The carols have been chorused, the chocolates consumed and the decorations are down.

Many of us now enter a New Year that is financially more uncertain than in previous years, and find ourselves, or those close to us, in need of help to navigate through increasingly difficult challenges in 2023.

So why is getting help so vital for people who have found themselves in unmanageable debt?

 

1. It improves mental health

Unmanageable debt is widely recognised to increase stress levels, disrupting sleep and significantly impacting a person’s general wellbeing.

It can make people feel isolated and alone, living with the constant anxiety that debt creates.

A Christians Against Poverty (CAP) report in 2022 revealed an increase of almost 30 per cent in people considering or attempting to take their own lives due to mounting debts.

Addressing your debt by talking to others is often the first step towards finding a solution and taking care of your mental health.

 

2. There will be more options available to you

Getting help sooner rather than later means you have more options in how to address your debt.

Many people watch their debts build up for months or even years, whilst suffering in silence.

CAP reported that a quarter of their clients took more than three years to seek help before contacting them.

Getting support and expert advice from a trusted debt help service early on means you’re more likely to have the opportunity to choose the solution that’s best suited to your needs.

It’s never too late to get support, but the longer you leave intervention, the less options will be available to you.

 

3. It improves relationships

Research from the Money and Pensions Service shows that talking about money worries makes people feel less stressed and more in control, empowering them to make less risky financial decisions, and even improves their relationships.

Talking about money isn’t always a straightforward conversation, but is often wrapped up with feelings of fear, guilt and shame.

Talking with those close to you might make you feel vulnerable, but it will almost certainly break feelings of isolation and shame, and help you develop stronger relationships through accepting support.

Plus, the more you talk about debt and money, the more you open the door for others to do the same.

 

Seek help with money worries, or signpost people to where they can get help

An increasing number of people are struggling with money, credit and debts right now.

Lots of debt help charities and organisations can help you build a budget as part of getting debt-free.

Don’t let 2023 be filled with worry – get help today by contacting an organisation like Christians Against Poverty (CAP) for free, expert budgeting guidance and debt help.

Call CAP on 0800 328 0006 (free of charge) or visit capuk.org to find out more.

 

Jonathan Hayward is the manager of the West NI Debt Centre operated by the Enniskillen Presbyterian Church in partnership with Christians Against Poverty (CAP), which is a UK charity with more than 580 services across the country delivering free debt counselling, and money management courses. Both these services are freely available to everyone in Fermanagh. Visit capuk.org to find out more.