Hundreds in Luton use new government ‘Breathing Space’ scheme to help with debt
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Hundreds of people in Luton have used a new government scheme aimed at helping people deal with debt, and more are urged to come forward to get advice.
Since launching in May 2021, 322 people have used the Breathing Space scheme, according to new figures. Breathing Space – also known as the Debt Respite Scheme – gives eligible people the time to seek advice and find a safe route out of debt, without being subject to creditor collection and enforcement activity during that time. The scheme gives up to 60 days of protection by pausing any additional charges or interest.
National Debtline, a charity-run service, gave free advice by phone to more than 450 Luton residents in the last year and is urging more people to get in touch this ‘Talk Money Week’, running from November 6 to 10.
David Cheadle, acting Chief Executive of National Debtline’s parent charity, the Money Advice Trust, said: “The cost of living crisis has had a huge impact on household finances and people in Luton and right across the East of England are struggling to cope.
“In the last 12 months alone, National Debtline advisers helped 461 people in Luton through our free phone service – including registering people who are eligible for the government’s new Breathing Space scheme.
He added: “But we know there are many more people who are struggling alone – and no one should have to do that. I would urge anyone in and around Luton who is worried about their finances to contact our advisers at National Debtline, who can give you the advice and support you need.
“Our advisers are here to help – and can see if you are eligible for the Breathing Space scheme to give you the time and headspace you need to make a plan. Everyone’s situation is different, and even if you aren’t eligible for this particular scheme, our expert advisers can help find the best option for you.”
Luton residents can speak to a National Debtline adviser for free, independent advice – including on the Breathing Space scheme – over the phone on 0808 808 4000.