In response to the unfolding crisis around personal finances Debt Free London is expanding its free debt advice service to operate 24 hours a day throughout January.
A growing number of Londoners face problem debt and financial insecurity due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Until the end of the month, Londoners will be able to contact Debt Free London night or day for support and advice with all types of money worries - from rent and council tax arrears, to credit card and catalogue debt.
The access our free advice:
- Call on 0800 808 5700
- Start a video advice session online at www.debtfree.london/video
- WhatsApp message on 0800 808 5700
- Start a live web chat online at www.debtfree.london
January is typically the busiest time for debt advice providers. There is growing concern that as incomes fall due to the pandemic and living costs continue to rise a greater number of people than usual will require advice and support. Debt Free London has recently recruited 70 new advisers to provide debt advice to support with the increased demand.
The expansion of the helpline supports national research that highlights one in three people (34%) have had to use some form of debt to get by since March 2020. Additionally, more than one in ten people (12%) have resorted to missing a bill or debt repayment since March. Before the pandemic only 3% of people were falling behind with credit payments.
Alongside the telephone service, Londoners can access trusted debt advice by email, WhatsApp, live web chat, video chat and video kiosks for those without access to digital technology. More than 92% of Debt Free London clients are looking for work or registered unemployed, and 24% are families in rent arrears.
Those who are in debt or in personal difficulty are more likely to be at risk of poor mental health and experience suicidal ideation than people who have no debt. The expansion of the debt service is being supported by Thrive LDN, the citywide movement to support the wellbeing of all Londoners.