Debt News

Almost 80% Enter 2021 in Debt

By | Financial Help, News

Almost 80% Enter 2021 in Debt

According to a recent report, just 22% of the UK did not have any debt as we entered 2021.

Discounting mortgages, and concentrating on personal debt, the report has mixed news; although this is a lot of people in debt, it also suggests that the level of debt is reduced when compared to previous years. The report also suggests that the most common reason for people getting into debt is just normal living expenses.
The report shows what we have all believed and seen with our own eyes: More people are struggling just to get by.

The report goes on to show that the debt of the average adult was £9,246 – with men most likely to be in greater debt (£11,581) than women (£7,016).


Almost a third of the people said that the COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for their struggling to pay their everyday living expenses. With no end in sight as we enter 2021, this is extremely worrying, and action needs to be taken NOW!

Get Debt Help TODAY!

If you are struggling to meet your household living costs, and are worried that your debt level is rising, please don’t struggle alone. We can help!

You can talk to a professional adviser today, for no cost, and together can investigate your options – if we can’t help you, we will point you in direction of someone who can.

Simply fill in this form, and we will get back to you ASAP. Things aren’t going to get better by simply ignoring them.


Salary Advance Schemes

By | Financial Help, News

Salary Advance Schemes

The financial impact of lockdown has been hard on millions of us, and this has given rise to something known as Employer Salary Advance Schemes (ESAS). Through these schemes, cash-strapped workers can access up to 50% of their wages before their usual payday. However, as we know from payday loans, this can push their users into an ever-tightening spiral of debt and worry.

How Do ESAS Work?

Working alongside your payroll company or employers, ESAS only allow you take money that you have accrued up until that point (keeping your company safe). They then retake their money and charges from you on payday. All good so far.

Often called “wellness packages”, or something similar, ESAS were created to offer a ‘safer alternative to payday loans’. If used correctly, ESAS look gerat. Unlike payday loans, which can still APRs of upto 1,400%, ESAS charge a flat fee, or percentage, per withdrawal – with some offering your first withdrawal for free.

Whilst this seems all well and good, here at Debt Assist, we know that this can be the first step into larger debts. Taking out money mid-month often leads to shortfalls in the next month, needing you to take out another loan, and another, and another… Each with their own fees to be repaid, giving you less money each month. Enter the spiral of debt!

The Danger of ESAS

The danger of ESAS is that they are (currently) unregulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which means that their fees can actually be higher than the price cap on payday loans!

ESAS are used by some large companies as part of their employee packages and they are definitely being used. Latest reports show that on average people are taking out loans three times per month! And whilst most of these will have simply been used to smooth cash flow throughout the month, Debt Assist worries about those slowly trapping themselves into the debt spiral, with their final monthly salary reducing each month as they pay off previous loans.

Are You In The Spiral of Debt?

Complete the simple form below and one of our friendly advisers will give you a call to discuss how we can help. There is no fee for our advice, and you are under absolutely no obligation to listen to us. What have you go to lose?! Get help today and stop worrying about tomorrow.


Furloughed Workers Struggle With Repayments

By | Financial Help, News

Furloughed Workers Struggle With Repayments

Consumer group Which? Has found that those people who have been on furlough during the Covid-19 crisis, are more than three times as likely to have defaulted on a payment than those who were not.

In not-so-surprising news, a recent survey by Which? Has found that those workers who have been on the furlough system (a Treasury-backed scheme where people are paid 80% of their salary, and has currently cost the taxpayer £31bn), are struggling to meet their regular financial repayments much more than those who are still getting paid 100% of their salary.

It is thought that around four million workers are still on the furlough scheme, with all or most of their wages being paid through the scheme, with many having reported missed a loan or credit card payment in the past four weeks.

It was also revealed that the number of those defaulting on housing payment (mortgage or renting) has doubled, with many admitting that they have defaulted on more than one payment in the last month. This means that as many as 500,000 missed payments in the last month alone!

Only The Beginning

Unfortunately, this debt crisis is only going to get worse. As the furlough scheme comes to an end in October, there is a suggestion that many businesses will have to make redundancies and/or close for good, as they come to the realisation that once they must fully pay their staff, the money simply isn’t there.

Richard Piggin, the head of campaigns at Which?, said: “Despite extensive action being taken by the government and the banking industry, it’s very worrying that people currently on the furlough scheme have reported experiencing much higher levels of financial difficulty than those who are working as normal.

“With just a couple of months until the scheme comes to an end, there is real concern that this gap could widen even further. The Financial Conduct Authority will also have to ensure consumers are provided with the help they need if they are in financial difficulty.”

Struggling To Meet Repayments?

If you have found yourself struggling to meet repayments recently, or if this crisis has simply pushed you even further into debt, please don’t hesitate in contacting our award-winning team of advisers. There is no cost for our advice and you under absolutely no-obligation to listen to our advice.

Use the contact form below and get help before it gets worse.


Payment Breaks Coming to an End

By | Financial Help, News

Payment Breaks Coming to an End

There is a timebomb slowly counting down to a debt explosion. During the coronavirus pandemic, high street banks have allowed 1.5m ‘payment holidays’ for those struggling to repay credit cards and personal loans. These payment holidays allow people to not repay their debts for three months. However, interest rates are (generally) still accrued on the debts, and with many people losing their jobs or suffering a wage decrease, at the end of the three months, many people are going to return to a serious debt problem with no way of repaying.

Household debt on credit cards and loans and car finance had been rising before the coronavirus struck. Damon Gibbons, director of the Centre for Responsible Credit, said some lenders were being more flexible than others with consumers. “There’s going to be a lender lottery as a result of all this,” he said.

“We were in the midst of a growth of household debt problems before the pandemic, and this is going to tip huge numbers of people over the edge, whether it’s living on furlough with 80% of wages, or looking forward to the jobs market shattering. People are going to be in real difficulty.”

Terrifying Debt Letters

Due to an out-of-date law, millions of those struggling to meet repayments are about to receive ‘threatening’ letters demanding repayment from their lenders. Although these letters cause massive levels of distress and can ruin lives, they are a legal requirement, and the lenders have little option about sending them. Even though lenders have granted the payment holidays, they will be forced to send these letters demanding repayment, causing confusion and distress.

The letters even give out-of-date advice, causing further confusion. Currently the legally mandated warning says, in bold and in capitals: “IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHAT TO DO, YOU SHOULD GET HELP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. FOR EXAMPLE YOU SHOULD CONTACT A SOLICITOR, YOUR LOCAL TRADING STANDARDS DEPARTMENT OR YOUR NEAREST CITIZENS’ ADVICE BUREAU.

However, the correct advice for many people struggling with debt is not to go to a solicitor but to contact one of the many free debt advisers, including Debt Assist UK, that can help with putting together a repayment plan.

Research has indicated that in England, as many as 100,000 people in problem debt considered taking their own lives each year, and that the debt letters were a key contributing factor.

If you receive one of these threatening letters, or you are worried about your debts at all, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly advisers. Alternatively, please visit this page for a list of mental health charities that can help.

Don’t struggle alone.


Self Employed and COVID-19

By | Financial Help, News

Self Employed and COVID-19

The Chancellor announced a new Self-employment Income Support Scheme to support self-employed people who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. This will pay you an average of your last three years’ PROFIT – up to £2,500 a month.

If you are eligible for this you don’t need to do anything, HMRC will contact you by June. Unfortunately, we are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. If someone gets in touch claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not respond.

Those Who Can Apply

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

Banks and COVID-19

Banks and COVID-19

By | Financial Help, News

Banks and COVID-19

Are you struggling with making payments to your bank at this difficult time? Whether it’s overdrafts or loans, it can be difficult to repay them at the minute. There are people losing their jobs, working on reduced hours, statutory sick pay, plus it can actually be more expensive staying at home!

If you are struggling to meet your repayments, your first step should be to contact your bank. I know this can be a scary prospect, but they’re only human (in the main) and will try to help if they can.

Many banks have put in place measures, to help customers during the COVID-19 outbreak – follow the links for more information about your bank:

If your bank isn’t listed, they still may be able to help. If they can’t help, please don’t hesitate in contacting our friendly advisers. We’re still working to help people manage with their debts


UK Government to Pay 80% of Wages

By | News

UK Government to Pay 80% of Wages

It has been announced that the UK government has pledged to pay 80% of the wages of millions of workers (up to £2,500) to keep them in employment as the Covid-19 crisis worsens.

The deal is that as long as companies keep their employees, then the government will pay 80% of their wages during this crisis (up to £2,500 per month), this is to help ensure that there isn’t a total economic crash as companies are forced to close. It also allows people to continue (almost) as normal, including paying their bills and not falling into further debt.

It has been announced that there will be no limit on this, and will continue for as long as needed, and payments will be backdated to the start of March. As further help to businesses, the government is also deferring the next quarter’s VAT payments to help companies stay afloat, as well as to inject around a further £30bn into the UK economy.

Economists are forecasting a doubling of the current unemployment rate, but the UK government is doing its best to prevent this.

If you ARE struggling to meet your repayments, we are still open and still helping people. Please talk to us today, and help us relieve at least one worry in this difficult time.

Stay safe – The team at Debt Assist UK.


Debt and Coronavirus

By | Financial Help, News

Debt and Coronavirus

You may think that this is another cynical cash-in on the latest human tragedy, Covid-19, better known as coronavirus. However, there is a very real link between the virus and people struggling with debt.

As the virus spreads and more people take up voluntary seclusion, many people will be forced to struggle with the basic statutory sick pay (SSP) of just £94 per week. This will barely pay the rent for the majority of people, never mind essential such as food and household bills. In turn this means that thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people will struggle to meet their financial repayments on credit cards or loans. Those that previously managed to repay their bills will begin to struggle, and those that previously struggled will be in serious trouble.

School Closures

Even if you are showing no symptoms and no need to self isolate, should the UK follow the lead of many other countries worldwide and cancel school, this will force people to stay at home and look after their children. Again, this will force many into accepting no pay or the SSP, in order to stay home and look after their children.

How We Can Help

Our trained advisers will go through your debts and any income you may have, and help find you the perfect solution to your debt problems – even if this is a (hopefully) temporary situation.

There is absolutely no cost in talking to us and getting our advice, and you are under no obligation to accept any of the advice given (Although we think you will). So if you are worried at all, please talk to us today. You can call us on 0800 029 3992 or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


Residents Of These Cities Have The Most Personal Debt

By | News

Residents Of These Cities Have The Most Personal Debt

New research has revealed the cities in the UK in which their residents have the greatest amount of personal debt.

The report found that almost half of UK adults have some kind of financial debt. The main sources of these were credit cards (78%) and overdraft payments (44%). However, among people aged 25-35 the biggest source were payday loans and ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes – it was also shockingly revealed that this age group would only consider themselves in debt once they owed more than £5,000!

Where Are People In The Most Debt?

Residents of Edinburgh are the most indebted (according to the report), with 55% of all residents saying that they were in some kind of debt – but as we’ve seen, a large percentage of people wouldn’t consider themselves to be in debt until it was too late.

Edinburgh | Derby | Cardiff | London | Norwich | Belfast | Leeds | Manchester | Bristol | Southampton | Aberdeen | Sheffield | Portsmouth | Sunderland | Nottingham | Oxford | Birmingham

If nothing else, this just shows that no matter where are in the UK, if you are worrying about your debts, then there will be many other people in the same boat as you.

Are You Struggling With Debt?

As you can see, you’re not alone. If you would some no-obligation debt help and advice talk to our award-winning advisers today! Simply complete the form below and we’ll give you a call back as soon as we can.


Get Paid To Change Bank Account

By | News

Three Banks That Will Pay You To Switch

As with everything, it’s always worth looking around for the best option, and it’s no different when it comes to bank accounts. There are currently three banks that will pay you £175 for switching to their accounts.


HSBC’s Advance account will pay you £175 to switch. However, the minimum pay-in to get the bonus is £1,750 per month, along with a requirement of at least two direct debits or standing orders.

You can get the lower amount of £75 for opening an ordinary HSBC bank account, and it doesn’t have a minimum pay-in.


The NatWest Reward account pays out £175 to customers who open an account and request to switch over their old bank account by 2 April 2020. To get the reward, however, you’ll have to pay in £1,500 or more and log into the NatWest mobile banking app by 10 May 2020.

This account also gives you cashback of £3 for every month that you use the mobile app and pay out two direct debits of at least £2. The account has a monthly fee of £2, however.

For a fee-free account, you can get your £175 with NatWest’s NatWest Select or RBS Select account. These accounts don’t come with cashback, however.

First Direct

Switching to a First Direct bank account will earn you a bonus of £100, with much lower pay-in requirements than HSBC and NatWest. To qualify for the bonus, you’ll have to pay in £1,000 within three months of opening the account.

How To Switch Your Bank Account

To easily switch your bank, you can use the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), which will close your account and move all your money, direct debits and standing orders across to a new account.

This service will also move any payments supposed to go into your old account into your new one – so you don’t need to worry about your salary ending up in the wrong place.

Click here for more information.