Media comment: Children's Society The Damage of Debt report

Speaking about the release of the Children’s Society Damage of Debt report, Sheila Wheeler, Director of Debt Advice for the Money Advice Service comments:

“Debt can have a very damaging effect on children and their future lives. It is vital that we work together to ensure that debt issues are resolved in a way that has minimum impact on children within a household. Our research shows that 8.2 million people across the UK are experiencing problem debts with more than half living in families with children. Our recent report A Picture of Over-indebtedness shows that having children increases the probability of being over-indebted by more than 50%*. The analysis also shows that there is a particularly strong relationship between over-indebtedness and having three or more children.

“Good quality debt advice can transform lives both for the people receiving it and their families. Impartial, non-judgemental advice is freely available over the phone, online and face-to-face across the UK and our UK Debt Advice Locator Tool can help people find it quickly and easily. It is also vital that creditors and local authorities give people in debt enough breathing space to consider the debt solution options available to them to ensure that they take the most appropriate option for their needs. We strongly support the Children’s Society’s work in this area and acknowledge the value of Breathing Space within the UK Financial Capability Strategy, recognising how vital it could be to people in financial difficulties. Such a scheme already exists in Scotland as part of the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) which gives people time to get adequate support in dealing with their finances. We will continue to work with HM Treasury, the Insolvency Service and organisations across the debt sector to ensure people in debt, across the UK, have the support they need.”

*The A Picture of Over-indebtedness report highlights that having children increases the probability of being over indebted by over 50% from 13% for adults without children, to 20% for those with children.