2021 has brought many challenges, but managing your money doesn’t have to be one of them. Over 14,500 people received help from MABS in 2020. The South Connacht MAB service has remained open throughout the year, providing a full range of money advice and budgeting support by phone, email, online chat, and virtually through video services such as Zoom.
Support and advice ranged from rent and mortgage arrears to utility and credit card debt. Other queries came from people who wanted to know more about the financial supports available and how to make a budget in times of uncertainty due to COVID-19.
Professional Money advisers assist clients to explore both their informal and formal (statutory ) debt solutions, and offer information and advice on their options. All advice is provided free of charge.
MABS Research carried out in November 2019 and June 2020 by Opinions, found that despite the very real negative financial impacts experienced [by people], less than half (48% ) have taken action. Worryingly, of this group, only 11% have sought the help of a debt resolution or support agency, such as MABS. Friends/family made 21%, while 11% have borrowed from a financial institution and 6% have taken money from a moneylender.
‘We want people to know that MABS is open and ready to help” said Rosaleen Maher, Regional Manager, South Connacht MABS. “We believe that it is never too late to ask for help and support. The sooner someone comes forward, the better the outcome. I’d encourage anyone sitting on the fence to get in touch. The service is free, independent, professional and non-judgemental.”
MABS, funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board, is an essential service and has been from the beginning of the pandemic. The service has adapted to the evolving, changing situation and makes sure to provide a full money advice and a budgeting service, in the most appropriate way for the client.
Rosaleen Maher said they are ready to help.
“We ask that people don’t wait until the last minute, instead come forward early if they are concerned about their personal financial situation.”
Visit mabs.ie for your local office’s contact details or chat with a money adviser online. Call the MABS national helpline on 0761 07 2000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. Money advisers are available and waiting to help.