- A fifth of UK adults have sought free help, money guidance or debt advice.
- One in four have spoken to companies about extra support, e.g. energy suppliers.
- Young people are the most likely to need help.
- Free money guidance and debt advice is available, but one in five don’t know where to find it.
More than 11 million people across the UK have looked for money help in the last three months alone, new research from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) suggests.
The survey of 3,000 adults, carried out for Talk Money Week (November 7-11), shows that the rising cost of living has led to one in five (21%) seeking free help or guidance.
One in four (24%) say they’ve spoken to companies like their bank or energy supplier for extra support, while a fifth (18%) have been searching for free debt advice.
Money problems are also much more common among young people compared to the over 55s. More than a third of 18-24 year-olds have needed free help and guidance (37% vs. 7%), help from companies (37% vs. 12%) and debt advice (34% vs. 5%).
The figures have been released to mark Talk Money Week, an annual awareness campaign run by MaPS encouraging everyone to open up and talk about money.
The theme this year is credit, with schools, financial services firms, charities and employers also joining in and many planning their own Talk Money events.
With the cost of living rising sharply, MaPS says it’s more important than ever for people to get control of their finances and find support for money worries. However, the poll also reveals that one in five (20%) simply don’t know where to turn for help.
In response, MaPS is urging anyone who’s struggling to use its MoneyHelperOpens in a new window services for free guidance on topics like everyday money, benefits, pensions and debt. It also offers free, one-to-one sessions over the phone, WhatsApp and email, plus information on talking to creditors and signposts to free debt advice.
In addition, it provides the Bill prioritiser tool, which helps people with budgeting, prioritising their bills and finding help if they’re struggling to pay.