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Households on Arran should use the month of January to set a budget for 2020 and seek free advice if they are worried about their debts according to National Debtline run by the Money Advice Trust.
The charity says its free advice services has helped tens of thousands of people in Scotland during 2019 and that many more could benefit from seeking free debt advice this year.
During 2019, National Debtline and its sister service Business Debtline helped more than 7,600 people in Scotland by phone and webchat, with more than 87,000 online advice visits during the year. Eight in 10 callers in Scotland felt more in control of their finances after seeking advice from National Debtline.
With the first credit card bills for Christmas spending set to land from the middle of January, Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust said: ‘New Year can be a difficult time for many people as the effects of additional spending in the run up to Christmas take their toll. It can often feel like you don’t have control of your finances at this time of year.
‘However, it doesn’t have to be this way – taking the first steps to dealing with your situation can make a huge difference to both your finances and your wellbeing.
‘For most people setting a budget by looking at how much you have coming in and going out is the single most important step and can make a huge difference for the rest of your 2020. You don’t need to do this alone – charity run services like National Debtline can help with free, independent advice.’
National Debtline offers free advice at www.nationaldebtline.org/scotland, via webchat or by phone on 0808 808 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, Saturday, 9.30am to 1pm).