21 July 2020

Residents urged not to be caught in ‘perfect storm’ of debt

We’re urging any residents in financial difficulties to seek help sooner rather than later.

We’re concerned that people who have lost their jobs or been furloughed could be caught in a ‘perfect storm’ of spiralling debt, including rent and council tax arrears, plus bank, credit card or even loan shark loans.

The earlier residents ask for help, the more likely it is that plans can be put in place to help sort out any debt issues

Don't ignore warning letters

Once people feel overwhelmed by demand letters and phone calls from debtors, they often try to ignore them in the hope it’ll all ‘go away’.

Our council tax and housing teams have already seen a rise in the number of people falling into arrears, and we’re in touch with these residents to offer support and ensure they’re claiming the benefits they’re due.

However, we believe there are many more residents who could be facing other financial debts, but are too worried to admit it, or seek help. 

Get help as early as possible

Councillor Dan Yates, deputy chair of the council's Policy & Resources Committee, said: “We’d urge anyone struggling with debt to talk to someone about it as early as possible. 

“It can be extremely difficult to face up to being in debt, and we understand how frightening and depressing it can be. 

“However, it’s important to act as soon as debts become an issue. The earlier you make contact, the easier it will be to agree a way to resolve the debt.

“If creditors aren’t contacted, they think the person is ignoring them, and may impose penalties, meaning the debt can rise. 

“There are many organisations, including the council, who can give advice and support. They can help find a sensible way forward between the person and those they owe money to.

“It’s never too late to seek help to get debt under control, so please do get advice if you’re starting to struggle.”

Debt advice

You can find more information about organisations who can help on our debt advice page.

You can also find advice on: