In May 2021, Government launched the Breathing Space scheme, giving those people who are struggling with problem debt, some extra time to get their finances back on track. It offers people 60 days’ protection from creditor contact, a freeze on interest and charges and protection from legal and enforcement action.
Since then, Payplan has helped around 1,200 clients with Breathing Space, and, in September 2021, carried out a survey to find out how the scheme has worked for those who it has been recommended to – specifically whether they felt it had a positive impact on both their financial situation and their mental health.
Key findings were:
- The overwhelming majority of Payplan clients felt that Breathing Space had positively impacted their mental health.
- Over half of Payplan clients needed Breathing Space in place to freeze interest and charges on their debts – but others were worried about bailiffs and eviction too.
- Almost 60% said they’d been struggling with debt for up to two years, with 26% getting in touch with Payplan within the first year. Many of them hoped Breathing Space would give them some time to get their income back to pre-Covid levels, whilst others hoped to find a job within the 60 days.
- Over 90% of clients were happy with the information and advice they received from PayPlan