Debt Project wins £250,000 grant
Shelter Cymru has won a £250,000 lottery grant to fund a three-year project to offer debt advice to people in Wales.
The Wrexham-based service is expected to help around 200 households a year, in an area where there are high levels of personal debt.
The project is expected to open in autumn, providing a range of money and debt advice, from simple enquiries to complex cases.
With more people having to turn to credit cards to fund their living expenses, there is expected to be a high demand for the service.
Statistics from Credit Action, a national money education charity, suggest that total UK personal debt stood at £1,451bn at the end of September.
This means that personal debt accounted for as much as the entire country produced from the second quarter of 2010 to the same period this year.
The latest figures from the Bank of England show that consumer credit rose by £600 million in September, while for the previous six months it rose by £500 million on average.
Taking advice on debt early can stop the situation becoming critical, and another debt counselling charity offering free advice is also expanding its services.
Christians Against Poverty, which is currently opening 37 debt centres across the UK, has announced the opening of its latest centre, in Wigan.
The charity’s centres are based in local churches, and the Wigan centre will be located in Billinge Family Church.
A number of factors are contributing to the current high level of personal debt, including high levels of inflation, benefit cuts and job insecurity.
Credit Action estimates that the average household debt in the UK is £8,025, excluding mortgages while, if unsecured loans are taken into account, the average increases to £15,432.
Christians Against Poverty has a network of 160 centres and offers help to anyone in debt.