Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland inundated

The Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland was inundated with calls last year with a staggering 560,303 issues registered during 2011. This was a 15,000 increase on 2010 and perfectly reflects the growing consumer debt in Scotland and financial concerns. As the economic climate continues to darken it seems as though this enormous figure, which equates to 1 new case every minute, is set to increase during 2012 and beyond.

What can the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) do for you?

Many people are totally unaware of the CAB Scotland and the fact it is a bureau which was set by the government, is financed by the state and there to give you advice about a whole range of legal and financial issues. The most common issues at the moment are debt, unemployment and poverty as more and more people feel the pressure of the recession on their income and their outgoings.

Should Citizens Advice be my first port of call?

There are a whole range of issues which are covered by the Citizens Advice Bureau and if you have any legal or financial problems then they are probably a good place to start. While they may not be able to cover every aspect of your concerns and your problems, they will at the very worst be able to point you in the right direction and give you advice on where to start.

If you have a particular problem such as debt or you are concerned about losing your home it can often be very difficult to know where to start. Even if you start with the Citizens Advice Bureau this will likely put your mind at rest regarding help and will also show you that you are not alone at this moment in time. As you can see from the above figures, the fact that one case every minute is recorded by the Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland is a perfect example of the help offered.

Financial trouble

More and more people are now struggling to meet their outgoings as their income comes under pressure. As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, while there are a host of options available including trust deeds, debt payment plans, private arrangements and even bankruptcy, before you know where to go you need to know where you are. This may sound very straightforward but until you know the options available to you it can be difficult to know where to start.

Employment issues

It is not only the cost of living which continues to rise as the economic climate darkens yet again with businesses also struggling with reduced income, increased overheads and very often a requirement to cut the workforce. While there are legal obligations with regard to employment and redundancies there are some desperate companies out there who have in some cases cut corners and acted out with the law. Therefore, the number of people now looking for advice on employment issues continues to rise and quite rightly they are being pointed in the direction of the various rules and regulations that are there to protect them.

Poverty

It seems bizarre to think that we are talking about poverty in the 21st-century at a time when even though the world economy is under pressure there are some very rich countries out there. Yet again, there are laws, rules and regulations in place to protect those who have little or no income and while these should be fairly straightforward, very often they get complicated, experience delays and can be very difficult to understand. Taking advice if your income has dropped significantly with regards to benefits is a sensible route and for many people it is the only route. Nobody in the modern world should suffer from malnutrition or poverty, whether this is in underdeveloped economies or developed economies, and thankfully there are some safeguards to ensure this happens as little as possible.

Managing your debts

There are some people in Scotland at this moment in time struggling to repay their debts and cover their outgoings each and every month. In some cases while they are putting themselves under more pressure and potentially making themselves ill it may take a fairly small tweak of their finances to reduce the pressure. It is worth pointing out that not every case which goes before the Citizens Advice Bureau in relation to finances and financial trouble will result in a trust deed, bankruptcy or other debt management arrangement.

If possible, it makes sense for all parties involved to put together some form of debt repayment plan where applicable but if it is simply a case of cutting out some of the luxuries of life while your debts are reorganised then this is not a big price to pay. The truth is that many of us have become used to the good life and many of us continue to live beyond our means. Despite the fact that “easy credit” is no longer available across-the-board there are many people who have gorged on easy credit for many years and are now paying the price.

Take advice and listen to the advice

There is no point going to associations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland for advice about your finances, employment or other issues and not taking heed of the information given. Staff at the Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland has an array of different experiences, different qualifications and different skills which they use to point you in the right direction and assist as much as possible. It can be easy sometimes to pick up on an idea given to you and potentially expand it in your way when in reality you need to make a difficult situation as simple as possible.

There are many people who will stumble along with massive debts over their shoulders for many years when in reality perhaps the best course of action would have been some form of debt management arrangement. There is no point struggling for years with debts you cannot meet and eventually being forced to hold up your hands and give in. Act now and sort it!

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