The scale of the debt crisis in Bury has been laid bare with 470 residents using a scheme which gives them help with bills.

The ‘Breathing Space’ scheme, also known as the debt respite scheme, gives people with personal finance pressures a 60-day period without further interest charges or creditor action to get debt advice and make a plan.

National Debtline, who provided free advice to 343 Bury residents in the last year, is urging people to get in touch this ‘Talk Money Week’. A total of 470 people in Bury have used the government’s Breathing Space scheme since it launched in May 2021, according to official figures.

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National Debtline, one of the free debt advice charities able to register people who are eligible for Breathing Space, is urging more people to seek advice as the cost of living crisis continues.

To mark ‘Talk Money Week’, the charity-run service is urging Bury residents who are worried about their finances to contact their debt advisers for free, independent advice as soon as possible. They say seeking advice has a positive, long-term impact, with nine in ten callers reporting that their debts reduce or stabilise and seven in ten seeing a positive impact on their emotional and mental wellbeing. 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 Bury and right across the North West are struggling to cope.

“In the last 12 months alone, National Debtline advisers helped 343 people in Bury through our free phone service – including registering people who are
eligible for the government’s new Breathing Space scheme. “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 Bury 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 head space 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.” Bury 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, or get advice online at