyHighStreet comments: “Ignoring debt problems really can be a recipe for disaster. The problems are unlikely to go away by themselves. Certainly taking a ‘head in the sand’ approach is not going to help.
“Equally going overdrawn or taking out a short term loan, maybe a payday loan, to deal with a cashflow problem is very different from having to borrow money that you cannot realistically pay back within an agreed period.
“If your need to borrow money is as a result of deeper financial difficulty you’re facing, that your outgoings are consistently exceeding your income, it may be time to take more structured action to tackle your debt problems, seeking professional debt advice if need be.
“You can contact organisations such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the National Debtline or the Consumer Credit Counselling Service to get some free, independent advice from the experts.”