A LOCAL advice charity has launched a new campaign to help people in the area who are likely to be in debt because of the cost of living crisis.

West Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau (WDCAB) aim to provide support with new initiative 'Debt Happens' - a scheme that will encourage people who are worried about money and debt to seek advice.

It will run until Monday, April 10.

The move comes after analysis by polling firm YouGov found an estimated 460,000 people across the UK are expected to go into debt during the current cost-of-living crisis, while 644,000 anticipate an increase in their existing debt.

Joe McCormack, WDCAB's chief officer, said: “We have seen the worst cost-of-living crisis in living memory, with soaring energy bills, prices rising in the shops with inflation and higher interest rates.

"As a result of that, lots of people will have had no choice but to go into debt to pay for everyday essentials.

“That is nothing to be ashamed of. There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to debt, but if you are worried about money then seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as possible.

"We can provide specialist debt advice which can perhaps restructure or reduce your repayments, and our advisers can also look at ways to maximise your income."

During 2022, WDCAB helped 5,368 clients with over 34,000 issues.

In addition, they helped to secure £1.1m in client financial gains (plus another £370k in debt write-offs). 

Joe added: “The most important thing is to not put things off, and let money and debt worries build up until they are overwhelming.

"Our advice is free, impartial and confidential.

"We never charge anyone for advice and we are for everyone, whether you are in work or not.

"Debt happens, but the Citizens Advice Bureau can help you through it.” 

To find out more, phone 0800 484 0136 or visit www.wdcab.co.uk.

You can find out more about the campaign here.