Better debt assistance programs save society €180 million: Advocates
Early detection and prevention of financial problems can save society vast amounts of money every year, according to non-profit partnership SchuldenlabNL. Together with consultancy firm Deloitte, SchuldenlabNL examined the effectiveness of the website Geldfit.nl, which measures financial fitness.
Last year the site was used 190,000 times, saving the public 180 million euros, according to the organization. The savings were indicative of people becoming more capable of filling a job position. This then leads to economic growth, and also direct cost savings, such as a reduction in welfare benefits, and the less frequent use of mental healthcare services.
By allowing people to make their financial plans or quickly make payment arrangements, SchuldenlabNL aims to prevent significant financial problems. The Nederlandse Schuldhulproute (NSR), the organization behind Geldfit.nl, works with over 40 companies and governmental organizations, and over 80 municipalities. Geldfit.nl has been used twice as often this year than last year, according to NSR director Matin Suithoff.
SchuldenlabNL wants to increase the reach of the method for tackling debt problems early. The foundation intends to send the results of the study to all municipalities and encourage them to join.
The Dutch Banking Association (NVB) is also satisfied with the results. Director Eelco Dubbeling points out that the banking association was one of the founders of NSR. "It makes us very happy to see that now more than 40 national organizations from all kinds of sectors have joined.”
Reporting by ANP.