6th December 2021 | 6 minute read

How does ilumoni work with customers who are struggling with their debt?

The ilumoni app has been designed to help anyone who wants to understand and improve their borrowing, whether they’re a confident borrower or not, or just don’t have the time to manage their accounts and balances. 

Sometimes, ilumoni can see a customer is really struggling, or starting to struggle, with their debt. You may hear this referred to by others as ‘in or approaching financial difficulties’. At ilumoni, we don’t provide formal debt plans or solutions, such as IVAs, so what do we do to help those customers? 

How can the app tell if someone is struggling with debt? 

It’s rare that two people would ever have the same financial situation, so the logic and rules within the app are complex to reflect that, which means the app is looking at lots of different things to determine if someone may be struggling to cope with their debt. However, there are some key indicators that are used within the financial services industry that highlight this. 

For example, if someone is continually missing repayments or exceeding limits, especially if they are ‘priority debts’, such as utility bills, that could indicate that, for whatever reason, they are unable to meet their current financial commitments. Similarly, recent County Court Judgements (CCJs), or a very high or increasingly high ‘debt to income ratio’ (a calculation that looks at how much of your income is going towards your debt), may also indicate someone needs a helping hand. ilumoni uses what it can see of a customer’s financial circumstances, along with some of these typical indicators to determine how the app should best work for that person. 

What is ilumoni doing to help customers who are struggling with debt?

Our app is uniquely positioned to help identify when someone may be in or about to be in difficulty, so while we don’t provide formal advice for those struggling with debt, we’ve developed our service to support those customers where we can. This means customers who the app thinks may be struggling will stop seeing products to switch to and, instead, we’ll let them know that they could benefit from seeking independent, free debt advice from a registered charity designed to help people deal with problem debt.

For example, customers who appear to be struggling will not see nudges that help with managing debt better, such as our loan consolidation nudges, and the personal loan offers feature will not be available within the app. Instead, they will see one of the following two debt support nudges below:

Debt advice nudge 1

If a customer appears to need additional support, this nudge will be shown to encourage them to seek help from a free debt advice service, such as Moneyhelper or StepChange.

Debt advice nudge 2

This nudge will appear in the app for those who seem to be in severe financial difficulty. Again, this nudge will encourage people to seek independent advice, this time suggesting they do so ‘today’.

It’s important to note, though, that these nudges are shown based on the information a customer provides within the ilumoni app. If you haven’t connected all your accounts and balances via Open Banking, you could still be in a position where you may benefit from formal debt advice but the ilumoni app won’t register this as it can only see a few of your accounts. Similarly, you may see one of these nudges based on the information you’ve provided, but it may not apply within the context of balances or accounts you haven’t connected to the app.

We also recognise that sometimes people can find their debt feels overwhelming or difficult to manage, even though they may not specifically be ‘in financial difficulty’. ilumoni is designed to help as many people as it can, but there are organisations that can provide support with this too. Which is why we’ll be releasing new functionality in the near future that allows customers to mark themselves as struggling, in instances where the app has not determined that they are. 

What other support is available from ilumoni?

While technology can take us so far, the way we feel towards our debt is always important, whether we’re struggling financially or not. Our support team is always on hand to discuss any concerns with how the app is working for you, and if you are feeling overwhelmed, they can also provide you with additional resources to help you seek support. You can contact them directly within the app by clicking the pink smiley face in the bottom right-hand corner.  

Please remember that our support team works 9-5 pm though, and they aren’t trained to provide formal debt advice or mental health support. They’ll be able to share some resources with you, but If you need formal help, the fastest and easiest way to access relevant organisations is through our debt helplines page. If you are worried about your mental health and need to speak with someone urgently, you can also contact The Samaritans on 116 123 at any time.

When it comes to problem debt, the earlier you recognise the problem and seek help, the sooner you’re likely to regain control. So don’t wait if you are experiencing financial difficulties. 

FAQs

I don’t think I’m struggling but the app thinks I am - what can I do?

If you believe the app has wrongly calculated that you may be struggling, the first thing you should do is ensure you have connected as many of your accounts and balances as possible with the app. Each time a new account is connected, ilumoni will re-analyse the information provided and the nudges you see (if any) may change. 

If you have connected all your accounts but are still seeing a debt advice nudge that you don’t think is right, please get in touch with our support team who can discuss the issue further with you.  

I feel overwhelmed and think I might be struggling, but the app thinks I’m okay - what can I do?

Our support team is always available to help if you don’t believe the app is working suitably for you and your circumstances. You can contact them at any time by clicking the pink smiley face at the bottom right of the app screen. You may not receive a reply immediately as the team works 9-5 pm, but they’ll pick it up and get back to you as soon as they can. Please also consider seeking help from one of the organisations listed on our debt helplines page

I’m nervous about talking to people about my debt problems - how else can I get help?

It’s completely understandable to feel nervous about discussing your financial problems with other people, whether that’s friends, family or debt support professionals. Many organisations do now offer alternatives to face to face meetings if you find those overwhelming, so take a look at our debt helplines page to see if there’s a provider there who you would feel comfortable speaking to. Though it might feel scary, it’s so important to reach out and seek help as soon as you’re able as, often, the longer you leave things, the harder they get. 

In the first instance, you could use the ilumoni app to gain additional insight and information into your current situation and go from there but, whatever you choose to do, make sure you take action as soon as you can, to give yourself the best chance of regaining control of your debt. 

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