The subject of debt, and being in control of our money, is a something which many people prefer to avoid discussing. For those experiencing financial difficulties, it can be a worrying time, with many choosing to keep it to themselves, not knowing where to turn.
This is why we have partnered with StepChange, the UK’s leading debt charity dedicated to helping those with money struggles. StepChange encourages people to speak openly about their financial issues and offers support to enable them to manage their debts.
Whether you need help with budgeting, debt advice or help with recovery after a financial shock, StepChange can support you. This service is completely free and we encourage you to get help if you need it. You can find resources and tips on StepChange’s website.
As part of our collaboration, we have put together five first steps you can take to manage your debt, which we hope you will find a helpful starting point to taking more control of your money.
At Hinckley & Rugby, we have seen first-hand the impact the pandemic has had on people’s finances and have offered support to many customers who have found themselves in financial hardship. Here are a couple of examples showing how we’ve helped customers who were struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments:
One customer, Miss Y, was furloughed from her job at the beginning of the pandemic. As part of her pay was commission based, her income was lower than usual. She soon found herself in mortgage arrears and unable to keep up with her various monthly bills. After explaining her situation to us, we were able to offer her a Mortgage Payment Break. We also helped her to understand how to prioritise her debts, and she consequently restructured her finances to allow better money management. Following the Mortgage Payment Break we then offered Miss Y an Arrangement to Repay – which allowed her to clear her arrears and get back on track with her mortgage.
Mr M fell into arrears with his mortgage after a period of Covid-related ill health affected his employment. We offered him a Mortgage Payment Break, during which time he was able to secure alternative employment, allowing him to continue with his mortgage payments. With his finances back on track, Mr M wanted to clear his debt with the Society and so we offered him an Arrangement to Repay – a larger monthly payment plan – which allowed him to pay off his mortgage arrears.