Free debt advice to beat festive blues

PUBLISHED: 16:08 29 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:07 10 June 2010

he festive period can be a very expensive time of year, and we at the Legal Services Commission are urging people to plan their finances to avoid a New Year debt crisis. With thoughts turning to hitting the high street in search of 'pre-Christmas rush' b

he festive period can be a very expensive time of year, and we at the Legal Services Commission are urging people to plan their finances to avoid a New Year debt crisis. With thoughts turning to hitting the high street in search of 'pre-Christmas rush' bargains, I encourage people who see themselves getting into money problems to get advice to prevent crippling credit card bills hitting doormats in the New Year.Legal aid funds a helpline, Community Legal Advice - 0845 3454 345 - which offers free, quality assured advice on debt, housing, education, employment, welfare benefits and tax credits. Advisers can help people access benefits and create a budget to plan debt repayments - which can help pay for Christmas costs.Debts accrued over the Christmas period can leave you struggling to pay for essentials like food and heating when the January bills arrive. Our helpline sees a huge increase in January from callers suffering from unmanageable debt. This doesn't have to be the case. Every family needs to budget for expensive times like Christmas but, for families who will really feel the pinch, it is essential to get the right advice now. Get help by calling Community Legal Advice on 0845 3454 345 or by visiting: www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk Geoff Mountjoy,Regional Director, Legal Services Commission South Region.

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