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Charities team up to offer debt advice

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Two UK charities have teamed up to help young people find their way through the money maze without ending up out of pocket and deep in debt.

Citizens Advice and YouthNet are working together to provide money advice to 16 to 25 year-olds online, via online content, podcasts, audio content and via mobile phones. The charities estimate that the project could reach as many as 500,000 young people and ensure they’re in a better position to manage their money and make informed choices about their finances.

As well as helping with basic budgeting skills, the three-year project,  funded by £300,000 from the HBOS Foundation, will help young people understand commonly misunderstood terms so they can compare credit and understand what a loan might mean for them.

The two charities believe that young people using the information will be more able to make informed choices and therefore less likely to become victims of unscrupulous lenders. It will also help those already in financial difficulties tackle their problems effectively, making it less likely that they will slip back into debt in the future.

Although 84% of young people use the internet at least once a week, 96% of 15-24 year olds have a mobile phone – so a set of 30 new money advice fact sheets will be created for’s mobile phone site, a site built specifically for mobile phones, which represents the cutting edge of advice provision.

Janet Roberts, grants manager at HBOS Foundation, said: “Citizens Advice has proven expertise in complex personal finance and legal matters but is not known by young people as a service ‘for them’.

“YouthNet is expert in communicating with young people, and trusted by the thousands of young people who visit every day. That’s why we funded this programme working with these two unique and respected charities, so that they can combine their unique areas of expertise and support and advise young people on the whole range of money issues that affect their lives.”

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