THE ESSENCE PROJECT

ESSENCE CASE STUDY Providing debt advice: economic evidence

Production date: December 2022
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Key Points

KEY POINTS

  • Debt advice helps people manage and repay money owed or make arrangements with creditors where debt cannot be fully repaid.
  • While debt advice helps individuals get back control of their finances, it can improve mental and physical wellbeing as well as overall quality of life. Wider societal benefits include lower incidence of stress-related illness and smaller likelihood of family breakdown.
  • According to economic modelling, over five years, society can gain at least £2.60 from every £1 invested in face-to-face debt advice services. In addition, avoiding an episode of depression or anxiety would have an impact of additional social costs avoided up to £24–£52 million annually. The benefit in terms of reduced mental health care costs due to debt advice is between £50 and £93 million annually in UK.
  • Economic modelling on debt advice includes a number of assumptions based on limited data. As such, attribution of impacts to debt advice should be considered with caution.
  • Debt advice services are provided across the UK and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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