Money Matters help tenant clear £9,000 worth of debt

A Wrekin tenant who faced so much debt that he couldn’t afford to eat has discussed how he was able to turn his life around.

Stephen from Telford was suffering from bone arthritis in his knees and facing debts totalling around £9,000.

After turning to credit to pay for disability equipment and with regular taxi trips to hospital to fund, he was unable to even afford presents for his family at Christmas

That was until he contacted our Money Matters Team for support.

Stephen said: “I was in such a mess as I’d only got so much money from my pension. I received £242 and was paying out £350 every week so I had nothing left.

“For the last two or three years, I hadn’t been able to able to afford to buy anyone a Christmas or birthday present because I had no money.

“I was having to go to hospital twice a week at the time and that was costing me a fortune in taxi fares because I couldn’t walk very far.”

He added: “I was paying money off every week and every month and it was just more and more interest. It’s so easy to get into that situation and you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“I’d paid all my money out, I’d got nothing in the fridge and I had no food. I thought I’d better do something.”

It was at that stage that Stephen contacted a member of the staff at Wrekin, who put him in touch with Dan Bebbington, the Group’s Debt & Energy Manager, for support.

Dan paid a visit to Stephen’s house and was soon able to stop most of his outgoing payments and put him onto a debt relief order.

Revealing how it has turned his life around, Stephen said: “The Christmas before last was the first time I’ve been able to buy anyone a present in years.

“I’m keeping my head above water now and I couldn’t have done it without Dan’s help. We worked it out and I would’ve been 210 before paid all the money I owed back.

“The best thing I ever did in my life was to speak to Dan as it took such a great weight off my mind.

“I’m in a spot now where I can actually put some money together and I’ve even got some saved for the first time in years.

“I’m starting to be able to enjoy myself and even thinking about going on holiday this year because I haven’t had one in 17 years.”

The team offer free financial advice and support for Wrekin residents, including help accessing benefits, managing money and paying rent.

During 2022/23, the team dealt with 2,306 referrals and secured nearly £5m in additional income for tenants.

We're here to help

We know that it can be hard to take the first steps to talk about money or get advice, and we’re here to help. We want to make it easier for our tenants to ask for support, whether it’s for budgeting advice or full on debt management. Our friendly Money Matters team are here for you. They offer a confidential, non-judgemental service to support all tenants. Call 01952 217234 or email:

3rd August 2023