Helpline now 24 hours for East End families in debt crisis caused by Covid emergency
- Credit: Toynbee Hall
An advice helpline to tackle personal debt caused by the pandemic has been expanded to run 24 hours a day throughout January.
The online Debt Free London service is being made available day or night until the end of the month.
“People’s finances are hardest hit in January,” Debt Free London’s director Matt Dronfield said. “This forces people to go without essentials or push them to high cost borrowing just to avoid falling behind on their bills, due to delays in benefit payments, longer waits between pay checks and rising gas and electricity costs.”
Support is being given about rent, council tax arrears and credit card debt by WhatsApp, calling 0800 808 5700, or going online at debtfree.london.
Toynbee Hall has recruited 70 new advisers to cope with increased demand for help. One in three households have gone into debt since March, researchers have found. Many are missing bills or debt repayment since the pandemic began.