Family and friends have been called upon to look out for signals of debt problems in those close to them.
The Money Advice Service feels that debt and money worries are often seen as a taboo subject in the UK. They are therefore calling on friends and family to get people talking about their money worries and seeking advice earlier to prevent their debts becoming unmanageable.
The signs that show someone is experiencing problem debt are often difficult to spot. They may be hidden due to embarrassment, to protect friends and family from the situation or because they ether don?t realise or want to confront the full extent of the problem.
Signs that a person could have financial problems include:
They have been in debt in the past.
They have had a recent life event – an event that has resulted in a loss of income or higher spending.
They are living beyond their means or over spending.
They seem anxious, withdrawn, or depressed.
They seem more secretive, avoiding talking about finances.
They have changed their spending habits, either reducing spending or possibly overspending.
They seem tired or are having trouble sleeping.
Their weight has changed suddenly, either increasing or decreasing.
If you think that somebody close to you may have financial problems, try starting a conversation, maybe using your own personal experience to find out about their financial worries. Ensure that you keep the conversation neutral and non-judgmental.
Talk about free debt advice, and ask them to make a commitment to seek free advice. You could even offer to go with them for support.
Director of Debt Advice at the Money Advice Service, Sheila Wheeler, said: ‘With one in six people in the UK at risk of a debt crisis, there is a high chance that someone close to us may be struggling with money troubles. We are calling on friends and family to watch out for the signs someone might need help and to support them to access free debt advice as soon as possible.
‘For people who are experiencing financial difficulties, we want you to know that help is available and you do not need to suffer alone. Friends and family will want to help and support you. Free debt advice is available now and will help support you in getting your finances back on track before your money worries become a bigger issue. Use the Debt test to find out how you can resolve your debts and find free, impartial help in your area.’