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Dorset Residents 'Struggle With Debt'

Feb 1, 2008
People in Dorset are increasingly struggling with their finances, it has been suggested.

According to Anne Bowen, manager of the Dorchester and district branch of Citizens Advice, a rising number of residents in the area are seeking help with their money management in the wake of heavy spending over the festive period. Ms Bowen pointed out that the advisory service discovered that, despite a clear schedule just before Christmas, all its available appointments over the course of January to offer help with finance were "virtually filled" by the fourth. She stated that there are also a high number of people looking for assistance with their finances throughout February, reports ThisIsDorset.

Over the course of last year, it was revealed that Citizens Advice branches in Dorchester and the surrounding area dealt with people owing a total of 4.5 million pounds through loans, store cards and other financial commitments. However, it was claimed that such problems could be set to deepen as this year progresses. Ms Bowen reported: "It is shaping up to be as bad or even worse than last year."

Following on from such figures, it appears possible that consumers could be developing difficulties not only in meeting demands for payment on utility and grocery bills and council tax - but also on personal loans, mortgages, credit cards and other types of borrowing.

She claimed: "Our debt advice service goes to Bridport Citizens Advice on a Wednesday and since Christmas we have had two or three appointments a day. Weymouth Citizens Advice also goes up on a Tuesday and it has experienced similar numbers. People have built up levels of debt over the year and Christmas can be the final straw."

"People think if they just pay the minimum repayments they are not in debt but, of course, it's just putting off the evil day when you have to pay it back. People also panic when they get into debt and they don't tell anyone else in the family. Most situations are retrievable - for even the largest sums there are options," she claimed.

Ms Bowen went on to claim that people often find themselves developing problems with debt after being made redundant or suffering from ill health or a breakdown. She also stated that money management difficulties are often exacerbated when consumers choose to avoid facing up to their financial commitments and instead bury their heads in the sand. As such, the Citizens Advice manager stated that those concerned about their capacity to manage money should get in touch with a professional advisory service for assistance.

Those looking to get into a stronger position in terms of handling their finances may wish to apply for a UK consolidation loan. In taking out this type of loan, it is possible that borrowers are able to merge numerous monetary commitments into one single low-cost monthly repayment. This could be of particular use to those aiming to get their spending back on track after the festive season. A recent poll by the Department of Work and Pensions showed that over half (55.4 per cent) of Britons state that they are unable to manage their money after the Christmas and new year period, while just 44.6 per cent claim to be organising their finances to avoid getting into hardship over the course of 2008.
About the Author
Tom Dawson writes for Essentially Home Loans. Our visitors can apply online for secured personal loans and debt consolidation loans at the lowest interest rates.
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