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Debt advice recommended to struggling older people

05 March 2012

Homeowners aged between 55 and 95 may be able to benefit from taking debt advice if they are finding it hard to pay their bills on a monthly basis.

Options that may need to be investigated by those in this position could include lifetime mortgages, but new research has highlighted the fact a lot of people who are finding it hard to cope financially at the moment are not asking for any help or advice.

Debt support

According to R3's latest Personal Debt Snapshot, over 18 million people in the UK are affected by debt at the present time, although it was noted just three per cent of respondents are planning to seek debt advice in the next few months to aid them.

Results of the poll also discovered only six per cent of adults in the UK have ever taken debt advice, which may suggest there is a form of stigma surrounding the issue currently.

But for older people who are finding it hard to pay their bills, looking into options such as equity release mortgages could be a great way to raise some funds and boost their bank balance.

Lack of data

Commenting on the research, president of R3 Frances Coulson stated there is no data showing how many individuals are in a debt management plan at the moment.

"To have some idea of the levels of debt in this country we should know. My concern is that people are clearly unwilling to take debt advice anyway, so are far more likely to be pushed into a 'product' by those with a vested interest," she said, adding individuals have to make sure they are aware of all their options before they come to a decision about their financial situation.

Daniel Pearson, director at advice provider FirstStop, recently argued equity release plans can be a good way for older homeowners to improve their quality of life.

Those who want to look into how much money they could be able to raise as a result of such products could use the equity release calculator from Key to do so.

Posted by Claire Ford