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27 February 2011
Online service to deal with debt and benefits
Aragon Housing Association has launched an addition to its website to help customers manage debt and maximise their income.
At a time of rising concern about money matters and cuts in debt and benefit advice services elsewhere, Aragon, part of the Grand Union Housing Group (GUHG), has launched the new online service which includes a weekly/monthly budget and debt calculator and other information about help on offer to customers.
Michele Collins, of Aragon’s Money Advice Service, said: “This is a really important service for our customers at a time when people are extremely worried about increasing debt.
“We want to empower people to take control of their debt and get their lives back on track – and now they can make a start on our website. It is also paramount to ensure that all benefits our customers are entitled to are claimed.”
One customer (who didn’t want to be named) who used the service, said: “The first day I met the money advisor I couldn’t even offer her a cup of coffee. I had got myself into a lot of debt and was trying to pay off every debt collector who was making threats.
“I was helped to organise my immediate and non-priority debts and now I have a better job, life and am now, with help, managing my debts. “
The online service gives customers access to information about money matters and welfare benefits as well as direct access to Aragon’s Money Advice Service.
Services also include assisting with complicated disability living allowance applications and the appeals process, which includes representing and supporting the customer through the process.
It forms part of a Financial Inclusion Strategy which lays out how Aragon plans to help as many of its customers as possible deal with money worries and ensuring they are accessing benefits.
The addition to the website, www.aragon-housing.co.uk comes on the back of the Money Advice Service which has so far helped more than 300 people since its launch in August 2008.
The online debt service can be found at http://www.aragon-housing.co.uk/need-support/money-advice/