How can I help a friend who is in debt?

Two female friends, one is comforting the other by holding her arm and looking supportive.
Debt and financial worries can affect the people you love. Here’s how you can offer some help. 

It’s so great that you want to help your friend who is struggling with their finances. CAP exists to empower people to get out of debt and poverty, and we’ve been doing so for over 25 years.

We know how debt and financial worries can affect not just the individual or family, but those around them who care about them, too. Here are just a few ways you can help if you’re worried about someone:

Be a friend

Keep doing all the things you are already doing. Love your friend, make time to listen to them, and help them feel safe and free from judgement. Many people in debt feel shame, so it’s vital that you assure them you’re not judging them. Don’t push them to make any decisions, but say that you are there to listen and support them. That might be as simple as putting the kettle on and sitting down to listen.

Help them connect with CAP

We’ve learnt over the years that our service only works for people if they make the phone call to say they need help, as they need to be ready to commit to putting in the work required to become debt free, which could be some time. You can’t take this step for them. However, you can point them in the right direction via our postcode search, and encourage them to call us if there’s a local centre in their area.

Help them connect with other services

Debt is rarely a single issue that people are facing. Often people are up against many other struggles, including relational difficulties, job concerns or mental health issues. There are excellent services available for all these that you can help and encourage your friend to access.

Keep being a friend

Getting out of debt can take a long time. Over that period, your friend could get disheartened or frustrated with the process. They will need love and support as they walk the journey out of debt. Your friendship can be a critical part of that process.