Money can’t buy you happiness. We’ve all heard the saying, however, it's not hard to imagine the sheer joy you would feel if you could pay all your bills in full and on time without having to borrow money and build up debt.
If you have been affected by debt, you are not alone. According to statistics from The Money Charity, in July 2019, the average total debt per household in the UK was £59,319.
Living with debt can be extremely worrying and can lead to serious physical, emotional and psychological issues. It is important to know that no matter what size your debt is, you can seek free advice on your financial position and available options at any time.
There are several charities in the UK which will gladly assist you in finding a solution to your debt problems free of charge. In this article we will highlight StepChange Debt Charity and National Debtline.
When seeking advice, you will need to provide the charities with details of your debts, your income and your expenditure so that they can help you create a budget and explore the options available to you. These organisations will also help you to choose what solution is best for your situation and to get things set up. You will also receive ongoing support with managing your debt, for however long it’s needed.
StepChange is one of the biggest debt support charities in the UK. They have been around for over 25 years and help around 650,000 people each year to get a grip of their finances. StepChange can support you through impartial and confidential debt advice and can provide a range of managed debt solutions.
National Debtline have also been working to help people clear debt for over 25 years. In 2018 they helped 138,120 people through their phone service and a further 34,065 people through their webchat service.
The charity offers free, impartial and confidential debt advice through their highly trained and supportive debt advisers. After assessing your situation, they will explain the debt advice options that are right for you.
Before seeing debt advice, you will need to prepare information on your debts, your income, priority bills and other living expenses so that a debt advisor can assess your financial situation accurately.
The information about your income should include your salary, as well as any benefits, tax credits and pensions you are entitled to. Ensure you have prepared correct figures for your net and gross income.
Your priority bills are your essential living costs, or all expenses that will have severe negative consequences if missed. These include, but are not limited to:
Your non-essential bills will fall in this category. These will include a mixture of fixed and regular bills, as well as variable and occasional spending. Non-priority bills include, but are not limited to:
You should also prepare a list of all your creditors with details of the amount and type of debt you owe. Your list should include any loans from family and friends, arrears on bills, credit card and overdraft debt, and county court judgements. You should gather the following information for each creditor and ensure that it is accurate:
We understand that not everything always goes according to plan and we will gladly work with you to find a suitable arrangement for your individual circumstances. All you need to do is get in touch with us so that we can review your account and help you further.