Money Advice Scotland - Financial Capability Programme

A financial capability team dedicated to promoting financial inclusion and providing financial education across Scotland
Money Advice Scotland - Financial Capability Programme

Financial inclusion and financial education are important in preventing financial difficulties. This is why Money Advice Scotland - Scotland's Money Charity has a goal to radically improve the financial health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland, and it's this goal which has played a pivotal role in the creation of their Financial Capability Team. 

The team was created in November 2014 and it's members bring with them a wealth of experience from across the private, public and voluntary sectors. They are responsible for the delivery of the Financial Capability e-Learning Module, an interactive online learning tool which has the purpose of providing mandatory financial education for individuals undergoing insolvency proceedings (in line with the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act 2014) and at the same time improve the overall finacnial wellbeing of the people of Scotland, through the provision of fre information onhow best to manage finances. Find out more about the Financial Capability Programme by clicking below.

Money Advice Scotland


Who you gonna call? Debtbusters

Elaine Colliar talks you through the best places to seek advice.

If you have reached the point that you don’t know where to turn then maybe you need to talk to someone directly. But who can you trust?

A lot of online companies offer to “write off your debts” or do some magic voodoo if you can just find your way to giving them a big chunk of your money every month.

There are perfectly legitimate agencies out there who will help you to do this, making sure that every penny that is being used to pay off your debt actually goes to your creditors.

Even better, when you use these agencies, you will find that the people you owe money to will step back and stop hassling you. Fewer phone calls, red letters and stressful demands on the doorstep – that has got to be worth considering, right?

Who do I recommend? Well, for all forms of debt, whether it’s council tax or credit card bills, you can contact Citizens Advice, the StepChange Debt Charity or a free independent adviser who can negotiate payment plans at an affordable rate.

Christians Against Poverty (you don’t have to be religious) and the National Debtline can also help. If you are feeling under pressure from your creditors, these guys will help you prioritise your debts, set up a budget that works for your family and support you.

If your problem turns out to be much more severe, then there are agencies to help you access other options like the Debt Arrangement Scheme and even bankruptcy as an absolute last resort. So stop fretting and make that call.

Contact these organisations for advice:




10 easy steps to cut the size of your debt

Make 2016 the year you take control of your cash
Multiple debts

10 tips for cutting down on what you owe

1. Save regularly

Putting even a little bit of money aside every month means you won’t have to borrow to pay for any of the unexpected expenses that creep up from time to time. It doesn’t have to be much, just try to do it regularly, and do it as soon as you get paid so that you are not tempted to spend before you save.


2. Pay bills by direct debit

Some companies will give you a discount if you pay their bills by direct debit every month. Arrange your direct debits to come out of your current account just after you get paid – that way you will know how much you have to spend for the rest of the month, and can budget accordingly.


3. Work out a budget

Keep a note of everything you spend for a month to get an idea of your total monthly expenditure. Build in a bit of slack for unexpected spending and remember to add in the cost of things that you only spend money on once a year, such as insurances and Christmas.


4. Keep an eye on your utility bills

Use price comparison websites to make sure you are on the most suitable/competitive tariff for all of your utility bills, and check your bills regularly to make sure you are paying enough every month. That way you might be able to get back any excess that you build up if your usage drops and will avoid having to borrow if your bills increase suddenly.


5. Is your bank charging you?

Don’t borrow money from the bank without asking them. The charges for unauthorized overdrafts can be horrendous when compared to the cost of borrowing money on a planned overdraft where the bank knows how much you need.


6. Borrow sensibly

Don’t use expensive store cards and make sure the credit card you use has a low Annual Percentage Rate of interest (APR). Transfer any balances that you can’t pay off immediately to a card with a zero per cent APR.


7. Don’t just pay the minimum

Making the minimum payment on credit cards can add thousands of pounds to your overall debt and also add years to the time taken to repay the loan. Ideally you want to pay your total balance every month, but if that’s not possible, avoid paying the absolute minimum.


8. Seek advice

There are plenty of debt charities and advisers out there who can offer help and guidance. Check our debt section where you’ll be signposted to someone who can advise you in your area. 


9. Don’t use payday lenders

Payday lenders offer short-term loans that should be an absolute last resort, and only used when you are certain that you can repay in full at the end of the original term. If you don’t use them this way the charges are astronomical and they should be avoided at all cost.


10. Don’t get taken in by phone scams

You probably receive phone calls every day asking you to buy insurance or make a claim for insurance that you were wrongly sold. Both can add to your debt at the end of the year if you’re not careful, so avoid it all by just saying no and hanging up.

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