Where to Get Debt Help
Millions of Britons are in debt, so if you’ve got financial worries, you’re not alone. For many, debt is easy to get into, and a lot harder to get out of. But if you’re in debt, there’s plenty of help available to you. The important thing is to reach out and get advice. So if you’re in debt and can’t see a way out, here’s the help that’s available to you.
You’re Not Alone
Money problems can seem both overwhelming and impossible to solve. However, by simply getting some advice, specific plans and legally binding agreements can be set up to help you pay off those debts. A debt advisor will talk you through all the possibilities and all the steps. All you need to do is ask for the help you need.
A debt advisor will not judge you. And nobody wants to see you homeless, bankrupt, or hungry. It’s in everyone’s best interests (including your creditors) that you are able to live and work, thereby being able to pay off those debts. Believe it or not, there are solutions to your problems.
Potential Solutions to Debt Problems
Before we get to specific places where you can get free advice, let’s talk about the solutions that will be explained to you. Depending on your circumstances, there are different methods for helping you pay off your debts. Again, all these will be explained to you by a debt advisor, and your advisor will give you step by step instructions for how to go about implementing any of these solutions.
A Debt Management Plan
The first step that any advisor will talk to you about is setting up a debt management plan. A debt management plan involves going through all of your debts, adding up what you owe, prioritising them, and working out how much you can afford to pay each creditor each month. This isn’t as complicated as you might think, and you’ll get easy to follow instructions to help you do this.
You’ll also get information on how to negotiate your debts. This might involve talking to banks or other creditors to negotiate lower payment rates. Alternatively, it might involve one of the other debt solutions explained below. However, a debt management plan is key, and will let you see what you owe and to who, and let you take control of your financial situation. In basic terms a debt management plan will talk you through the process of arranging to pay back your debts in a way that’s affordable for you.
Applying for a Debt Relief Order
A debt relief order, or DRO, is a legal document that will write off some of your debts. There are many conditions attached to obtaining a DRO. You cannot file your own application, for example, but your debt advisor will point you to a registered DRO consultant who can do it for you. You also cannot own your own home, and your debts must be less than £20,000.
If you qualify for a DRO you can expect it to last around a year. During that year you will not have to pay anything towards you debt, and legally your creditors cannot pursue the debt. At the end of the year, all of the debts that qualify under your DRO will be written off as long as you have abided by the conditions set out in your DRO.
Applying for an Administration Order
An administration order is a legally binding document that helps you pay off a CCJ (a county court judgement that says you must pay a debt). In order to qualify your debt must be less than £5000, and you must have two or more debts owing. Basically, you negotiate with the creditor, or in front of a judge, to set a payment rate that you can afford, and the administration order then enforces that rate.
Applying for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement
An individual voluntary arrangement, or IVA, is the same as an administration order except that it’s not limited to county court judgements. You can use an IVA to pay off any kind of debt, including to banks, credit companies, and anyone else you owe money too. The process is similar to that of an administration order. You negotiate with your creditor to set up a debt repayment plan that you can afford, and then sign an IVA. The IVA acts as a legally binding agreement that you will pay a certain amount of money each month.
Applying for Bankruptcy
In addition, your debt advisor will help you with the process of applying for bankruptcy if this is the best solution for you. If you apply for bankruptcy, all of your debts are wiped out and all legal processes claiming money must be stopped. However, your possessions and assets are taken and sold to attempt to pay off some of your debts. This is generally the end stage of financial problems, and is only used as a last resort. You will be allowed to keep personal possessions and enough money to live on.
Where to Get Debt Help
There are tons of free resources that will give you advice on your debt. And you can contact any one of them, or even more than one, until you find a debt advisor that you feel comfortable with.
If you want advice through web chat
If you’d like to talk through your problems online with an advisor, here are the best free resources:
- The Citizen’s Advice Bureau
- The Debt Advice Foundation
- StepChange Debt Charity
- National Debtline
If you want phone advice
If you’d prefer to discuss your problems over the phone, here’s where you can get help:
- PayPlan at 0800 280 2816
- National Debtline at 0808 808 4000
- StepChange Debt Charity at 0800 138 1111
- The Debt Advice Foundation at 0800 622 61 51
If you want person-to-person advice
If you prefer doing things face to face then there are probably plenty of options in your local area. Just use a debt advice location finder, such as the one here, to find somewhere close to you that can help.
If you’re in debt then you’re certainly not alone, and there’s no shame in asking for help. All of the above advice services exist because there are thousands of people struggling with the same problems as you. You don’t have to solve debt alone, and getting the advice you need can put you back on track!