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How we’re reducing the harm of problem debt


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Our impact report for 2016 – 2017

Our vision is a society free of problem debt. Our impact report takes a look at the positive change we’re making to the lives of people in, and at risk of, problem debt across the UK.

Record numbers of people are asking us for help with debt they can no longer manage. 925,665 people contacted us for advice between January 2016 and June 2017.

The people we help

The top causes of problem debt we see in our clients are job loss or unemployment (19%), injury or illness (16%), reduced income (12%), and separation and divorce (10%).

21% of our clients are single parents (compared to 7% of the UK population)

Our advice and solutions help people recover from problem debt. In the 18 months to June 2017, 457,270 clients successfully completed a debt advice session with us.

30,000 clients became free of problem debt with our help

Influencing change

Our campaigning and partnership work helps prevent and reduce the harm of problem debt by influencing change in industry practice, regulation and government policy.

6/10 clients said their financial situation stabilised once creditors agreed to freeze further interest, charges and enforcement action

Following manifesto commitments from the two main parties to our Breathing Space proposal, the Treasury launched a call for evidence on how to implement such a scheme.

The difference we make

Our clients often describe the relief they feel when the harassment calls stop and interest or charges no longer escalate their debts.

We also know that our clients are less likely than other consumers to go into subsequent arrears on their utility bills and, when they did, ended up owing less.

94% of our clients were very or quite likely to recommend us to others

As the need for free debt advice grows, we’re committed to doing even more. Download our impact report 2016-2017 to read how we’re tackling problem debt.


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What clients say

Linda, Suffolk

"I'm incredibly relieved and so glad I made the decision to contact StepChange. The steps I'm taking now really have changed my life."

Alison, Surrey

"I spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do. StepChange has helped me in a way I would never have thought possible."

Also in this section

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We link to external websites where they contain relevant information for our visitors. We're not responsible for the content of these websites, or any infringement on your data rights under data protection regulations by any external website provider.

*This is the average rating of our service based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2018