Opportunities & challenges in the debt advice sector today

Money Advice Service


Summary research report, outlining some of the key insights and opportunities emerging from our ground-breaking study of the UK’s debt advice landscape – the most robust of its kind ever conducted. Download the report using the link on the right.

You can also read more about the project in our blog here.


In order to understand a sector with such a wide range of advice givers, stakeholders and vulnerable customers, we conducted approximately 250 hours of place-based fieldwork. This included interviews with more than 120 debt advice staff and more than 100 people who had sought or were seeking advice. The research even extended to observing court hearings, documenting the systematic failings that underpinned the sector.

The insights revealed the central opportunity to create change: How could customers be given the tools to develop financial resilience instead of falling back into debt?

To achieve this the debt advice sector required structural change, so we developed four opportunity areas to improve the way organisations operated, ultimately enabling advice-givers to work with clients to provide long-term and lasting debt solutions.