An Unavoidable Challenge? Repeat Clients in the Debt Advice Sector

When people get debt advice, we want to help them not just to solve their current financial difficulties, but to avoid becoming over-indebted again in the future. Without knowing the extent to which repeat visits could be avoided and implement actions to prevent it, the impact and efficiency of debt advice provision is reduced.

This research, An Unavoidable Challenge? Repeat Clients in the Debt Advice Sector, identifies ten typologies of repeat clients, from clients that are not advice ready, to clients that are capable but overwhelmed. The ten typologies are grouped as either largely preventable or largely unpreventable.

This research demonstrates that the causes of repeating involve:

  • Clients’ objective financial situation and attitudes towards debt.
  • Advisers’ perceptions of and attitude towards debt advice delivery.
  • The structure and delivery of debt advice.

Opportunity areas to reduce avoidable repeating are included in the report to help the advice sector formulate effective responses to the ‘repeat rate’. We will incorporate the results of this work into the implementation of our new commissioning strategy.