Citizens Advice Scotland estimate over 236,000 did not have debt pre-pandemic, but do now
More than 600,000 adults in Scotland entered debt during the pandemic, or saw their pre-existing debt get worse, according to new analysis.
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) said that from its analysis of YouGov polling it estimates that 364,004 Scottish adults had debt before the pandemic which has got worse.
A further 236,602 Scottish adults did not have debt before the pandemic and now do.
Meanwhile an estimated 291,000 Scottish adults aren’t currently in debt but feel at risk of it, while 382,000 do not feel at risk of debt, but said they struggle to make ends meet.
CAS is running Debt Happens, a campaign encouraging people to get advice to deal with debt.
The charity’s financial Health spokesman Myles Fitt said: “Debt shouldn’t be a taboo subject or something people are ashamed to talk about, and these figures show the scale of the problem across Scotland, with hundreds of thousands of people either at risk of debt, entering debt during the pandemic, or seeing their arrears deepen during Covid.
“The key thing we want people to understand is they are not alone.
“These figures show hundreds of thousands of people are in the same boat, and with the cost of living crisis increasing the pressure on household budgets, now is the time to seek advice.
“The Citizens Advice Bureau CAB network can help people through local CABs or our online tools like the public advice site or Money Map.
“Some people will benefit from specialist debt advice which restructures their payments, while others will see benefit from more money in their pockets through help with income maximisation.
“Either way we can help. Our advice is free, confidential and impartial, we’ll never charge people for advice and we never judge about people’s circumstances.”
The poll of 1001 Scottish adults was carried out by YouGov in February and the CAS team carried out calculations to extrapolate the data to the general population.