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Recession fuelling demand for debt advice, counsellor claims

Hämeenlinna advisors appear to be struggling to keep up with growing demand for help dealing with money troubles, as waiting times to see a counsellor double in one year.

Kuvassa käsi pitää kympin seteliä pöydän päällä, jossa on muutamia pikkukolikoita.
The downturn is responsible for an increase in people seeking debt advice, according to one counsellor Image: Kia-Frega Prepula / Yle

Waiting times to see debt counsellors are on the increase, one advisor has said.

In Hämeenlinna the queue to see a debt advisor has doubled in the space of a year, with no appointments now available until the autumn. Waiting times in nearby Riihimäki have also lengthened.

Riihimäki-based debt advisor Matti Yli-Sarja says the faltering economy is to blame.

”Unemployment is the big reason, and the weak job situation is only going to continue getting worse,” Yli-Sarja predicted.

“We see that even short-term joblessness can set off a vicious circle of debt. Divorce and getting sick are also common things we see that can lead to economic problems,” he said.

“Of course over-spending is another reason some people get into trouble, when someone has unforeseen reductions in their income,” Yli-Sarja added.

Debt counselling promises to offer concrete ways to deal with debt and better manage finances in the long term.

“The recession has long been reflected in this job, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better. So there’s no shortage of demand for our services,” Yli-Sarja said.

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