Free Debt Advice Service

Since the credit crunch it has become more difficult for people on low incomes to get credit from banks and other major lenders.

This gap has been filled by ever-increasing numbers of so-called payday lenders charging very high rates of interest. The need for a payday loan can be a sign that the borrower has debt problems.

“It is more important than ever to get free independent help and advice at an early stage if you are starting to struggle with debt,” said Moray Council’s financial inclusion team leader George West.

“Taking on high interest short-term loans can never be a solution to a longer-term debt problem and always makes the situation worse.”

Moray Council’s money advice team can offer a range of debt solutions, from help with budgeting to using the government’s debt arrangement scheme which protects people from court action while repaying their debts at a rate they can afford.

Advisers can also assist people to gain debt relief through bankruptcy when this is the best solution. The service has seen use of the debt arrangement scheme rise and bankruptcies fall over the last four years.

Money advice is available from Moray Council’s money advice service at Moray Council Financial Inclusion Team, PO Box 6760, Elgin. IV30 9BX (0300 1234561) and from the Moray Citizens’ Advice Bureau at 30-32 Batchen Street, Elgin (01343 550088).