Call for evidence on debt advice clients with deficit budgets

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The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is now calling for evidence on debt advice clients with deficit budgets. The purpose of this call for evidence is to understand what help can, or could, be offered where a client presents with a deficit budget, as well as what MaPS can do to enable this help to be given.


Debt advice clients with deficit budgets have been increasingly discussed throughout the sector in recent years. The challenges facing organisations when trying to assist these clients were much considered by the Debt Challenge Group set up in response to the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing.

Where lasting positive outcomes are not obtained for clients, there can be an impact on:

  • Clients themselves, who may leave advice with it not having made a meaningful difference to their situation and with the same challenges still to face.
  • Advisers, whose morale and wellbeing can be greatly affected by not managing to help their clients as much as they would want.
  • The sector’s overall capacity to serve clients.

These impacts mean it is critical for us, with the debt advice sector, to review whether there are ways that clients in a deficit budget could be supported to attain better, longer-lasting outcomes. This call for evidence is the first step in this review.


To fulfil our ambition, our specific objectives for this review are as follows:

  • Develop a greater knowledge of deficit budget clients, including the different cohorts that exist and their respective needs.
  • Learn how debt advice might support deficit budget clients to achieve better, longer-lasting outcomes, and what providers would need to deliver this (including from MaPS).
  • Understand how advice providers and creditors could work together to deliver better outcomes for clients, based on a shared understanding of clients and their needs.

Who we would like to hear from

We recognise this is a large call for evidence and may take considerable time to respond to. We have carefully considered this and believe this topic’s importance justifies a call for evidence on this scale.

So that as many stakeholders as possible can contribute, we are happy to engage in a number of different ways. Depending on demand, we will set up engagement sessions for stakeholders to feed into, and we are also happy to have telephone calls with individual stakeholders as an alternative or supplementary to written responses.

We welcome written responses, in any format, from all interested parties.

In your response, please state:

  • If you’re responding on behalf of an organisation or in a personal capacity.
  • Which question you are addressing – you do not need to respond to all of the questions if they are not relevant to you, or if you need to prioritise questions where you can add most value.
  • Whether you’re willing to be contacted for further information – if you are, please provide contact details.
  • Whether you would like your response to remain confidential.

Submitting your response

Please send your response to: in a new window by midday on 1st December 2022.

You can also get in touch via this email address if you have questions, or would like to express your interest in engaging in another way, e.g. engagement session, phone call, by post.

We would like to thank all stakeholders in advance for their engagement. Your contributions are valued, and we are very grateful for the time, effort and energy it takes to input to calls for evidence of this type.