New help for Scots struggling with debtNational Debtline scheme helps Scottish consumers

19 November 2008

Managing finances

Scottish consumers struggling with debt are set to benefit this winter from a new campaign promoting the National Debtline.

The scheme, funded with nearly £400,000 by the Scottish Government, will be led by the Money Advice Trust. The advice is free and independent and will help consumers identify positive steps they can take to 'self diagnose' their financial situation and improve it. 

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that an awareness campaign will start this week, with television and online advertisements, as well as ads on cash machines across Scotland. 

Ms Sturgeon encouraged struggling consumers to seek help sooner rather than later, and commented, 'As the recession bites, families across Scotland are feeling the pressure financially, with increases in food prices, rising bills and mortgage and lending uncertainty all adding to the headache. National Debtline will provide the best possible support for people with debt problems. The advice is free, confidential and independent.'

She continued, 'The main message we want to get across is for people to take control of their debt, before it controls them. The first step to beating debt is to face up to it and recognise you need to do something about it sooner rather than later. I would urge anyone experiencing financial problems to call National Debtline.'

Joanna Elson from The Money Advice Trust added, 'This campaign is all about empowering people to face up to their debt before they find themselves faced with an uncertain financial future. It's important not to sit worrying - make the call today and take control of your debt. We are delighted that the Scottish Government have taken this initiative and is working hard to promote and support the work of the free debt advice sector.'

Other advice organisations, including Citizens Advice Scotland, Shelter Scotland and Money Advice Scotland, are backing the campaign.

Which? says: This campaign is a welcome boost to the free debt advice services already offered by organisations such as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, Citizens Advice and National Debtline. We encourage any consumers struggling with credit cards, loans, a mortgage or other debt to get advice as early as possible. And don't use a commercial debt management company - there's no point in paying for advice which is available for free, and better, elsewhere.

For more detail, see our guide to dealing with debt

The National Debtline can be contacted on 0808 808 4000.