Debt advice essential, body states

Debt advice has never been more important as consumers struggle with their personal financial situation.

This is according to the Money Advice Serv…

Debt advice has never been more important as consumers struggle with their personal financial situation.

This is according to the Money Advice Service and the body is worried that too many consumers are being left without enough to make ends meet as they seek to deal with rising  living costs and below inflation pay increases.

The figures make for stark reading and highlight the importance of effective debt management. In 2013, over half of UK adults struggled to keep on top of their bills and credit cards, while only 17 per cent of indebted individuals are currently seeking some form of help.

If Britons do not take a proactive approach to bringing their situation under control, they could find themselves much worse off in the long run, as they will incur hefty interest rates for the duration of the repayment period. 

Caroline Rookes, chief executive officer of the Money Advice Service, stated the "financial capability" of individuals needs to be improved. 

"In the future, we want to see: fewer people becoming over-indebted; more people keeping track of their finances and budgeting to achieve life goals; more people planning ahead for their retirement; and more people being financially resilient by protecting themselves and their assets," she added.

The organisation made it clear that one of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed is the fact a lot of individuals are reticent to come forward and seek guidance when they are in trouble, either through shame or not appreciating the gravity of the situation.

Collaboration is key in the eyes of the the service, as joined up thinking from the financial services industry, government and voluntary sector will help people to better manage their money.

In the 2014-15 financial year, the body is hoping to help around six million consumers stay in the black.

By Joe White

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