Mortgages and debts top money advice enquiries

6 min Read Published: 27 Jul 2021

Mortgages and debts top money advice enquiriesMortgages and debts are the top reasons why people sought money advice over the past year, according to new research by MoneyHelper, revealing the main financial concerns that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What did the research find?

The findings were released by MoneyHelper, which was recently launched by the government-run Money and Pensions Service to provide free money and pensions guidance over the phone, online, and face-to-face. MoneyHelper is the successor to the government's Money Advice Service.

MoneyHelper’s research revealed that, even before the pandemic, an estimated 9 million people in the UK were struggling with debt and were often borrowing more to buy food or pay bills. Some 11.5 million people had less than £100 in savings, leaving them vulnerable to the financial impact of being put on furlough, made redundant, or their workplaces closing as a result of lockdown measures.

Over the course of the pandemic, millions have been faced with financial difficulty, particularly in terms of keeping up with mortgage payments and managing debt. MoneyHelper recorded the top 5 reasons for visiting its website and calling its helpline between June 2020 and May 2021.

The top reasons for visiting the MoneyHelper website between 1 June 2020 - 31 May 2021

  1. Homes and mortgages
  2. Births, deaths and family
  3. Pensions and retirement
  4. Work and redundancy
  5. Budgeting and managing money

The top reasons for calling the MoneyHelper helpline between 1 June 2020 - 31 May 2021

  1. Debt
  2. Homes and mortgages
  3. Benefits
  4. Budgeting and managing money
  5. Births, deaths and family

Couch to Financial Fitness

On Monday 26 July 2021, MoneyHelper launched a new online programme to help people improve their “financial fitness” after the pandemic, called ‘Couch to Financial Fitness’.

The Couch to Financial Fitness project, inspired by the popular 'Couch to 5K' exercise programme, guides people through 3 simple activities per week over a 4-week period, followed by a 5-week extension to “strengthen financial habits”.

Initially, the course addresses issues such as cutting costs, staying on top of bills, and building savings. It goes on to cover bigger financial lifestyle concerns, including the financial considerations of starting a family, buying a home, and funding retirement. It can also direct people to free debt advice by bringing together services previously provided by the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service, and Pension Wise.

Couch to Financial Fitness is now available to everyone for free via the MoneyHelper website.

Before you seek financial advice

If you are considering seeking financial advice, there are a couple of things you should take into account before you pay out for an adviser.

Before you decide to pay someone for advice about your situation, consider that you may not need to, and that financial advisory fees can be hefty. You could save yourself the fee by doing research of your own or asking trusted friends and family for their thoughts first.

If you are certain that hiring a financial adviser is the right decision for your unique circumstances, visit our article on where to get free financial advice or head to VouchedFor* to find and compare financial advisers local to you.

Before you seek mortgage advice

Before you seek advice about mortgages, we have a range of articles which may be able to answer your questions.

Start with our “Beginners Guide to Mortgages” for queries such as “how much can I borrow on a mortgage?” and “how much deposit do I need to obtain a mortgage?”. Check out our list of “10 rarely-asked mortgage questions answered” for solutions to some of the more overlooked mortgage questions.

If your question is still not answered, it may be time to seek mortgage advice from an independent financial advisor. Find out how much mortgage advice costs, note down 7 of the best questions to ask a mortgage adviser, and consider using Habito* for whole-of-market mortgage advice for first-time buyers, movers, remortgagers, and buy-to-let landlords.

Where to get free debt advice

If you need advice on dealing with debt, there are a number of organisations which offer free counselling and guidance across the UK, including:

You can find out more details about each of these services in our article “Where to get free debt advice”.

 

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