If Christmas is party season, then January is definitely one big metaphorical hangover. You feel bloated from all the mince pies, drained from all the dancing at Christmas parties, and broke from all the festive overspending.
The 20th of this month has been labelled as Blue Monday for being the most depressing day of the year. For many, it’s the overbearing financial problems that make this day, and indeed this month such a miserable one.
For some, austerity hits hard and serious debt problems can get out of control. For many, the immediate attraction of a payday loan is hard to resist. Hardip Luddy, a debt and housing advisor for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Rugeley and South Staffordshire, suggests that while they may work for some people – for others it could well just make things worse.
“A lot of people we see have low income and poor credit history, so pay day loans don’t work for them because the high interest payback is phenomenal. More and more people are taking them out which is scary.”
The Citizens Advice Bureau is a free, confidential service open to anyone and Hardip notes that this time of year sees a definite increase in calls regarding this particular issue at this time of year.
“Historically, we always get a lot of calls about debt in the New Year. There used to be a rise in credit card bill worries, but not it’s mostly pay day loans, but people don’t always seem to know what options are available to them.
“I’d advise anyone to go and get advice face-to-face. Come in with all your details; your income, your expenditure and we can work together to come up with a payment plan to help you manage.”
There are a number of Citizens Advice Bureau centres around Stafford where you can speak face-to-face with an advisor about your debt problems. You can find your nearest one here.
If you prefer to discuss your problems anonymously online, StepChange offers a 24-hour service where you can find email advice at www.stepchange.org/Debtremedy.
Additionally there are helplines available for those worried about debt. StepChange Debt Charity is free for anyone to call on 0800 138 1111. National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 is another helpline you can use.
To find out more about debt advice in Nuneaton click here.
To find out more about debt advice in Tamworth click here.
To find out more about debt advice in Stoke-on-Trent click here.
To find out more about debt advice in Stafford click here.
For money advice in Sutton Coldfield click here.
For budgeting tips in Walsall click here.