Steve Harwood

Labour Activist, #Sharkstoppers Campaigner and Blogger

Labour Activist, #Sharkstoppers Campaigner and Blogger. All views are my own (well, some were originally my mother's...) 

You don't have to do this alone.


I spent two years in a cycle of debt, worrying day and night about when the next letter would land on the doorstep, cutting essentials out of my life in order to make ends meet. If I could change just one thing about that time, even more important than not taking out that first loan, I would have told someone. Because even if I'd avoided that first loan, my dire financial situation would have led there eventually - as long as I was determined to suffer in silence. It was talking to people that helped me to find a way out of my situation, and that made the journey to do that more bearable.


If you're anything like me, you might be thinking that you don't want people to know. You're worried that people will make assumptions about you if they find out this one thing about you, or they'll tell you you've only got yourself to blame. You don't want a well-meaning agency 'teaching you how to budget' because that isn't the issue you've got. You don't want to have that conversation because you prefer not to think about it. 


That's not how it works.


Thousands and thousands of people in the UK are struggling in the same way you are, all of them in different circumstances, all of them having got into debt for different reasons. Getting into debts doesn't say a damn thing about you as a person, and it isn't a crime you should have known better than to have committed. These agencies know that. They're on your side, and they want to help you in whatever way you need. They know the law, they know the legitimate agencies, they have the tips and information you need to put this nightmare behind you. I urge you to just give them a call - you have nothing to lose but that anxious feeling at the pit of your stomach:


Citizens advice offer free, impartial advice on debt management 

You can view your options for paying off debt at the government website 

Money Saving Expert has advice on what to do if you're struggling with debt, as well as information about getting credit in the first place 

StepChange are a debt charity that give free advice based on your individual circumstances 

PayPlan is the UK’s largest provider of free debt solutions, including free debt management plans and Individual Voluntary Arrangements or IVAs. 


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