If you are facing financial problems you need to reach out and get debt advice. Do NOT pay for debt advice as you can access this for free.
I’ve made it no secret that we’ve been in debt. Money troubles were really this site was started as we shared what we were doing to cut back on our spending and turn our lives around.
I’ve laid pretty much everything out on the line when it comes to money and I hope that I’ve been of help to some people.
I buried my head in the sand, I stopped opening letters and refused to answer my phone. I even got twitchy when the door knocked, just in case someone was turning up to take our possessions.
While reading about what happened to us, how we coped and a few of the things we did to change our fiances might spur you on to do the same thing, proper debt advice is something that I don’t give out.
And there are plenty of good reasons why I don’t.
I don’t know:
- how much money you owe
- what kind of debt you have
- what the interest rates are
- whether it’s secured or unsecured
I could go on.
The thing is, the best thing you can do is to get advice as soon as you can. This will stop money problems getting worse. Plus, the sooner you can start to sort things out, the sooner they’ll be fixed!
Proper debt advice is needs to be given by trained professionals; whether it’s for credit cards, loans, council tax, if you’ve fallen behind with rent payments, or gas, electric or water bills.
There are a good choice of organisations you can reach out to for help and support who are absolutely free.
You do not have to pay for debt advice – the organisations below will give you free and impartial advice to help you.
If you’re already in debt, the last thing you want to do is pay for help.
Please don’t see an advert on the TV and call them, thinking they are fully legit, or click on a random link on Google.
Many of these companies (while will say “no up-front fees) will ask you to pay to set up debt management plans, but there are other (and free) things you may be able to do. They have been set up to make money as a business, not necessarily help you.
Make sure you use a free organisation like the ones below. You don’t have to go to all of them, but choose one who will be able start helping to make a difference.
StepChange is a registered charity that offers free, impartial and confidential support with your money.
They have an online Debt Remedy tool which takes around 20 minutes to complete. This will give you an overview of your debt options. You can always call them instead to understand your options in more detail.
Christians Against Poverty
Christians Against Poverty help everyone, regardless of faith.
The offer local money management courses, local debt help, a local job club to help with employment and and release groups to support with life-controlling habits.
National Debtline is a registered charity who can help you deal with your debts through webchats, phone support and online tools.
You can also access lots of sample letters to use with your creditors. Whether you want to make a pro-rata offer, you want to ask your creditor to freeze your interest or tell a bailiff that you are vulnerable.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Citizens Advice Bureau has a website packed with support for any occasion, whether than be your finances or even employment or housing.
When it comes to support, you are able to get face to face confidential advice locally to you. For debt and money, they will be able to help set up your budget plan and give you advice on how to handle your debts.
Pay Plan offers free advice, but are a for profit company (that won’t affect the support you get and even DMPs are 100% free).
They will work out the best option for you to get back on track. If you manage your debt with them, you have access to an online account management system, PayPlan Plus. You will be able to track and keep up with your payments.
Other useful contacts
Money can impact not just on your bank balance, but your home and your emotional and mental health. Debt takes its toll on all of us and can leave some painful scars.
Don’t face it alone – please.
With the Samaritans there is someone there to talk to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you want to talk to someone then pick up the phone or even send an email.
Email (although not an immediate response):
Mind can help you if you have a mental health problem or are supporting someone who does. They offer advice and information on where to seek help as well as legal advice.
Gamble Aware provides advice, information and emotional support to anyone experiencing problems with gambling via a phone line or online chat.
Trussel Trust has a large network of food banks across the UK. If you are struggling to get food on the table, a doctor, health visitor, school or and social worker can issue you with a food voucher.
Shelter give housing advice no matter what your circumstances. They will be able to give you guidence and legal advice to help with bad housing as well as potential evictions, repossessions and homelessness.
Turn 2 Us
Turn 2 Us can give you an idea of what benefits you can access as well as any charitable grants and support services.
I know how easy it is to fall into a debt trap, but I also know that seeing that back of debt is possible. One of the lessons I learnt from being in debt was that I should have reached out for debt advice earlier, and that’s one thing I would certainly change.
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.