There are many debt advice services out there and choosing the right one can be difficult. They all offer differing services depending on how involved you want to be. At one end you have organisations that will do most of the work for you and at the other organisations that provide all the advice and information you need to manage your debts yourself. Which type of advice is best for you depends entirely on your individual preferences. If you choose one and decide it isn't right, you can move to another which is more suitable.
Below we have tried to explain what the different formats involve. If you are unsure about which type of advice to get remember you can always call us and we can refer you to our partner StepChange who can provide you with advice.
Telephone advice providers typically offer assisted self-help. They will review your budget and your situation and advise you on what the best course of action is. Once you have decided what action to take they will provide you with the information and resources needed to take action and you speak to your creditors yourself.
Face-to-face advice will usually take the form of casework. You visit an adviser who will go through your finances with you and they will deal with your creditors and negotiate on your behalf.
To find a reputable local face-to-face agency in the UK visit the Citizens Advice Bureaux or Advice UK websites.
Interactive online advice
Some debt advice organisations have created interactive online advice tools which look at your budget and are able to provide advice and action plans based on the information you input. These tools can also be helpful to monitor your budget even if you are not it debt.
Two UK debt charities have created online tools
My Money Steps – from National Debtline
Debt Remedy – from StepChange
Self-help / Assisted self-help
There are a number of resources that have been created to help you manage your debts yourself. These include information on your rights and responsibilities, information on how to decide what action to take and sample letters to help you negotiate with creditors.
National Debtline have created two very good booklets and lots of factsheets and sample letters to help in England, Wales and Scotland. These can be downloaded on the National Debtline website.
England & Wales site