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Debt Free London on BBC Money Box

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Ripon Ray, a Quality Assurance Manager at Debt Free London, was part of a panel helping people decide if taking a payments break is a good way to help with financial difficulties.

It’s been eight months since the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced payment deferrals or holidays to support households on low incomes who are struggling to repay personal loans due to COVID-19. People have frozen payments on a range of debts including mortgages car loans, payday loans and credit cards, while originally temporary the FCA has extended the scheme until July next year.

Money Box on BBC Radio 4 asked Debt Free London to be part of a panel to answer queries from people about their debts and finances which have been thrown into difficulty due to the pandemic.

You can listen to the progamme on BBC iPlayer here.

The show asks; is taking a break from regular payments on your mortgage, credit card or a loan for example a good way to help you through financial difficulties? The panel were asks what you should consider before deferring regular payments and whether there are alternatives or long term consequences for your money.

In response to a question around whether we’ve noticed any changes to the type of people accessing our services, Ripon responded:

Absolutely, from the point of view of Debt Free London, we have actually seen an increase of 92% of clients who are looking for work compared to let’s say last year. On average though we are seeing 36% of those seeking advice having credit card debt, rent arrears 36% this year and 36% when it comes to Council Tax arrears so it does vary but however, we expect to see roughly between 200% and 300% increase access to our service.

Ripon Ray | Quality Assurance Manager