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Free Debt Advice Expanded

29th August 2020

£2.4 million of new funding to help households with money problems.

More people will be able to benefit from free debt advice following investment from the Scottish Government.

More than £2.4 million will be distributed among a number of advice organisations to expand their services and invest in more effective methods to help individuals with problem debt.

The investment will assist projects offering face to face advice using video calls and projects aimed at moving debt solution processes online. This investment will also help the debt advice sector to manage the expected increase in demand as a result of the economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

AdviceUK will be one of the new recipients of funding and has 70 Scottish-based partners who will now be able to extend their services.

Minister for Communities Aileen Campbell said:"I am pleased that this funding will enable more people to access free debt advice, especially as we expect to see increased demand on these services due to the long term effects of COVID-19.

"Our Debt Advice Routemap sets out our vision for a user-friendly and collaborative free debt advice system in Scotland. Through this additional investment we aim to distribute funds across Scotland, focusing on those hardest to reach, including those who maybe have never sought advice before.

"Debt advice services are looking at innovative new approaches, using technology and new ways of working. I would encourage anyone who finds themselves struggling with problem debt to seek help at the earliest opportunity."

AdviceUK Executive Director Chilli Reid said:“AdviceUK warmly welcomes this funding from the Scottish Government, which will make a huge difference to people struggling with money worries. Our members serve communities across Scotland, and this investment will support them in their vital work tackling child poverty, supporting households on low incomes, and helping those most exposed to the impacts of COVID-19."

The funding is part of the Financial Services Levy for debt advice which has been increased by the UK Government in response to the expected growth in demand for free debt advice due to the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The funding was devolved to the Scottish Government in 2019 and the Debt Advice Routemap was launched to help improve access to services across Scotland.

Established in 1979, Advice UK is the largest network of independent advice providers in the UK.

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