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Charity giving lessons to stop spiral into debt; MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

A DEBT charity has launched hundreds of money management courses to help people avoid financial difficulties this year.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP), based in Bradford, said more people may struggle with debt in 2015 as the Bank of England is likely to raise interest rates.

Matt Barlow, chief executive at CAP, said: "It will be a great relief for savers to see that percentage rise, when it does, but for some families with a mortgage it will be catastrophic.

"We see from the debt side of our W operation how an unexpected expense, or unexpected loss of income, can create a destructive downward spiral which can result in real hardship for the whole family."

An interest rate rise of just 1% on a property valued at PS140,000 can add an extra PS1,000 every year to the cost, taking the monthly payment from PS881 to PS964.

Mr Barlow added: "No one knows when interest rates will go up, although most think it will be a steady rise. Either way, we need to be smart about it now and take our household budget very seriously.

"If you're one of those people who never really knows what's in your account or who is dipping into the overdraft on a regular basis, regard this as your wake-up call."

CAP has launched a money management system called the CAP Money Course which offers online tools to create a flexible budget, allowing people to know exactly where their money is going and what they have to spend.

The free courses are being run at church venues throughout the UK with most lasting three sessions, spread over three weeks. Those taking part are asked to spend a week without using bank cards.

More than 12,000 people attended the CAP Money Course in 2014, with many reporting that they feel in control of their finances for the first time.

For more information, visit www.capmoneycourse.org

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 3, 2015
Words:333
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