In this month’s episode on the Debt Talk podcast, Ripon Ray explored: ‘Debt advice, MaPS and advisers’.
During the pandemic, free debt advice charities noticed a demand for debt advice. This demand had substantially increased during the cost of living crisis due to high inflation and people’s income not increasing simultaneously. Many debt advisors left the sector in droves to join other sectors, such as the National Health Service or local council. Their move from the industry was mainly connected to high-stress levels, targets and heavy audits. Save Debt Advice Campaign was launched to respond to the impact in the debt advice sector.
Tanis Belsham Wray, a former debt adviser shared her experience at Step Change during the pandemic high volumes of cases were unresolvable due to clients having a deficit budget and complex priority debt related. After returning from maternity. she fainted twice due to stress whilst giving advice.
Tamra Mannin - Co - CEO of Talking Money, an advice charity based in Bristol. Its debt advice service used to be funded by the Money Advice & Pension Service (MaPs) to deliver debt advice work. They decided not to renew their contract with its contract due to the bureaucracy involved in audit, targets, management of the service and supervision of debt advice work compared to other projects it delivered.
Michael Agboh- Davison, Unite the Union representative, who has been leading the campaign in the sector, explained some of the challenges faced by the industry and the need for an increase in funding from companies profiting from consumers. He emphasised non-FCA regulated providers such as fuel companies to contribute to funding debt advice. He also explained that some issues impacting debt clients are interlinked with national policies.
Debt Talk did approach MaPS to take part in the podcast. Ripon Ray, however, read MaPS’s statement.
The panellist also provided top tips near the end of the podcast. In the next episode, Ripon Ray will speak about "Mental health & debt' during the cost of living crisis.
If you want to listen to a particular debt-related topic or you want to share your experience on the Debt Talk podcast, you can get in touch with Ripon Ray on Twitter: @yourdoctordebt.com or email: email@example.com