Calls to helpline expected every four minutes amid new year debt blues

A helpline for people with money worries is expected to receive one call every four minutes typically throughout January as households try to get back on track after Christmas.

Last year, nearly 3,500 debt calls were made to the free Money Advice Service (MAS) helpline (0800 138 7777) in January.

Based on the service’s helpline being open for 230 hours over the period, this equates to around 15 calls per hour or one every four minutes.

The Money and Pensions Service, a Government-sponsored body set up in 2019, brings together the free services delivered by the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.

It offers customers guidance and appointments over the telephone, online and in person.

The Money and Pensions Service said traffic is expected to peak each Monday – with January 20 likely to be the busiest day of all as credit card bills for December arrive before many people have received their first pay cheque of 2020.

Acting chief executive Caroline Siarkiewicz said: “We know what a difficult time of year this can be for families who are worried about the bills piling up. It can be tempting to avoid confronting money worries after an expensive Christmas but the sooner you act, the easier it will be.

“Debt advice works. You can speak to the Money Advice Service for free, confidential help, connecting you with expert debt advice in your area.”