Debt and Depression

We understand that it’s very possible, and common, to experience mental health issues when it comes to managing your finances including becoming depressed about debt.

As a customer of Lowell, we put you first and our priority is to make your debt more manageable by working together and helping you find a solution for your Lowell debt. As part of our mission to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and debt, we’ve created this guide to look into the topic of debt and depression.

How depression and debt are related

Dealing with debt when mental health is involved can be difficult. We appreciate that mental health issues can lead to debt and debt can cause mental health problems. This is why finding a way to try to improve either one can seem impossible, but it’s not.

We’re aware that there is clear evidence for the link between unmanaged debt and an impact on mental health leading to issues such as depression. That’s why we want to work with you so that you can understand how to properly manage your debt with the goal of becoming debt-free with Lowell.

And if you’d like to find out more about depression and its symptoms, you can visit the Mind website.

Where to find depression and debt help

As hard as it may seem to ask for help, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. At Lowell, we’re trying to remove the stigma around the conversation of debt and even sitting down and talking through things with someone can help ease your mind.

If you’re not comfortable speaking to someone you know then there are a number of different mental health and debt organisations that can offer you free and independent advice:

  • Mind – Mind is a mental health charity that offers guidance and information to those struggling with their mental health.
  • Samaritans – If you’re finding things really difficult, you can get in touch with the Samaritans who will be there to listen and care about your well-being.
  • StepChange – If you’re wanting free and confidential advice or information on how you can better manage your debts, you can contact StepChange.
  • Citizens Advice – Citizens Advice is an independent organisation that you can go to for free and unbiased guidance regarding your debt concerns. Their staff are specially trained to help you if you’re struggling with your mental health.

If you’re struggling with debt and depression, please get in touch with our friendly and supportive team. We’ll always listen to your concerns and worries and do everything we can to figure out the best next steps for you.

What else can I do to help if I’m struggling with depression and debt

For anyone struggling with problem debt, you can speak with a debt management company (DMC) that can look into the Debt Respite Scheme (aka Breathing Space) on your behalf.

This scheme is made up of two different types: standard breathing space and a mental health crisis breathing space.

Standard breathing space is open to anyone who is dealing with problem debt however there are certain eligibility criteria to enter into this scheme. Using this scheme lets them pause their debt payments for up to 60 days. During this time, they will also not hear from their creditor and any interest or charges will be frozen.

Mental health crisis breathing space is specifically for people who are receiving mental health crisis treatment. This version of Breathing Space lasts for as long as your treatment, plus an extra 30 days.

To be eligible for Standard Breathing Space you need to:

  • live in England or Wales
  • owe a qualifying debt
  • not already be on other debt solutions including having a debt relief order (DRO), an individual voluntary agreement (IVA), an interim order, or being in ongoing bankruptcy when applying
  • have not already taken advantage of Standard Breathing Space in the last year when applying

If you’re eligible and would like to apply then the DMC can submit your application to the Insolvency Service, who manages the scheme. Once submitted, the scheme typically begins within two working days.

For Mental Health Crisis Breathing space you must be receiving specific treatment which you can find out more about over on MoneyHelper. If you live in Scotland, then there is a similar scheme called a Statutory Moratorium, something which can provide more information on. And for those living in Northern Ireland, there is currently no equivalent option. 

something which can provide more information on. And for those living in Northern Ireland, there is currently no equivalent option. Whilst we might not be able to directly help ourselves with the above scheme, we can put you in touch with other organisations who offer free independent advice and support.

How Lowell supports customers with depression and debt

There is no doubt in our minds that debt is a health and well-being issue. We really do value our customers’ feedback and spoke to some of them to find out their honest feelings about being in debt.

At Lowell, we know that we have an important role to play when it comes to making your life, and the entire debt process, easier. That’s why we pride ourselves on always looking for ways we can improve and learn how we can do this.

In fact, we often speak to our customers through our customer panel to see what we can do to improve and what we’re doing well. You can read our blog to find out more about how our Customer Panel helps Lowell customers.

We’re here to support you

After letting us know that you’re going through a tough time, we’ll look into what we can do to help you manage your debt. Our team are trained to be considerate no matter what you’re going through and will always be there to listen and understand.

We understand it can be hard to reach out but keeping us updated regarding your situation means we can continue supporting you on your journey to becoming debt-free with Lowell.

We’re extremely flexible and if you don’t think your plan is working for you anymore then we can help change it to be more suitable. You can always use our online portal to manage your account yourself as well.

Our customers’ well-being and mental health come first to us, and we want to do all we can to support you. We’re always here whenever you need us. Whether we see what we can do to make things easier for you on our end or put you in touch with other organisations who can help.

To discover more about the different types of debt support that we offer as well as other debt-related help and guidance, have a read of our guides in our debt guidance hub and over on the Lowell blog.

Published by Stephanie North-Shaw, 12th April 2023

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