Debt advice peaks after ‘Blue Monday’
Most significantly the number of payday loan debts reported has increased by nearly 300% since the corresponding week in 2011 while the number of catalogue debts reported has grown by 62.5%.
Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director of StepChange Debt Charity, said: “The six major contributory factors to problem debt are separation or divorce, reduced income, unemployment and redundancy, a lack of budgeting and using credit to cover living expenses and injury or illness.”
The charity reported it gave 5,863 people debt advice in the seven days following Blue Monday, 21 January 2013, up 21.5% from 2011.
This exceeded the 5,470 advice sessions provided in 2012 and continued the upward trend from 4,829 in 2011.
The number of 18-24 years olds receiving debt advice during the week starting on Blue Monday rose to 663 in 2013, from 579 in 2012 and 226 in 2011.
Conversely fewer over-60s contacted the charity, with 384 in 2012 and 375 in 2013.
Women are still more likely than males to receive debt advice from the charity.
Supported by a TV advertising campaign that reaches out to people suffering the stress that problem debt brings the charity predicts it will help 420,000 UK citizens by the end of the year through its debt helpline and online services.
StepChange Debt Charity says that for many people 2013 has started with the burden of 2012’s debt.
Corinaldi, external affairs director of StepChange Debt Charity, said: “We knew that there was a huge amount of untapped demand for debt advice.
“That is why we undertook the rebrand and have launched the advertising campaign.”
And he added: “The rise in numbers of people seeking our help proves that we were right to reach out. Moving on from the rebrand we will continue to raise our profile and ensure that anyone who is struggling with debt is aware that help is available which will cost them nothing.”