RAD Warns of Rising Debt as a Result of Pandemic

Covid-19 has left many Derbyshire residents with complicated money worries, and debts are set to rise when Government Covid support packages for businesses and individuals end. Financial Action and Advice Derbyshire warns of the dangers of ignoring financial problems.

2020 was a difficult year for many people, and it left many households worried about finances and making ends meet. Many Derbyshire residents have faced a loss of income, financial instability and increasing debts. Redundancy, benefit issues, furlough and low-paid work left many people struggling to afford food, rent or mortgage payments and to pay for energy costs and other bills.

Financial problems can affect our physical and mental health, lead to family breakdown and even homelessness. Therefore, no matter how small or large money worries or debt may be, it is much better to seek advice and support sooner rather than later. Talking through money concerns can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it is the vital first step to getting back on track.

Financial Action and Advice Derbyshire (FAAD) is a partnership of public, private and voluntary organisations that support financial inclusion and capability work across the county. Headed by Rural Action Derbyshire, FAAD provides information on where to get free, impartial advice and support with money worries.

Claire* was referred to Rural Action Derbyshire’s Rural Hardship Fund in August 2020. She was self-employed and had recently moved to the Derbyshire Dales after a relationship breakdown. Covid-19 had left her new business without an income, and she was struggling to make ends meet. Her new home had no curtains or carpets, and to make matters worse, her car failed its MOT and required some costly repairs. Claire found herself stranded in a rural location with no transport, a lack of local shops, and no money left to buy food for herself or her three children. Rural Action Derbyshire was able to offer her a grant from its Rural Hardship Fund and signpost her to the FAAD partner organisations for further financial support and advice.

One of FAADs key partners, Derbyshire Districts Citizen’s Advice, specialise in delivering free, confidential impartial advice and support on a variety of issues including debt, access to benefits, housing problems and issues and queries relating to employment. Mel Mallinson, Senior Operations Manager says: “The Citizens Advices services in Derbyshire have been quick to respond to the emerging needs of the residents in their communities. Many people have contacted us for the first time to seek advice and assurance on issues relating to the current pandemic. We have seen an increase in clients with employment issues and we are preparing for a deluge of clients who have never previously faced financial insecurity in the past now finding themselves dealing with increasing debts.

“We are anticipating a huge increase in demand for our services over the next 6 months. We encourage people to seek advice early. The sooner they contact us the sooner we can help find solutions. We are committed to working within the community to provide pro-active and long-term support for our clients.”

Gillian Sladen of North East Derbyshire Citizen’s Advice added, “The low level of Universal Credit and the waiting times for payments causes severe hardship for members of the community and the pandemic has demonstrated how close to poverty a large portion of society is.”

For more information about financial advice and support services in Derbyshire, visit our FAAD webpage.


Citizens Advice are open and ready to take calls on any issues. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t delay, it is essential to get the best possible advice on how to manage money problems.

Citizens Advice Chesterfield - Chesterfield Borough - 0808 278 7843
Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts - Amber Valley, Derbyshire Dales, Erewash & High Peak Districts – 0808 2787 954
Citizens Advice Mid-Mercia - Derby City & South Derbyshire – 0300 330 9002
Citizens Advice North East Derbyshire - North East Derbyshire & Bolsover Districts – 0808 250 5702