DAGCAS making debt advice more accessible in the region

Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service (DAGCAS) is making debt advice and support more accessible.

It has launched their new Multi-Channel Debt Advice team to enhance its specialist debt advice provision, working alongside the Money Advice Team.

The new Multi-Channel Debt team will:

  • Review income and expenditure.
  • Discuss viable options with client
  • Provide clients with the advantages and disadvantages of each option to help them make an informed choice.
  • Refer clients to an In Court Advice Service if they require representation in court
  • Provide a portal for wider D&G CAS support for benefits, employment advice and other issues that potential clients may be experiencing.
  • Assist with priority and non-priority debts

The coordinator for the money advice team, Carole Benzie, said: “We have an additional three advisers based in Dumfries, working across the region delivering advice, support, and assistance via telephone, email and web chat (and shortly NearMe video calling). The addition of web chat opens more contact options for clients and allows those who are unable to use more traditional methods of contact, such as in person or telephone, to access support.

“We have also created a new self-help pack for clients to make debt advice and support more accessible by empowering them to take control of their own issues. This pack is aimed at those who have unaffordable non-priority credit debts but would be able to manage their own repayment plan. The pack works through making sure clients have a safe bank account, working out a budget, as well as deciding whether to offer pro rata or token payments.

“We are of course still available to assist these clients in any way we can if they need extra support.”

Fergus Marshall, Multi-Channel Debt Adviser, added: “With furlough and payment holidays coming to an end, as well as redundancies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have noticed the service gradually becoming busier with debt and money enquiries. Having a new multichannel debt team means the people affected by these issues have more contact options and can get the advice and support they need through a contact method they feel comfortable with”.

The service can be accessed by:

  • Telephone at 0300 303 4321 (Free from Landlines but from mobile may vary). Advisers, subject to availability, can be contacted between 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Thursday and to 4.30 pm on Friday 
  • Email – fill out and send the enquiry form on the website at www.dagcas.org
  • Webchat through www.dagcas.org
  • NearMe available soon