Where to get free help with debts
Being stressed about debt can leave you quite vulnerable. If you're looking for advice and support to sort it out, here are the safest places to try.
Charities that help with debt
You can be pretty sure that a charity’s only real aim is to help YOU, not to make money. And there are lots of reputable charities that offer great debt advice, even if you feel like you’re beyond help.
Has a free Debt Remedy anonymous online tool which can help make you a debt repayment plan. It also has a freephone (even on mobile!) advice line.
Call 0800 138 1111, Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm.
Visit the Step Change website
The Debt Advice Foundation
A registered national debt charity offering a freephone helpline and an online debt analysis tool to help those affected by debt. Trained advisors are on hand to work out how to manage your debt and protect your assets.
Call 0800 644 6089, Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-5pm.
Visit the Debt Advice Foundation website
Helpline offering information and advice to people using a simple four-step programme, including credit cards, council tax, utility bills, bank charges, and harassment.
Call free on 0808 808 4000, Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9.30am-1.00pm.
Visit the National Debtline website
Offers free debt advice and free debt management plans. Citizen’s Advice approved!
Call them for free on 0808 278 9095, Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-3pm.
Visit the PayPlan website.
What about these guys telling me they can take my debt away?
BEWARE of non-charity people claiming they can help you solve your debt woes. More often than not, ‘debt advice’ people are just trying to sell you a whacking great loan. Phrases to look out for are:
- “Consolidate your loan into one single monthly payment”
- “Lower your monthly payments”
- “Manageable monthly payments”
Be very wary of companies that offer things called ‘consolidation loans’. Yes, they may initially lower your monthly payments, but that means it will take much longer to pay off your debts – plus with interest you may end up spending thousands more.
Stepchange has a useful Loan consolidation calculator that will help you work out if you need one.
We’re not saying you should never use a debt consolidation company, but you need to spend some time really doing your homework to make sure it makes financial sense in the long-term.
Photo of boy on the phone by Shutterstock
Updated on 29-Sep-2015
Cheaper ways to get a degree
Going to uni too much money? There are other ways you know.
Should I be saving money?
How to save, even when you're broke
Working below the minimum wage
Working below the minimum wage is illegal, but Ankur ...
What is Universal Credit (UC), and how will it work?
Can I afford this debt?
Getting into debt is easy. Getting out of it, not so much.