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Free ‘Breathing Space’ Scheme Launches Today, But Concern People Could Still Miss Out

For years, debt charity StepChange has been campaigning for greater support for those struggling with debt in the UK. Today, they welcome the launch of new government scheme ‘Breathing Space’, which has the potential to help around 700,000 people in debt.

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According to the UK Government, eligible clients in England and Wales could receive a 60-day break from further interest, fees, and new enforcement action, to help them better manage their debts.

And it applies to more than just those in problem debt, with people going through mental health crisis treatment also benefiting from a 60 day break from new charges and fees.

On the new scheme, James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance Editor at Money.co.uk said: 

“The new Breathing Space scheme has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of Brits struggling with debt by giving them a potential two-month break from extra fees and charges while they work to get their finances back on track.

"But while an incredibly welcome initiative, there is concern that those suffering in silence will miss out on vital help.

"That makes it more important than ever for people who are having problems with their debt or mental health to seek professional help as soon as possible.

“To qualify for the scheme you need to complete an online debt advice session or call StepChange directly and they’ll submit an application on your behalf. People in mental health crisis treatment will automatically benefit from the same protections.

“If you are not eligible for the scheme, there are other avenues to explore in order to deal with your debt. Charities and organisations such as StepChange and Debtline offer expert debt management advice.”

Money.co.uk have created a useful guide to help those dealing with debt during the coronavirus pandemic: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/managing-your-debt-during-coronavirus.htm

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