The Money Advice Trust has today launched its revamped ‘How to deal with debt’ guide for England and Wales. The guide takes people in debt through the steps they need to take to deal with their financial situation from start to finish and draws on behavioural science techniques to keep users engaged and motivated throughout the process.
Developed alongside the Money and Pensions Service, who funded the project, and Ogilvy Consulting Behavioural Science Practice, the new guide builds on the Trust’s experience of producing materials and resources for people in debt who want to self-help.
The ‘Dealing with debt guide’, now on its 22nd edition, is a valued advice sector resource. Last year over 100,000 people used the guide via National Debtline and advice agencies, who make it available to the people they help.
The new version brings together learning and feedback from both Ogilvy Consulting Behavioural Science Practice and comprehensive user-testing with advice agencies and people in debt, undertaken with the Money and Pensions Service. This insight shaped the design, tone, layout, and language used in the guide to maximise the chances of users taking the right action to deal with their debts.
In addition to the need for accurate and correct advice, this new edition of the guide acknowledges that being in debt is often a difficult situation and recognises the emotions people may be experiencing. The tone and language used is carefully considered and uses positive encouragement throughout. It is broken down into three clear steps to make the overall goal feel more achievable and uses techniques such as ‘chunking’, which breaks information into smaller, more manageable individual tasks.
The guide is available for free to advice agencies in England and Wales. It is designed so it can be used effectively on its own as it provides the action and advice someone in debt needs to take. It can also be used as part of existing advice processes with the aim of putting the person using the guide in the best position to deal with their debts.
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