#debtday: 12 hours, thousands of people, millions of pounds of debt
The CCCS will be running special live updates on Twitter on Monday to raise debt awareness.
Next Monday (17 January) will probably be the busiest day of the year for the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. After the expense of Christmas, and in an attempt to start afresh in the New Year, many thousands of people realise that they’ve got money troubles that need solving, and seek debt advice.
This comes to a head in mid-to-late January as the bills stack up and the full debt horror reveals itself.
On the third Monday in January last year – coincidentally called Blue Monday or “the most depressing day of the year” according to a long-running PR campaign – we received a record 4,000 calls to our helpline in a 12-hour period (or one call every 10 seconds) from people needing debt help.
We predict that this year will be no different, in light of last October’s public spending cuts and the continuing after-effects of the recent recession. Last week’s rise in VAT won’t help matters; nor will the rising cost of living.
To highlight the huge scale of the issue, we’re running special live updates throughout Monday (17 January) on our CCCS MoneyAware Twitter channel, using the hashtag #debtday. From 8am until 8pm we’ll post hourly updates of the number of calls we receive, and the total debt reported, as it happens. It’ll be a snapshot of how many UK citizens contact us to help with their debts.
We’re fully aware that these figures will under-represent the true total of those looking for debt help. However that’s not to underplay the number of helpline calls we’ll receive – 1,000s on one day alone (and as a recent study found, these numbers are dwarfed by those people who don’t seek help with their debts – only 1/6 of those with money troubles search for advice).
More amazing will be the amount of debt reported; if next Monday (17 January) continues the trend we’re seeing, we fully expect that the cumulative amount of debt reported in one 12-hour period will shock you.
Alongside the hourly updates, we’ll also report from the frontline with stories from Helpline staff throughout the day, to give an insight into the human stories behind the statistics. Behind each of these thousands of calls is an individual story of debt and worry.
This is the first in a series of events throughout 2011 highlighting the stages in becoming debt free and how debt advice charities can help. I hope you can join us on MoneyAware next Monday for the first event and retweet our messages and let us know your thoughts (don’t forget the hashtag #debtday).
And if you’ve realised that you’re at the sharp end of debt, contact us for advice or use our free online service DebtRemedy for a free online consultation about your debt problems.