CAS: New debt problems for over 600,000 Scots during the pandemic
Over 600,000 adults in Scotland either entered debt during the pandemic, or saw their pre-existing debt get worse, according to analysis from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
Analysis by the charity of polling by YouGov found that 364,004 Scottish adults had debt before the pandemic which has gotten worse. At the same time, a a total of 236,602 Scottish adults did not have debt before the pandemic and now do.
Meanwhile, 291,000 Scottish adults aren’t currently in debt but feel at risk of it, while 382,000 do not feel at risk of debt, but say they struggle to make ends meet.
With pressure on household budgets getting worse due to the cost of living crisis, CAS is running ‘Debt Happens’, a campaign encouraging people to get advice to deal with debt.
Myles Fitt, CAS financial health spokesperson, said: “Debt shouldn’t be a taboo subject or something people are ashamed to talk about, and these figures show the scale of the problem across Scotland, with hundreds of thousands of people either at risk of debt, entering debt during the pandemic, or seeing their arrears deepen during Covid.
“The key thing we want people to understand is they are not alone. These figures show hundreds of thousands of people are in the same boat, and with the cost of living crisis increasing the pressure on household budgets, now is the time to seek advice.”
He added: “The CAB network can help people through local CABs or our online tools like the public advice site or Money Map. Some people will benefit from specialist debt advice which restructures their payments, while others will see benefit from more money in their pockets through help with income maximisation.
“Either way we can help. Our advice is free, confidential and impartial, we’ll never charge people for advice and we never judge about people’s circumstances.”