Wiltshire’s Citizens Advice service is bracing itself for a large influx of debt related calls at the end of January.
It is expecting around 300 people to seek advice for debt concerns, including council tax arrears, rent arrears, credit card debt, and utility bill debt.
The figures are drawn from data analysis of the same time last year, which has revealed that 2,776 people sought help on a single day – January 29. This was 24% above the daily average.
Suzanne Wigmore, Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Advice Wiltshire, said: “There is a surge in demand for our debt advice towards the second half of January.
“We know that dealing with debt can be hugely stressful and that Christmas is often an additional burden for anyone already in financial difficulty.”
To help people kick off 2020 on a stronger financial footing, Citizens Advice Wiltshire is sharing its six top tips to help people get their finances in order for the year ahead.
1. Work out how much you owe.
Make a list of whom you owe money to and add up how much you need to pay each month.
2. Prioritise your debts.
Your rent or mortgage, energy and council tax are called priority debts as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay them. These should always be paid first. Separate these and work out how much you owe.
3. Work out how much you can pay.
Create a budget by adding up your essential living costs, such as food and housing, and taking these away from your income..
4. Paying urgent debts.
You might have to contact priority creditors quickly in urgent situations, like if you are about to be evicted. Tell them you’re seeking debt advice so you can find a way forward.
5. Paying non-urgent debts.
If you have any money left after paying priority debts, consider getting a free debt-management plan. You’ll make one monthly payment to the plan provider, who will handle paying your creditors.
6. If you can’t pay your debts.
If you’ve got little or no money spare to pay your priority debts seek advice from us straight away.