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Fight against excessive debt in Seine-Saint-Denis by CRESUS

Summary : Since 2008, the Crésus Foundation (Regional Chamber of Social Indebtedness) has deployed a national network to welcome, listen to and support indebted households. Its branch in Seine-Saint-Denis has taken action to fight against exclusion through education and financial training for all.

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  • Start date : 2008
  • Implementation site : St Denis
  • Budget : 640000 €
  • Source and details on funding : 100% self-financed, no public subsidies. Our purchasing advisors (banks, employers, insurers




Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  28/04/2015 00:00
Opinion of the Committee : Innovative !
Solution(s) : social economy Social exclusion and isolation
Country :  France, Île-de-France
Stature of the programme : 
Participant :  Foundation
  • Beneficiaries :  Universal
  • Domain :  Employment, Budget

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : Pekkip Maxime , « Fight against excessive debt in Seine-Saint-Denis by CRESUS », **Journal RESOLIS** (2015)

Background to the programme

Created in 2008, the Crésus platform for support with and prevention of over-indebtedness has helped more than 8,000 households sent by purchasing advisors (banks and financial institutions). Crésus has a presence in Seine-Saint-Denis, where support and training is very popular.

Objectives of the programme

- Welcome, listen to and assist indebted households

- Take action to fight against exclusion through education and financial training for all

- Reduce by a third the number of cases of over-indebtedness in France

Implemented actions

- Set up and managed the platform

- Coaching and support with budgeting by phone over periods ranging from 89 to 130 days

- "Dilemma": the finance education game. Organisation of sessions in various organisations (Centre de Formation d’Apprentis, centre Etablissement Public d’Insertion de la Défense, local youth centres, companies ...)

Among these households, over the last 2 years, 238 are resident in Seine-Saint-Denis. Meanwhile ten “dilemma” sessions were organised (game and finance education programme which benefited 200 people from a total of 300 sessions throughout the whole of France).

Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions

In Seine-Saint-Denis:

- In 2013 and 2014: 238 households were supported and 200 participants at the ten Dilemma sessions

- At their first assessment, the registered households have an average of €-7 left to live with excluding expenses on food hygiene and clothes. After in-depth work on the structure of their debt and their budget during support lasting from 89 to 120 days, only 43% of households sent to them submit a file on over indebtedness

- The rate of supported households who re-submit a file is only 2%.

- Constant development of Dilemma: more than 400 board games sold, 400 trainers to facilitate and more than 3,000 people reached.

Original characteristics

- Co-creation carried out with stakeholders in over-indebtedness.

- The CRESUS foundation is entirely self-funded and is not subject to any public subsidy.

Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme

More than 40 private partners (banks, credit institutions, mutual insurers and employers)


Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :

The demand is higher than Crésus’ monitoring capabilities.

Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :

-Constant recruitment and continuous training

-Use of new technologies to optimise working time and increase the capacity to welcome people

-Sponsorship and volunteering from companies for audits and management of the overflow (Alllianz, Accenture, BCG, AXA, IMA, Docapost)

- Intrapreneurship and training with platforms and dedicated services within the partner companies (CED Cetelem, Support from La Banque Postale). Skills transfer and taking the least complicated situations in-house.

Suggestions for future improvement :

Establishment of the association in the areas in demand. Crésus could train them on the support activities.

Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :

-Recognition and visibility of the measures

- Institutions and actors in the field know of the measures

- Capitalisation of the experience and the data through fundamental and applied research

- Excellent scientific and institutional knowledge of the over-indebtedness phenomenon

Ideas for basic or applied research topics, that could be useful to the programme :

CRESUS is already working with researchers who make use of their data in various fields including from medicine (over-indebtedness and health), sociology and economics ...

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