Spotlight on…Justine McGinnis, Assistant Manager of Debt Advice Foundation’s Contact Centre

What is your role at Debt Advice Foundation?
 
“I’m a Debt Advisor and also Assistant Manager for the Contact Centre.”
 
What does a typical day at Debt Advice Foundation look like? 
 

“For me it’s still taking inbound calls, then managing my own case load of clients which need outbound calls and courtesy calls.  My Managerial role includes managing the rotas for holidays, shift changes and absences along with team coaching and support. I also monitor workloads to ensure quality.” 

 
What is your favourite thing about your job?
 
“Helping people – especially those who feel there is no way out and don’t know what to do.  But I also love working with these guys too, my work colleagues.” 
 
Before working at DAF what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
 
“Believe it or not I was a waitress at Pizza Hut and I loved it – it was so much fun, but I couldn’t do it full time.  I have also previously looked after dogs at Guide dogs for the Blind and worked in another kennels too because I love my animals.”
 
What cases have you worked on recently that you’re proud of? 
 
“We call them files as cases sounds a bit too legal! The best are those people that say they will now sleep at night knowing they can deal with their debts when before they thought they would just have to go bankrupt.  Or those who we follow up with and have managed to sort out their problems, whether that’s with help from family or another way – they say they could only tackle it after the advice we gave them.” 
 
Do you think your job makes you more careful with money?
 
“Definitely, I do have some debts but they are small, my daughters have picked up on the need to save rather than spend and will now just save and wait for what they want.  They are 21 and 19 and I now speak to youngsters that are younger than mine and owe thousands and cannot pay it back – it’s frightening.”
 
If you could switch your job with anyone else within DAF, whose job would you want?
 
“I wouldn’t – I love mine – so it’s either that or retirement!”
 
What’s your best money-saving tip?
 
“Not to make rash choices, or as in a little ditty I once wrote; “don’t be rash with your cash”. Don’t jump for the first good deal you see, there may be others that you will miss if you don’t research first.” 
 
If you could say anything to people considering calling the helpline, what would you say?
 
“If you’re struggling, don’t struggle alone – there is help and advice available and a way to free yourself from debt.  It might not be the quickest route but it is a start and it will give you peace of mind, knowing that your debt is once again under control.”
 

If you’re worried about debt, call us on 0800 043 4050 or take a look at our handy tools