Members of a local charity which helps those in financial crisis is calling for Fifers struggling with post-Christmas debt to seek free support.
The “Don’t Wait” campaign comes from the Burntisland-based branch of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) amid worrying figures which suggest nine million people are suffering with debt - but just a fifth of that number actually seek help.
Pat Hanson, centre manager, said: “A lot of people just don’t realise that free help is available.
‘‘And yet, there are various avenues like our charity, as well as Citizens Advice and the phone-based free ones like Stepchange.”
The charity’s statistics show the majority of people have waited more than three years to contact them and when they did, 94 per cent described it as ‘a great help’ or ‘life transforming’.
Pat said: “It can be hard to admit help is needed but debt is very difficult to escape without professional assistance.
‘‘Debt charities like ours have the advantage on the individual because we are talking to the banks, credit card and loan companies all day.
“This campaign is about taking that first step, knowing no-one will pass judgement. We just want to look forward to the future.”
At Christmas especially, many people find themselves overspending and relying on credit cards to buy all the extra things.
And using credit to pay for gifts can make a fragile situation worse.
Pat added: “If you’re worrying about debt, pick up the phone and call our Freephone number 0800 328 0006.
‘‘Don’t wait and let the situation get any worse – we are here to help and will provide one to one support if needed.”
For more information on CAP, which covers Burntisland, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Leven visit www.capuk.org