Debt counselor: More and more people in financial need

Released on 27.10. 2021

  • According to debt counseling centers, more and more people in Germany are in financial need because of the corona pandemic. Photo: Peter Steffen

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Reserves or privately borrowed money helped many at the beginning of the corona pandemic through financial bottlenecks – but the over-indebtedness can often no longer be compensated.

Berlin (dpa) – From the point of view of debt counseling centers such as Caritas and Diakonie, the consequences of the corona pandemic are causing more and more people in Germany to find themselves in financial need.

The counseling centers recorded a significant increase in requests for advice in the first half of the year 2021 compared to the volume before the pandemic. This was the result of a survey by the debt counseling working group of the associations.

“The increasing demand for social debt counseling is alarming,” said Maria Loheide, director of social policy at Diakonie Deutschland. At the beginning of the pandemic, many people could have kept themselves financially afloat through reserves or privately borrowed money. In the meantime, however, many have no longer been able to compensate for their over-indebtedness.

According to the survey, the number of inquiries increased in over two thirds of the counseling centers surveyed compared to the period before the pandemic. Self-employed people and people on short-time work increasingly asked for debt counseling. In over a quarter of the positions, the increased demand for advice is due to rent and energy debts.

The future President of the German Caritas Association, Eva Welskop-Deffaa, called for compensatory measures such as a climate bonus. It should not be understood that there is a right to free debt counseling only when people no longer have a job: “We need a legal right to debt counseling for everyone.”

To the study group include the Arbeiterwohlfahrt Bundesverband, the German Caritas Association, the German Parit├Ątische Wohlfahrtsverband and the Diakonie.

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