Blue Monday, the third Monday of January, is named to recognise the arrival of unpaid credit card bills that might have a higher than normal balance, on top of the existing post-Christmas blues and the cold, dark nights.
Northumbrian Water want all of their customers to have water without the worry by offering a wide range of support for their customers. This also includes support for people who have difficulties with their bills.
The company are committed to helping customers in need, especially this time of year when things can become financially difficult. The partnership between Northumbrian Water and StepChange Debt Charity provides a comprehensive programme of help for people to reduce arrears and re-schedule payments to ease debt problems.
StepChange has over 25 years' experience of helping people become debt free. The start of the year is always a difficult time for people facing debt challenges. In the first six months of 2019, 331,337 new clients from across the UK contacted StepChange for help with their debts. That's one new client every 48 seconds.
The latest debt research published by StepChange, showed that Newcastle was the top UK city putting Christmas on a credit card.
Mark Wilkinson, Head of Income for Northumbrian Water, said: "While debt and financial problems can affect people all year around, January can provide a particular strain, coming on the back of the Christmas period.
"Struggling to pay bills is often the first sign that things are getting tight and many people still bury their heads in the sand and hope the problem will go away. More often than not, it only gets worse, but asking for help can be the first step towards resolving the problem.
"We can refer people to StepChange and their experts will find the best way forward for individuals' own personal circumstances. It may even be that people are eligible to a reduction in their bills."
Mark said: "Blue Monday is a great opportunity to focus upon an issue that affects people in many ways, not only financially. The worry of debt and some of the consequences of unpaid bills can cause a strain on people's health. It's important for people to know that they don't have to face their problems alone and help is available."
As well as their work with StepChange, the company offer multiple tariffs that are available for customers who are struggling to pay their bills. If your household income is less than £16,105 and your water bill is more than 3% of your household income after rent or mortgage payments, then you may be eligible for a reduction on your water bill by up to 50%.
If you think you would benefit from free debt advice, a discounted or Social Tariff, or know of a family member, friend or neighbour who′s life would be made that little bit easier with some support, visit www.nwl.co.uk/supportplus contact them on www.facebook.com/NorthumbrianWater, www.twitter.com/nwater_care or call 0800 121 4608