Rise in calls as people seek debt help

Pat Hanson, CAP centre manager, said the charity sees a rise in calls for debt help during January and February
Pat Hanson, CAP centre manager, said the charity sees a rise in calls for debt help during January and February
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A local charity is expecting to receive more calls for help in the next few weeks as people struggle to deal with post-Christmas debt.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP), which is based at Burntisland Parish Church, but also has local debt centres in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline, supports those in financial crisis.

And Pat Hanson, centre manager, said the post-Christmas rush to get finances in order has begun in earnest.

Her comments come as new figures show increasing numbers of people in the Kirkcaldy area are struggling with debt and are only just able to meet their living costs.

According to new figures released this week by the StepChange Debt Charity, during 2014, the charity’s helpline was contacted by 505 people from the Kirkcaldy postcode area, compared to 382 in 2013 - a rise of 32 per cent.

Pat said judging by previous years, CAP receives the most calls for debt help on the second Monday in February: “Every week, the busiest day for debt help calls is a Monday, when people have had time over the weekend to resolve to seek help,” she said.

“We see a rise in calls during January and February because most people can’t face tackling their finances before Christmas. When these two elements come together, we see our busiest time.

“As our reach extends to more areas, with more debt coaches, we are set to see more people booked in than ever before.”

Already in the first working week of 2015, CAP received 479 calls for debt help. The Kirkcaldy centre is currently booked up until the middle of February.

Pat added: “Four in ten people believe that no one can help them with their debts, according to some research we’ve done. It can feel like you’ve hit a brick wall but we see ‘impossible’ situations where people get their debts cleared. There are people to help and it can get sorted, however complicated or dire it seems.”

Anyone wanting help should contact CAP on 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org