There are many places you can find help if you’re in debt and it doesn’t involve having to pay huge fees to a commercial debt management company. You don’t have to look very far to find impartial and independent advice, as well as help with things like bankruptcy and debt management.
To get you started, we’ve prepared a list of the main places you can go.
Citizens Advice is a generalist service that deals with a broad client group and a wide range of problems. Debt issues represent a significant portion of their work. Services vary from bureau to bureau but most have specialist debt and financial capability advisers.
Citizens Advice advisers will look at your whole situation and provide independent and impartial advice on all the options available to you. They won’t pressure you into a solution, but they will make sure that you understand all the pros and cons.
Citizens Advice can help you to take control of your finances, prepare financial statements and resolve issues with creditors. Bureaux can also support you in negotiating repayment plans and although they cannot manage your payments for you, they will refer you to free services that can.
You can find details about Citizens Advice services in your area by visiting: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Stepchange is a specialist organisation which provides free, independent and realistic debt advice and support. They can help you to understand and reach decisions about the full range of options available to you.
Stepchange can help you if you’re considering bankruptcy, or can arrange an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or Debt Relief Order (DRO). They can also provide a fee-free debt management plan – that means that all the money you pay into your plan goes towards reducing your debt. None of your money is swallowed up by fees.
To contact Stepchange:
Phone: 0800 138 1111
Like Stepchange, Payplan also offer free and impartial advice, plus a fee-free debt management plan. Payplan draws its funding from the credit industry and their commercial partners. This means that they will not charge you a fee for your Debt Management Plan.
To contact Payplan:
Phone: 0800 716 239
National Debtline is a charity run by the Money Advice Trust and offers a free, impartial advice service. They also provide a wealth of information, factsheets and other online tools, such as template letters, to help you gain control of your finances.
To contact National Debtline:
Phone: 0808 808 4000
Debt Camel is a great source of free and impartial advice about debt and your options for tackling it. It's completely non-comercial and National Debtline described it as "answering a lot of common questions clearly without jargon".
Money Saving Expert
Money Saving Expert is a website set up by Martin Lewis and has a varied selection of impartial articles and information on all manner of money management and consumer topics. It’s also home to a thriving online community who are keen to share tips and advice.
Consumer Action Group
This is another online community which shares information and advice on financial and consumer matters. The site also hosts articles and guides to help you make sense of your finances.