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StepChange and ExcludedUK team up to provide debt support

Written by: Emma Lunn
The aim is to provide debt support and advice for ExcludedUK members, many of whom are now facing serious financial crisis after more than eight months of no financial support during the pandemic.

According to the partnership, since the pandemic began almost 5 million people have fallen into debt, owing an estimated £6.1bn.

More than half a million people are facing housing insecurity, but there are many people who are struggling just to afford essentials.

Many of these people are from the ExcludedUK community, who are suffering significant financial hardship given the chancellor’s continued refusal to acknowledge the plight of the 3 million UK taxpayers excluded from the government Covid-19 financial schemes.

A recent survey by ExcludedUK, with more than 3,000 respondents, revealed some worrying statistics.

More than half (51%) of those excluded have had an income less than £500 per month since the start of March, and 60% of those surveyed have been unable to take advantage of a rent or mortgage payment holiday.

Those that have been unable to rely on savings, or whose savings have been exhausted, are being forced to take on debt in order to stay afloat.

Richard Lane, director of external affairs at StepChange, said: “It’s estimated that up to 9 million people are facing financial difficulty at the moment, either as a direct result of the pandemic, or because it has exacerbated an existing debt problem. We’re delighted to be working with ExcludedUK to reach more people who might need our help.”

ExcludedUK and StepChange are in the process of organising a series of live online Q&A events with experienced debt advisers, to offer practical advice, debt support and reassurance to ExcludedUK members who are worried about debt.

Anneka Hicks, ExcludedUK founder, said: “For eight months the chancellor has refused to provide a considerable chunk of the working population with fair and equal financial support, which, based on a recent survey has led to one in five of our community now at risk of losing their homes. The situation upon us is incredibly desperate and we care passionately about the welfare of our community which has led us needing to partner with a number of charities to ensure we’re able to offer our members the urgent support and advice they need, so we are delighted to be working with StepChange.”

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