Many municipalities have help and advice for people who have been indebted and need to organize their finances. Unfortunately, the waiting time for getting any help is far too long, which the Swedish Consumer Agency does not think is acceptable.
In some municipalities you will receive help in principle immediately without queuing, but in some cases you will be queued for up to 40 weeks. The bright spot is that the queues have decreased slightly from the previous year.
284 municipalities have budget and debt counseling for people who are over-indebted
It is far from everyone who meets the requirements set by the Swedish Consumer Agency. According to the Consumer Agency, it must be a maximum of one month of waiting time for a budget or debt adviser to meet, but only 179 municipalities are able to meet the requirements. In some cases, you have to wait as long as 40 weeks for advice. This means that 105 people cannot offer help quickly enough. In addition, three municipalities have no counseling at all.
A budget or debt adviser helps people who have debt problems and about 75% of those who have had debt relief have at some point also been helped by debt counseling. They work both with preventive information efforts and with personal advice. All Swedes have the right to demand help, but it is obviously unacceptable with such a long wait.
I think it is very bad that there is such an extremely long waiting time in some municipalities
Some municipalities have a very short queue and you can get help almost immediately. It is precisely these municipalities that are not the problem and neither are the 179 that can offer advice within a month. A month is a reasonable time to wait but longer than that, you can’t actually wait if you have major debt problems.
Normally, you just get deeper and deeper into the debt trap the longer you go and if you don’t get help early, you run the risk of having even bigger problems.
Waiting a full 40 weeks for debt counseling is thus not a viable option
It can happen a lot in 40 weeks and when you already have problems with debts every single month is difficult to deal with and it does not get better when you have no one to turn to for help and support.
Very many municipalities need to review their routines so that people who need help can get this help so quickly that it is actually possible to turn the economy around.