The actor spoke yesterday as he launched the End High Cost Credit Alliance to provide “fairer alternatives” to mainstream rent-to-own firms and payday lenders.
The umbrella group, involving 50 partners, was announced at the Responsible Finance 18 conference at Glasgow City Chambers.
Mr Sheen, who has appeared in Frost/Nixon, The Queen and the Twilight series, said the alliance would tackle “those who unfairly target the most vulnerable in society”.
He said: “For the last seven or eight years I have becoming increasingly involved with a whole range of voluntary organisations, groups and projects and individuals from all across the UK working and supporting people who are going through a hard time.
“It’s been literally life-changing.”
The actor decided to “scale down” his acting career and shift the focus of his life to help those struggling to get credit.
He said he was “in this for the long haul” and had stepped aside from the industry and invested his own money in the project.
Mr Sheen said one of the biggest challenges was tackling the increasing burden of household debt. He said: “People need affordable credit and lenders who are fair.”