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Money Advice Trust helped 1.3 million people in 2015

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The Money Advice Trust has revealed it helped 1.3 million people to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence last year, as the charity celebrates its 25th birthday.
The figure, published today in the Trust’s annual Impact Report, includes people helped directly through its free National Debtline and Business Debtline advice services, and indirectly through its Wiseradviser training programme. 
The charity pointed to its impact in 2015 as resulting from its significant investment in technology as part of a three-year plan to help “more people, more effectively”.
National Debtline provides free advice and resources to help people deal with their debts, with 267,936 people receiving advice online and 128,040 people by phone in 2015.  After receiving advice, 88 percent of callers had taken at least one step to resolve their financial difficulty within six weeks and 75 percent said they were more likely to repay their debts. 
Business Debtline, the UK’s only free debt advice service for small businesses and the self-employed, helped 31,262 people online and 21,325 by phone.  After receiving advice from Business Debtline, 83 percent of callers said they felt more in control of their finances, 89 percent said they are less likely to find themselves in a similar situation in the future.
Wiseradviser, the Trust’s training programme for money and debt advisers, provided 7,587 training places to advisers in agencies across the UK in 2015, with 4,395 advisers accessing training and resources online.  After using the service, 88% of advisers agree that Wiseradviser training has helped them improve client outcomes.
The Trust also continues its work to improve the UK’s money and debt environment.  Last year the charity raised awareness of the problem of unmanageable debt through 3,276 items of media coverage, and responded to 22 policy consultations to influence key decision-makers.  The Trust’s Innovation Grants programme supported four innovative debt advice projects and more than 3,000 staff in 95 creditor organisations received Money Advice Trust training on vulnerability and mental health.
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said:
“Working with other UK charities we are pleased to have helped 1.3 million people to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence in 2015.  We have achieved these results by adapting to meet new challenges, and we are continuing to innovate to make sure we can help more people, more effectively.
“We are also working more closely with other debt advice organisations than ever before to improve the client journey – and as the Treasury consults on arrangements for public financial guidance from 2018, we stand ready to play our part in helping the sector to work even closer together in the future.
“The economy, of course, is changing rapidly – and with new uncertainty as a result of the EU referendum, it is now even more important that we are ready to meet what could be significantly higher demand in the years ahead.  Thanks to the continued support our many partners, funders and friends, I am confident we can rise to this challenge.”
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