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Debt Advice Charity’s Chilling Report on the Dire Situation of Struggling Households

Published on: 15 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 16 Mar, 2024

Many households in Guildford who are currently receiving help and support from a debt advice charity don’t even have enough money to afford the essentials they need to live.

This is being reported by Christians Against Poverty (CAP) and the churches in Guildford who are working with it.

CAP’s latest poll, carried out by YouGov, shows in the South East that a quarter of those questioned are struggling with debt repayments.

Of those, 25 per cent reported feeling burdened by the pressure to keep up with repayments on their credit cards, bills and other loans.

Many are using credit to pay for monthly bills and one in 10 (12%) adults in the South East say it’s the main reason they’ve used a credit card in the last six months.

The poll reveals that thousands continue to sacrifice essentials, with 13 per cent polled saying they skipped meals at least once a month and 45 per cent have been limiting their electricity or gas usage.

Some are running out of options as one in 10 (11 per cent) say it wouldn’t be easy for them to borrow £200 in an emergency situation and a similar amount (10 per cent) can’t get access to a credit card due to their credit score.

CAP’s latest report is titled Pushed Under, Pushed Out.

CAP’s latest report Pushed Under, Pushed Out, also gives chilling details of the plight of people who are in debt.

Click here to read CAP’s report, Pushed Under, Pushed Out.

Christian Against Poverty’s Guildford team is based at Westborough United Reformed Church. Its debt centre manager, Jane Seals, said: “This new report shows what we are already seeing on the ground at Christians Against Poverty and in churches here in Guildford, that many households we visit just don’t have enough income to cover their essential costs right now.

“The Pushed Under, Pushed Out report has looked at 10 years worth of data and shows four out of five people with income below the minimum level were in arrears due to household bills. The report also found those in low income jobs were often most affected and that employment doesn’t necessarily protect against the impact of low incomes and debt.

“At CAP we find the main reason for debt is living on a low income alongside other aspects that impact people’s finances. It could be that they have been made redundant, are going through a relationship breakdown, suffered an injury or long-term illness or a loved one has passed away, resulting in less household income. These types of often unexpected or unplanned situations can cause both emotional and financial pain.”

CAP’s Improve your finances poster.

CAP’s local team in Guildford is encouraging local businesses, organisations and community groups across the borough to put up CAP’s Improve your finances poster to raise awareness of the free online and local help available to those struggling financially. For a copy of the poster send an email to Jane Seals at

CAP adds that the stigma around debt and poverty means many people feel ashamed and as a result don’t come forward for help.

In Guildford, churches partner with Christians Against Poverty to run free debt advice, money coaching, life skills groups and a job club.

Jane Seals continued: “All of us living here in Guildford can play our part in changing that by working together to support and encourage our friends, family and people in our community who are struggling financially. We can show them love and understanding and point them towards free, friendly and professional help.

“We do this because we are determined to help local people improve their finances. We do this because as Christians we believe in taking practical action to show love, care and compassion to everyone in our community, especially those in need.”

CAP’s website also has details of free support and guidance, including details of face-to-face services offered in the Guildford area. Click here:

CAP’s Guildford debt centre manager, Jane Seals, can be contacted by email at

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