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Tackling your debts

How to get debt advice

Posted 14 November 2016

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How to go about getting help with your debts.

Are you worried about your debts? Perhaps you’ve decided you need to speak to someone about them. But where to start? In today’s blog we’re going to explain how to get free, impartial debt advice and what to expect when you first pick up the phone.

Where can I go for help?

Here at Debt Advisory Centre, we’re here to help anyone who is struggling with their debts. No matter how much you owe or what part of the country you live in, we’ll be able to recommend the best solution for you.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see your options for contacting us. You can call straight away and get stuck into finding the right solution, start a live chat if you’re not ready to talk, or get a free, personalised money smart report by clicking below. The report will give you a breakdown of your finances and an idea of the types of solutions you can consider to tackle your debts. You can also get to know our advisors before you pick up the phone.

find my solution

The initial, expert advice we give is always free of charge. There are fees associated with certain debt solutions once they’re up and running, but your affordability is always taken into account. Any fees and charges for the setting up and running of your solution will come out of what you’re paying towards your debts – they’re not added on top of what you can afford.

You can also contact various debt charities, and the Money Advice Service has a lots of free and impartial debt and money advice to offer. They can direct you to providers of debt solutions that don’t charge a fee for their services.

What will the debt advisor do?

The advice you get depends on your particular situation – what’s right for one person will not necessarily be right for another. There are a range of different solutions for different circumstances available, and a range of solutions available in Scotland as well.

When you talk to a debt advisor, they’ll ask you questions about your situation and what led to you being in problem debt in the first place. They’ll go through your income and outgoings with you in detail – which is simply all the money coming in and going out of your household. This will tell them how much you’ve got to put towards your debts each month, known as your disposable income.

They’ll also ask you a few questions about your circumstances, for instance, whether you’re a home-owner, whether you have dependants and what you do for a living. This is because these factors can sometimes influence which solution is right for you.

When your debt advisor has all the key information they need, they’ll be able to recommend the best solution for your needs.

What happens next?

Once you’ve spoken to a debt advisor and they’ve recommended the best approach for you, you decide what happens next. If we have recommended a debt solution and you want to go ahead with it, your advisor will explain the steps you need to take to get it up and running.

They will also make sure you understand why a certain solution is preferable for you, and explain why the others might not be right. By the time you’ve finished your conversation, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on how to move forward.

Do I have to speak to a debt advisor?

If you prefer, you can contact your creditors directly and try to come to a payment agreement with them, if you can’t afford your contractual payments anymore. Once you’ve explained that you are in financial difficulties, you should be able to agree reduced payments directly with them and ask them to freeze interest and charges, or give you a payment break.

So you don’t necessarily have to speak to a debt advisor if you’re having trouble with your debts. However, we recommend that you do so if you haven’t been able to come to any sort of agreement with your creditors, your case is particularly complicated or you want to find out which debt solution is right for you.

Debt can be very worrying, but worrying won’t solve the problem – the answer is to reach out for the help you need. If you’ve been concerned about your debts for a while, a conversation with a debt advisor will, hopefully, put your mind at rest and show you how to work towards becoming debt free.

 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.