To clear your arrears of £600…press 2

By the time you finish reading this blog, someone will be declared bankrupt.

No, you haven’t misread that. Every four minutes one person in the UK will be declared insolvent or bankrupt. And if the predictions of interest rate rises are correct, things could get a lot worse. (This won’t necessarily happen: economists often can’t predict things better than anyone else).

All this is currently happening at the same time as Barclays bank’s announcement of a £5 billion profit and whilst lavish bonuses are being handed out to traders. Just who or what is to blame for getting us here? It’s easy to blame the government (and with the paltry, unenforced regulations to stop the economy getting out of hand, you would have a point) and easier to blame the bankers (and with their manic risk-taking with the money of others, you’d have more than a point). But there is also an element of personal responsibility, a notion that gets drowned out amidst the protests.

Bold Creative worked with the Citizens Advice Bureau to explore ways of helping people manage their debt and we created this video with Scooby, a young man whose debt problems with his debit card spiralled from just £1 to an astonishing £600. Naturally, this weighed very heavily on Scooby’s mind, but he spoke to his local Citizens Advice Bureau who helped him manage his debt until he finally paid it off, coming out of it a free man. Scooby ends the video with some valuable, simple advice: tackle your debt while it’s still small.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can help with this, but you have to do this sooner rather than later or be haunted by your credit rating, which could make borrowing in the future much harder. As this image (supplied by moneydebtandcredit.com) shows, the majority of debt in the UK is accrued through credit cards (46%), topping personal loans by 16%.

All of this might sound like the advice your grandmother gave you: Don’t spend or borrow beyond your means. Well, your nan clearly knew a thing or two, and here’s another one she would have said: Every penny counts (even the ones that just lie in your bank).

BA

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