Hundreds of people in Melton and Rutland have sought advice on money problems

Meltonians struggling to deal with debts in the New Year are being urged to ask for help and advice EMN-150704-122552001
Meltonians struggling to deal with debts in the New Year are being urged to ask for help and advice EMN-150704-122552001
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Staff at the citizens advice bureau (CAB) have helped 124 people with money problems in Melton in the last year.

And figures released by the town branch this week reveal that almost four in 10 of those given advice had issues with arrears in rent or council tax bills.

This comes during a week when free advice service, National Debtline, announced it had received 351 calls from people suffering with debt problems in Melton and Rutland during 2013 and 2014.

There are likely to be many others since research shows less than one in five people with money issues actually seek advice.

Simon Richards, service leader for the Melton CAB branch, said: “We are seeing a debt epidemic which is affecting people from all walks of life.

“Debt can play havoc with family relationships, work and mental health which is why we are urging people struggling with money worries to visit us and get some free, independent debt advice.

“I would urge anyone who is worrying about debt to seek help from us as early as possible, before it becomes unmanageable and leads to other problems.”

Aside from rent and council tax problems, people who have sought advice from the CAB also cited issues with debts surrounding credit cards, unsecured personal loans and mortgages.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity which runs National Debtline, called on parliamentary candidates for the upcoming General Election to focus more on debt problems and raise awareness of how people can seek help.

She said: “While we have given more than 300 advice sessions to people in Rutland and Melton in the last two years, we know that potentially thousands more are suffering in silence.

“Our message to anyone in Rutland and Melton who is struggling to cope with debt problems is simple: seek free advice from a debt charity such as National Debtline as soon as possible.

“The earlier you seek advice, the quicker and easier the problem will be to solve.”

l National Debtline offers free advice on 0808 808 4000 or online at www.nationaldebtline.org