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It’s been six months since the Government introduced its Breathing Space scheme to give people struggling with problem debt some extra time to get their finances back on track.

During this time, we’ve recommended Breathing Space to customers where our advisers felt this was the best option for their needs.

We sent a survey to these customers to find out how they felt about their Breathing Space experience, whether it had benefited them – and how they feel about their financial future.

Here’s a summary of what they said:

Did Breathing Space have a positive impact on their mental health?

  • Most of the customers who responded felt that Breathing Space had positively impacted their mental health
  • In fact, 82% of these customers confirmed it had

What were our customers looking for Breathing Space to help them with?

  • Over half of those who responded said they were looking for Breathing Space to give them a temporary break from interest and charges on their debts – but some were worried about bailiff action and evictions too
  • Many customers hoped Breathing Space would give them some time to get their income back to pre-Covid levels, whilst others hoped to find a job within the 60 days

How long had our customers been struggling with the debts before contacting us?

  • Almost 60% of respondents said they’d been struggling with their debts for up to two years
  • It was great to hear that 26% of customers got in touch with us within the first year of struggling

Is our Breathing Space information and advice clear and easy to understand?

  • Over 90% of the customers who responded were happy with the information and advice we provided
  • 88% of our customers also said they found the process of setting up their Breathing Space with us either ‘Easy’ or ‘Very Easy’
  • 95% of our customers were happy with the information and advice we provided

One customer’s story

Customer A is a Director of a Limited Company that specialises in training and mentoring. He shared his thoughts on how Breathing Space had improved his financial situation.

“Breathing Space gave me legal protection from creditors – however, several of my creditors weren’t well prepared for it. They seemed to be unaware of the legislation and I still got letters from them. Once they were aware, they did leave me alone. PayPlan has been very helpful and all the companies they approached accepted the proposals. Unfortunately, the creditors for my business debts are still being fairly aggressive.

“The fact that Breathing Space exists is good because it gives you time to think about your next steps when you’ve got creditors on your back. PayPlan seems to be the most switched on of the companies handling the scheme – I’m grateful to them for their help and support.

“I highly recommend the Breathing Space scheme because it moves the power away from the creditors during the 60-day period and allows you to reach a sensible solution moving forward.

“I’ve now got my debts under control in a Debt Management Plan (DMP) with PayPlan – and feel much better about the future.

“On a personal level, I found it extremely helpful and am very grateful to PayPlan for turning it around within 24 hours – I was really impressed with that. The fact they took control of it – and the sheer speed of the response – showed PayPlan’s service to be incredibly switched on, and very efficient.”

Find out more about Breathing Space here.