Help at hand for New Year debt problems

Citizens Advice Scotland offers confidential, impartial advice on debt problems

Jo Swinson has highlighted the help available from Citizens Advice Bureaux for East Dunbartonshire residents struggling with debt problems in 2007.

In the four months from July to October this year, East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau handled 147 debt cases, with combined client debts of £1.5m. A recent Clydesdale Bank survey has found that 58% of Scots go Christmas shopping without knowing how much they have in their bank accounts.

Jo said:

“With food, drink and gifts to buy, the Christmas season puts real financial pressure on many people. Money problems can often start in January, when credit card bills arrive alongside hefty winter fuel bills.

“Though large debts can seem insurmountable, free, confidential and independent advice is available from the Citizens Advice Bureau. By following a straightforward financial plan to manage debts, a Merry Christmas needn’t be followed by a New Year in the red.”

Catherine Bradley, East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau Manager, added:

“We will be open from Wednesday, 3rd Jan for people to come in for advice or information on managing debt. I would warn people who are struggling financially against delaying a visit to the CAB – the sooner people come to us the sooner we can start looking at how to tackle their debt.”

The most recent figures compiled for cases handled by East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau cover July to October 2006 (inclusive). Over that period, 147 new debt cases were handled, dealing with a total of £1.5m

A survey by the Clydesdale Bank survey has found that 2.4 million Scots (58% of the adult population) go Christmas shopping without knowing how much they have in their bank accounts, while one in 10 will wait until their January statement arrives to discover how much they’ve spent. One in five admit they over-spent in the past simply because they have not checked their finances properly. 30% reveal that not checking their balance keeps them awake at night.

Citizens Advice East Dunbartonshire Headquarters are located at: 11 Alexandra Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1HB (0141) 775 3220. Outreach offices are located at 5 Springfield House, Emerson Road, Bishopbriggs G64 1QE and in East Dunbartonshire Council Offices at Stewart St, Milngavie.

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