Warn­ing over young peo­ple fall­ing into debt

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY CHRISTY BYRNE christy.byrne@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @ByrneChristy

YOUNG peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties should see bank­ruptcy as a last re­sort, ac­cord­ing to the South­port branch of Chris­tians Against Poverty.

This ad­vice comes af­ter sta­tis­tics showed that there has been a spike in young peo­ple from Sefton declar­ing them­selves in­sol­vent.

Data pub­lished by The In­sol­vency Ser­vice showed that scores of debt-rid­den young peo­ple in Mersey­side are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fi­nan­cial prob­lems, with 3,141 peo­ple in the re­gion ei­ther go­ing bank­rupt, tak­ing on a debt re­lief or­der (DRO) or ac­cept­ing an in­di­vid­ual vol­un­tary ar­range­ment (IVA) to man­age their debts last year. Of those peo­ple, 146 were un­der 25 years old – 35 of whom were in Sefton.

Among adults of all ages, Sefton had the high­est rate of in­sol­vency in 2017.

One in 322 adults in the borough fell into in­di­vid­ual in­sol­vency dur­ing the year.

Gary Foulds, debt ad­vi­sor at South­port Chris­tians Against Poverty, said that bank­ruptcy should not be seen as the best way out of fi­nan­cial strife.

He said: “There’s cer­tainly a lot more young peo­ple com­ing to us.

“Bank­ruptcy is al­ways a last re­sort, we al­ways try to get them through a pay­ment plan.

“I would ad­vise to get in touch with a free lo­cal char­ity – Chris­tians Against Poverty, the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bu­reau – who of­fer im­me­di­ate ad­vice.

“Take their ad­vice, bank­ruptcy is not the only op­tion.”

The char­ity is set up by Chris­tians, but Mr Foulds in­sisted that faith was not nec­es­sary to be of­fered their sup­port.

“We help ab­so­lutely any­one, we don’t dif­fer­en­ti­ate.

“We don’t hide be­hind an im­age, we are Chris­tian, but we just want our com­mu­nity to be­come debt free.”

As a debt ad­vi­sor for Chris­tians Against Poverty, Mr Foulds gives face to face ad­vice and of­fers to travel to a client’s home to give as­sis­tance, and pointed to a high­pro­file rec­om­men­da­tion the char­ity had re­ceived.

“I go to a client’s house, sit down, get to know them, make them feel at ease.

“As (money ex­pert) Martin Lewis says, we’re holis­tic – we’re not just there for the fi­nan­cial side, we’re there for the per­son and for the fam­ily in co-or­di­na­tion with food banks.”

Mr Foulds pinned the blame on a lack of ed­u­ca­tion for leav­ing young peo­ple fac­ing in­sol­vency.

“It’s just so­ci­ety in gen­eral, there is a buy now, pay later men­tal­ity in that age group that is com­ing to us for help.

“It is a na­tional statis­tic that there is an in­crease in young peo­ple in debt now and that is down to a lack of ed­u­ca­tion in fi­nance which we are try­ing to tackle in the South­port area.”

To ap­proach Chris­tians Against Poverty for help, visit www.ca­puk. org and en­ter your post­code in the search bar.

More young peo­ple see are be­ing de­clared in­sol­vent

Gary Foulds, from Chris­tians Against Poverty: there to help any­one

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