The Topic of the month at IPS International this March 2021 is Money Matters – Debt Advice.

Facts about money

The number of 17 to 24-year olds relying on payday loans or borrowing money from friends/family has increased exponentially over the last few years, with over 102,296 young people asking for financial and debt-management advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in 2020 alone. A young person today now has, on average, up to £12,215 debt, which could vastly affect their credit rating and, therefore, their future.

Due to circumstances right now and the COVID-19 situation, people are being placed on furlough for a six-month period with a salary reduction of 20%.

Think about the impact in the future before taking out a credit card to cover costs.

 

What actions can be taken to manage money more effectively?

  • Make sure that you can afford to spend
  • Do not take on credit due to peer pressures such as Brand and Image
  • Track your spending, make a list of in-comings and out-goings to identify anywhere you can make cut-backs
  • If you need to spend; spend smartly – look for the best deals and don’t buy on impulse

Understanding Debt Vs Priority Debt

All debts are a priority; however some, such as Rent, Mortgage, Utility bills and Council Tax need to take precedence over others. Paying these as a priority will prevent situations where you could face the prospect of court hearings, of which you should be aware of from the discussions with your trainer around British Values and Rule of Law.

What help is available?

Being in debt can be stressful and it can be difficult to know what to do first – but no debt problem is unsolvable. The longer you leave debt, the longer it will have a future impact on your finances.

Did you know?
Something as small as being on the electoral roll and being registered to vote in General Elections, can improve your credit rating? If you are not on the electoral role, then even though the time to vote may have passed, you can Google your local council and get yourself on the electoral roll.

 

Money Matters Scenario

“Anne is employed full-time, but due to the COVID-19 situation, her employer has placed her on furlough for a six-month period with a salary reduction of 20%.

Anne is concerned that she will not have enough money to cover her rent, utility bills and other expenses, so she has decided to take out a credit card to use when purchasing her weekly food shopping. She will only need to make a minimal payment on the credit card each week, which should only just cover the interest on the debt that she would have accrued.

With interest rates, this could mean it takes a long time for Anne to pay off her credit card bill, even once she has returned to work from furlough on full pay – do you think that taking out a credit card is a sensible choice to help Anne manage her debt during this time, or do you think she could be making things more difficult for herself? What other impact do you think this could have on Anne’s future? Who could Anne talk to before she makes this financial decision?”

Discuss with your Trainers and voice your opinions.

To avoid any surprises as Anne has experienced, you can visit one of the following links below and think about how your spending and borrowing has impacted on your credit score and how lenders potentially perceive you.

www.clearscore.com
(free to register ongoing)

www.noddle.co.uk
(free to register ongoing)

www.experian.co.uk
(free to register, additional charges for full report)

www.equifax.co.uk
(as above, free for first 30 days but then charged at a fee of £14.99 – so again, remember to cancel after this time.)

 

Where to get additional support and advice

If you need any additional help or guidance, please talk to the IPS Safeguarding Officers who can refer you to sources of support.

You can contact our Safeguarding Officers; Laura, Paula and Mary on:

Mary – 07900 265335
Paula – 07483 095874
Laura – 07483 095871

If you need any additional help or guidance, we can refer you to sources of support or use the links below to help:

Need more advice and guidance on managing money? Contact us today.